April 6, 2023
Tampa, Florida, USA
Semifinal Postgame Media Conference
Quinnipiac - 5, Michigan - 2
COACH NAURATO: Credit to Quinnipiac. They played a great game. Appreciate Tampa Bay and all their hospitality. It was a great event and a great city. And tough game, but extremely proud of our guys and everything they've done this year, and Michigan will be a better program because of the type of people we had this year, because of that senior class.
Q. Did Quinnipiac do anything differently than you didn't expect tonight?
SEAMUS CASEY: No. I think that's what we were expecting tonight. They're a pretty rigid team. You watch video of them; they don't really deter from their game plan and they're a pretty good team, really defensive. I think at times we just didn't execute what we were trying to do. Few costly mistakes, but it was a good game.
NOLAN MOYLE: I agree with Seamus. Credit to them; they were a good team. I thought we did a lot of good things tonight. We didn't get the bounces we wanted to at the end of the day. But I'm just super proud of this group.
Q. Nolan, what are you going to take away from this specific season out of your five years here at Michigan?
NOLAN MOYLE: I can't thank them enough for giving me the opportunity to come back here and lead this group. It was a special year. I just love this team. I love this school. I'm so proud to be a Michigan man. And you always hear just leave this place better than I found it. It's unfortunate we came up short. But I'm so proud of this group.
Q. Seamus, describe what makes them difficult to penetrate. What makes them defensively tough to attack against them?
SEAMUS CASEY: I think structurally they have that 1-3-1 and it can be hard to get pucks behind them. To get technical, their D (indiscernible) retrievals. It just makes things tough.
I thought we did a good job of getting through and making plays. Like Nolan said, just didn't get bounces. But they play hard and they stay above everybody. And it's going to be tough to play against. But I thought we did a good job.
Q. They played bumper pool with your goalie once. They do it twice. Is that just the hockey gods not smiling on you and getting a bad bounce?
COACH NAURATO: Just a bad bounce.
Q. This being your first year as a head coach, what will you remember most about this group?
COACH NAURATO: Just the bond that the players had and what they fought for. Like I said, that senior class has been amazing, just pulling these freshmen in and showing them what Michigan is all about. That's why I made the comment I did earlier that Michigan is in a better place going forward because of the stamp that that class has left on it. So all these guys coming back, they'll know the expectations, more off the ice than anything. And it will be great moving forward.
Our goal is to win the national championship. We didn't. But we won this season. We won in a lot of ways this season.
Q. You went over a lot of obstacles to get to this point. What are you looking forward to next season with Michigan trying to rebuild and get back to the national status they were years ago?
COACH NAURATO: Just taking steps -- I was talking to the rest of the coaches after the game, I wouldn't have changed any of our preparation leading into it. Quinnipiac is a great team, and we have respect for them. And they did a great job tonight. But that could have went either way. Two goals from behind the net and one from the top of the circles in the board. It is what it is. That's why it's so hard to win a national championship. It's one game.
Q. Perhaps you just answered it. But you've been here as a player, as an assistant, as now the head coach. And all three times the loss in the semifinal. I think that's eight of nine for Michigan to not even get to the championship game since the '98 title. What is it other than just teams are really good that makes this so hard?
COACH NAURATO: It's just one game. It's tough. It's a crazy stat, but if you look through all those games, it's not one thing holding Michigan back from winning that game.
Q. A lot of guys in that locker room were just saying that this was the most special group they've ever been a part of. What do you attribute that to other than playing winning hockey? What was the secret sauce that allowed everybody to bond so tight and be so together?
COACH NAURATO: The same thing that we've talked about in every article that's been written. It's real. We're not just talking about stuff. Like these guys are tight. They're good people. They've been through hard times and they're there for each other. That's how you gain trust is through hard times and pain.
So that's why I say that going through the season we won in a lot of ways. We may not win the national championship. But what's it about? Is it about trophies or what we did?
So I'd rather have what we did than winning a national championship with a bunch of individuals or any other analogy that I can get. I'm really proud of these guys. And obviously it's my first year, but I'll never forget this year.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports