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April 4, 2012
MODERATOR:Â We're joined by the Boston College Eagles head coach Jerry York and student‑athletes Tommy Cross and Paul Carey.
Coach, opening statement.
COACH YORK:Â Opening statements, these are always a lot of fun because you reflect back on a terrific year from your team you've coached, and we've had that.Â Very enjoyable group of young guys to work with.
I think we've shown a lot of improvement as this year's gone on.Â But the anticipation of the Frozen Four is something that's‑‑ it's special.Â I often talk about you can't go down to Joe's Variety and just buy a ticket for the Frozen Four.Â You've got to earn it.
And our team did that, as well as Ferris and Union and Minnesota.Â So who knows if these are the four best teams in the country, but we've earned the right to come here, and now to determine from these four who is going to be the national champion.Â And it's something that we all dream about as young guys, and even old coaches dream about it.
It's a unique experience to participate in national championships.Â To win one is certainly the stuff of dreams.Â And I'm very, very excited to be here.Â I understand how difficult the process is to get here, and I also understand how difficult it is to bring a trophy home when you're returning to Boston.
So having said that, we're prepared to really, really play well, and we anticipate some excellent hockey from all four teams here.
Q.Â How do you keep the 17‑game win streak in perspective, not let it get too far out in front of you?
PAUL CAREY:Â We just take it one game at a time.Â Prepare, focus on that game, what's at hand.Â We're not really concerned with the next game coming up.Â So that's pretty much it.
TOMMY CROSS:Â I would agree.Â I think in the regular season, I think win streaks‑‑ it may be tough to focus on one game at a time.Â If one win streak ends in the regular season, then you can start another.Â But in the playoffs, it's you lose you go home.Â So win streaks don't really matter.Â It's all about the game you're dealing with, and for us right now it's Minnesota.
Q.Â If you were to go and use any one word to kind of describe the mindset of the players in the locker room, what one word would you use?
TOMMY CROSS:Â I'd say excited.Â Excited to be at the Frozen Four, excited to still have our sticks and still be playing, and excited to go out and have a chance to compete against another good team and try and win a trophy.
PAUL CAREY:Â I'd say we're hungry.Â Last year wasn't the way we wanted to finish the season.Â This year we've had some success.Â But the Final trophy is what we want, and we're hungry for that.
Q.Â Can you just talk about what it was like to finally get on the ice today after a week and a half of anticipation of getting down here?
TOMMY CROSS:Â Yeah, it was nice to get in the rink here and get used to your surroundings and get in the locker room, get your gear and just go out and play.Â We had a great week of practice back home, and we just wanted to continue that down here today, and I think we did that.Â And it's exciting to get out here.
At the end of the day it's still a hockey rink and you get used to it and you just go play.
PAUL CAREY:Â Yeah, it's a little different going from 90‑degree weather onto the ice.Â But I think it's a great facility, great arena, venue, and we're excited to play here in Tampa Bay, and we've got a nice locker room, too.
Q.Â Paul, can you talk about what it's like playing with Pat Mullane and what he's meant to the production your line has put up this season?
PAUL CAREY:Â It's been great playing with Patty.Â I've had the chance to play with him for the past three years throughout the seasons.Â And he's a great player, player guy.Â He has great vision.Â And we seem to gel well together.Â And going with Johnny Gaudreau, he could‑‑ you could put him in a line with anybody and he can make plays happen.
So I think Pat is just a great player, and every day he really works hard to keep improving.
Q.Â When Don Lucia was talking about how special it was for his team to be here, he made some quote, something like unless you're BC you don't get here very often.Â What does it feel like as players to be part of a program that's become synonymous with getting here, not necessarily every year, but almost every year?
TOMMY CROSS:Â I think being part of a program that's been here a lot, just the expectations are high and we expect a lot out of ourselves and we know how hard it is to get here and how hard it is to win, and win trophies, especially trophies on the national stage.
It's an honor to be part of a program like he referenced, but just like he said about his club, we're excited to be here too.
