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April 11, 2013

Norm Bazin

Connor Hellebuyck

Joseph Pendenza

Riley Wetmore


Yale – 3
UMass Lowell – 2

THE MODERATOR:  Coach, your opening thoughts and then we'll take your questions for the players.
COACH BAZIN:  First, I'd like to congratulate Yale for moving on.  They have an excellent hockey team, and they played a great game.  Certainly as far as we're concerned, I'm proud of this group for this season.  But tonight, we certainly didn't have it.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the players.

Q.  For any of the players, your coach said you didn't seem like you guys had it tonight.  Other than a second period that was pretty strong, it seemed like you guys were playing catch‑up an awful lot during this game.  Is there anything you could attribute that to or anything that you feel may have caused that?
RILEY WETMORE:  Like Coach said, they're a great team.  They played a great game tonight, and we just didn't have our legs first period, and we did have a good second and the third in overtime.  They got a lot of shots on us and they found one that went in.

Q.  Joe?
THE MODERATOR:  Joe, anything to add?
JOSEPH PENDENZA:  Not really.  Kind of like what Riley said.  First period they struggled and kind of took it to us.  We were kind of in a hole at that point and dug us out and tied it, but they kept coming and they played a great game.

Q.  Riley, so many games this year you guys weren't able to make adjustments against opponents and turn things around in your favor.  What adjustments were you trying to make and how did they prevent you from doing what you wanted to do tonight?
RILEY WETMORE:  Just getting shots in the first period.  We were held to like four or five shots, same in the second.  We did have a good 17 seconds, we got two goals there.  So we knew we could score.  But we just didn't bring it.  They played a great game.  We were just unfortunate we didn't have our legs today.

Q.  Connor, part one, what made Yale tonight such a tough team to defend, and part two, give us your perspective on the winning goal?
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK:  They just held the puck a lot and they got a lot of shots through on the rush.  Can you repeat the second question, please?

Q.  Your perspective on the winning goal?
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK:  Yeah, the guys flipped it through the five hole, yeah.
THE MODERATOR:  Further questions for the players?

Q.  For Joe or Riley, even when you guys got those two goals, it seemed like it never really swung momentum completely in your favor.  They had a few good shifts after that to close-out the period.  Did you feel like that should have been more of a turning point getting those two quick goals?
JOSEPH PENDENZA:  It should have been.  We definitely tried to get pucks in deep in their "D", and their "D" played a really good game and helped at the blue line.  They just kept kind of coming in waves.
They did what we usually do to other teams, so a little taste of our own medicine, kind of.  But they just got the pucks first tonight, and they played a hell of a game.
RILEY WETMORE:  Yeah, just like he said, they did to us what we normally do to teams.  Yeah, they deserve all the credit; they played a great game tonight.

Q.  Guys, I know this is very fresh and might be difficult for you.  But how do you get past this disappointment and realize how successful this team was this year in everything that you've been able to accomplish?
CONNOR HELLEBUYCK:  You've got to let it sink in for a little while.  Think about everything that happened and think about things that you can do better and improve on.  Once that kicks in, you'll start working on the next season and trying to follow up what we just did.  I think that's when it will sink in.
RILEY WETMORE:  Yeah, I think these guys have a great future.  They've got great leadership in the locker room for the next couple of years.  For me, it's just disappointing that‑‑ yeah, I just can't put it into words.  It's just tough right now.
THE MODERATOR:  Okay, guys.  Thank you very much.  Congratulations on a terrific season, and we'll finish up with questions for Coach.

Q.  They seemed to take you out of your transition game today at least in the neutral zone.  What were they doing successfully to do that?
COACH BAZIN:  Well, first and foremost, they have excellent team speed, and they post a lot of guys in the neutral zone, and usually they can adjust to that; we have in the last couple of weeks against teams that are very similar.
However, we had no response.  It was just one of those games that the magic certainly wasn't there tonight in terms of skating and being able to adjust on the fly.  You know, you can't say anything but tip your hat to the Yale hockey club.  They played an excellent hockey game, and they were able to take the play to us.

Q.  Coach, talk about anything that Yale did particularly to take you out of that?
COACH BAZIN:  Well, not really.  Nothing was different from what we saw over the course of the week in our preparation.  Some days you're on and some days you're not; today we weren't.  However, they got pucks in deep.  I think we turned the puck over in the neutral zone which is not like us.  We got pucks in deep and being able to sustain pressure on the forecheck; and despite coming back and making it a 2‑2 game, you're right.
The momentum didn't swing.  Usually it does.  I didn't think we had enough puck possession time to be a threat tonight, and usually that's our forte, so credit to them.

Q.  Both Riley and Joe said for whatever reason they didn't have their legs tonight.  On a stage like this, what can you attribute that to?
COACH BAZIN:  That's a good question.  That's something we will think of that a good part of this summer.  The tables were turned tonight.  We've had three or four teams in the last couple of weeks, and unfortunately it's our turn.  I wish we were playing tomorrow.
But as far as not having your legs tonight, there is no excuse for it.  Both teams had the same amount of time off.  We should have been very fresh because we have a good skating club.  Like I said, we just didn't have it.

Q.  In a game like this where you're getting outshot pretty handily, but third period overtime score is 2‑2, what is your message to the guys in breaks and timeouts and stuff like that?
COACH BAZIN:  I almost thought it was going to swing our way for that exact reason.  I thought they carried the play, but you know, in overtime it's usually a greasy goal that gets scored, and it's usually a bobbled puck or a broken play.  I stayed positive with the guys.  I said we couldn't have possibly played worse in the third period.  I thought we were due for some good play.
I thought they have done it all year.  We've been down by scores of 4‑2, and 4‑1.  And have come back to pull it off.  So I believe until the very end.  Unfortunately, it didn't go that direction tonight.

Q.  After that first period, it was an awful lot of energy that it seemed you guy his to expend just to come back.  All that energy was spent to do that.  Did you feel like spending so much energy and working so hard to get back in the game that that tapped you out a little bit?
COACH BAZIN:  Not really.  Truthfully, I thought we had a lot more in the tank because I didn't think we skated like we usually can.  In any event, it doesn't matter.  It's one of those games.  The first eight or nine minutes, I wasn't that disappointed with our play.  I thought we were cutting back and sustaining a little pressure.  However, they were getting more shots through.
I didn't think we delivered enough pucks to the net, and we certainly didn't make this young man's life hard enough at the net, credit to their defensemen for helping out.

Q.  You mentioned some of the comebacks, did you try to bring back or mention like a 4‑1 comeback against Northeastern, and just how well your team has been able to turn the tables in the few times you've been down like that?
COACH BAZIN:  Yeah, we've been down quite a few times, actually.  I just named a few examples there.  However, in the playoffs we were down to Providence and came back to win.  So I definitely think there was some magic in that room.  But they got the goal that counted, and it's the way it went tonight.

Q.  Norm, as disappointing as it is to be sitting here now in these circumstances, what can we say about the play of your goaltender who basically just stood on his head?
COACH BAZIN:  What can you say?  He's a terrific freshman.  He's been strong the whole second half.  I think he's improved this year, and it will take some time to put this behind us.  But I'm very proud of this group.  I think Connor, as well.
But the whole group had an opportunity to accomplish what no other group at Lowell has ever done.  This is going to sting for a while.
But Connor, as well as the rest of their group, I'm very proud of.  He's got a good future ahead of him, and I'm thankful that he's a freshman.
THE MODERATOR:  Coach, congratulations on a great year, and thank you very much.
COACH BAZIN:  Thank you.

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