PAUL CAREY:Â It's tough getting here.Â It's not easy to get here.Â But I think that Coach York has made it part of our culture, and each year he expects his teams to work hard and really try as hard as they can to get here.
And I think that when all the players buy in, and it starts with the coaches and trickles down, and I think that‑‑ I think it's a great thing that the Frozen Four and BC is able to get here so often.Â But it's certainly something that's very hard and something we try hard to do.
Q.Â Paul and Tommy, could you give us your pregame assessment of your first‑game opponent and what do you know of them, what do you think?
TOMMY CROSS:Â You know, the Gophers have been at the top of the national rankings all year.Â They come from a storied program with a lot of history.Â And for me all you gotta do is look at what they did last weekend or two weekends ago.Â They beat a really good Boston University team and a really good North Dakota team.Â So we know they've got a lot of good players.
And Minnesota is playing some of their best hockey this season.Â And they like to play with speed and play with skill, and it should be a real exciting hockey game.
PAUL CAREY:Â We know they're a good club because they made it here.Â We know they can score a lot of goals.Â They just took over the most goals per game this past weekend.Â So I guess we're kind of focusing on that, and I think if we manage the puck correctly, then we'll be able to limit them.
MODERATOR:Â Thank you.Â Questions for Coach.
Q.Â Coach, obviously the 17‑game win streak gives you guys a lot of momentum coming into today.Â Are there any dangers in your mind coming in with such a long win streak not having lost in so long?
COACH YORK:Â Just looking at Minnesota, that's a big dangerous sign in front of us.Â It's our opponent that is right in our focus here.Â And we're not‑‑ like Tommy said, during winning streaks during the season, you establish a winning streak.Â You lose, you establish another winning streak.Â You go back and forth during the course of the ebbs and flows of the season.
But once you get to the NCAA, the Regionals, the Frozen Four, there's no going back.Â You win and you advance and you lose and you go home.
The danger is always the opponent you're facing.Â And we're going to face a very, very good opponent.Â Haven't found many easy ones.Â When you get to this point, they're all tough.
Q.Â To follow up on that, tell us about what you see, the strengths for Minnesota, the challenges that they face for your club, and what you'll have to do against them?
COACH YORK:Â I think of all the teams in the country, when we look at them, we kind of look in the mirror.Â And they like to play the game with pace.Â They like the play the game with high skill level.
They play very tenacious defensive play.Â It's remarkable, you can look at, hey, they wear the same color uniforms.Â You can look at a lot of peripheral things.Â But the tradition of the programs, there's a lot of things that are similar with BC and Minnesota.
But I think the pace of the game and the way they play, it's not a rock fight.Â We play enough games in the year that's a rock fight.Â This is a hockey game.Â Lots of skill.Â Lots of good hard checking, and they play the way we want to play.
And there's only a few teams in the country when we play against them we say this team is very, very similar to us.Â And the Gophers and eagles share a lot of similarities.Â So I guess we play each other in practice all the time.Â So it won't be any surprises, you know?
Q.Â Just talk about Pat Mullane's play this year, especially in the second half, he's really come on and started scoring some goals, too.
COACH YORK:Â He's really improved.Â He's been a good player, but now he's reached that level, and you need a lot of these type players when you get to this point, even to get to this point.Â He can change the game, whether it's a real good defensive play or crisp, accurate pass that leads to a goal, or recently he's scoring goals.
So he's one of those game‑changers, and you try to get at least half a dozen on your club that can do that, and then you feel pretty good about the club you have.
But Pat, he's improved each year that he's been with us, and he's in much better physical shape than when he first came.Â He's worked on his diet.Â He's worked on his strength.Â He'll be a factor in the game tomorrow night.
Q.Â I want to ask you the same question that I asked the players in terms of your reaction to Don Lucia's comment about your program becoming synonymous with being here so often.
COACH YORK:Â I think that we take great pride in it, the fact that Donny has won back‑to‑back national championships would make a statement like that, because he has a program very similar to us.
But I think it's no secret from my perspective.Â Everybody asks about this topic, but it's making sure you have a lot of good players, and that is when players graduate, you recruit well, and your assistants do a good job recruiting, and then you have a lot of good players and they have to be focused on team goals.
We feel at BC, that when you come into our program, that no one player's bigger than the Eagle.Â You're there for one purpose.Â You represent our school.Â Your focus is on winning trophies.
And I don't care how good the player is, the reason we're so effective is that I think they all buy into that system.Â They're all‑‑ they're a team first.Â And it sounds simple to say; it's really difficult to do.
But our leadership has been outstanding over the years, and I think a lot of good players get pointed in the right direction and keep them there.Â I think that's the basis of our success.
Q.Â Given that you have a bunch of players who were here two years ago and in the other bracket those programs have never been here, and it's been a few years for Minnesota, do you think the experience factor is going to be something that can help you out?
COACH YORK:Â We've stressed that with our players.Â There's so many distractions when you come to Frozen Fours, and you need to make sure you don't get caught up in it.
In '10 we were of course playing in an indoor stadium, football stadium, which was different.Â Here you come into a state that has 90degrees average temperature this time of the year.Â It's a lot different than our normal venue.
So we're trying to focus on ‑‑ players have been involved with the media attention, the national attention, and rightfully so.
This is our premier event in college hockey, but with those distractions you have to stay laser‑like focused.Â And I think it's different with the weather conditions and just where this event is being held.Â I think it's a good thing.Â I think it's great for the state of Florida and helps youth hockey.Â And it is an NHL city, so they have a lot of good fans here, and Ryan Shannon‑‑ nice to see him.Â That's another advantage of coming down here.
Q.Â Why don't you and Don try to schedule the Gophers during the regular season more?Â Two storied programs.Â Why hasn't that happened?
COACH YORK:Â We're actually going to their tournament next year.Â So we'll be in the Twin Cities.Â And we've tentatively agreed on a four‑year scheduling situation with the Gophers.
With hockey, we have 27league games, or with the Beanpot 29, we played Notre Dame on an annual basis, so at 30, and we already have four games to play, and we're very, very close proximity‑wise to Harvard, to a lot of schools right around us, and we also play in a Christmas tournament.Â So we get down to about two games we can really schedule.
Now, with the advent of the new leagues, we're going to have more games to play.Â So I envision us playing more teams from the West.Â So I think it will happen more often.
Q.Â When you left, the last time I saw you, actually, in December, you guys were not really necessarily playing great, you might have been struggling in your mind, but what happened after that January‑‑ sort of late December/January nonsurge where you got together, picked it up, and things started rolling again?
COACH YORK:Â Michigan really handled us pretty easily in the Great Lakes Tournament.Â I thought we were fortunate to get by a pretty good Michigan Tech team.Â But I think we just weren't playing real solid hockey.Â We were taking too many chances.
We've got a lot of skilled players that want to make great plays, and sometimes field position in hockey is more important than trying to force the play, especially at the offensive line.
So turnovers led to two and ones against us, three and ones.Â You saw the Michigan game.Â And our goaltenders, whether it was Parker or whether it was Venti or Billet, were facing unusual situations, outnumbered situations.
So I think we cleaned up that by playing smarter hockey.Â And Parker actually is our‑‑ he's gone from a good goaltender to an exceptional goaltender.Â Assistant coach Jimmy Logue's done a great job with him.Â And Parker, he's not even close to what he was in November and December.
We had a bad loss against Notre Dame and a bad loss to Boston University prior going to the Great Lakes Tournament.Â I thought goaltending was going to be a problem for us.Â Now it's a strength.Â He's matured, emotionally he's matured.Â His game's just a lot better.
And any type of goalie description you can talk about.Â And he's been one of the real catalysts for us‑‑ and here's a young guy that he did not make First‑Team All‑League, did not make Second‑Team All‑League, and did not get one vote for Honorable Mention.Â And probably rightfully so, if you thought about him and say is this Parker from January and December or‑‑ but now you look at his numbers.Â He's gone right‑‑ his numbers have gone past Clemmensen (indiscernible).Â This month and a half has been phenomenal.
MODERATOR:Â Thank you, Coach.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports