Postgame quotes from tonight’s UND-Wisconsin game.
Dave Hakstol’s opening statement: "Wisconsin has been out for two weeks here, and the obviously did a tremendous job of preparing and being ready to play for this regional tournament, so congratulations to them.
"Collectively as a group of 25 players, what a tremendous performance to overcome all types of adversity through the first couple periods tonight, as they’ve done all year. They stuck together, believed in one another and found a way to get the job done tonight. That comes from the leadership, from our captains and all 25 guys."
Hakstol on pinpointing the defining moment on the road to the Frozen Four: "There’s not one defining moment. I’ve heard a lot of questions with our hockey team about our first half, some inconsistencies, some ups and downs through the first half. When you start with good players, a whole bunch of good people in the locker room and the attitude and work ethic that this group of 25 guys has, you have a chance of success. We saw the work ethic right from when the guys showed up this fall from summer, so there isn’t one defining moment. This team has been developing and building throughout the year."
Hakstol on playing Boston College: "We’ll turn our focus to them as soon as we get back to Grand Forks tomorrow and the next day. It’s going to be a heck of a game. It’s one we’re going to prepare really hard for. They got us last year, and obviously that’s something that sticks with you. We’re going to prepare hard and we’re going to go in there and play hard. The best team is going to win on that particular night."
Ryan Duncan on UND scoring two goals in 47 seconds: "Wisconsin outplayed us in the first two periods. We kind of got a little momentum off our power play at the start of the third and then our captain, our leader, Rylan Kaip, has been outstanding all year, but he doesn’t get all the accolades and stuff some of the guys do on our team. He made an outstanding play. They had been doing a great job blocking shots all night and I just tried to get my shot through the net."
Andrew Kozek on his overtime goal: "I saw the puck laying there at the hash mark and I took a whack at it. I heard someone say that it skipped off the ice. I wasn’t trying to put it anywhere. It was just fortunate that it went in for us."
Phil Lamoureux on the team’s attitude after the second period: "As a whole, you just have to regroup. I think certainly Wisconsin got a lucky break on that second goal at the end of the second period. It could have been demoralizing for the team to give up a goal and a two-goal lead going into the third period on top of that. But we regrouped collectively. It’s a position we’ve been in before this year and our big-time leaders stepped up and made big plays for us. We have a quiet confidence in our dressing room. We’re comfortable in these situations and the bottom line is that you have to go out and execute plays."
Lamoureux on his save on Michael Davies’ breakaway: "I feel comfortable poke-checking. Being a smaller guy, I try to be aggressive when I can. I saw as he was coming down the slot, he put his head down for a minute and he, being a right-handed shot, I was able to cut off his ice and try to force him to make a good shot. If he could put it upstairs from where he was, or go bar-down, you have to tip your hat to the guy. Coming in on a breakaway with speed, it’s a difficult play. I was confident in my decision making and fortunate that I made the save.
Chris VandeVelde’s overview: "Coming out today, we didn’t start off too hot. It was just an amazing team win. We struggled but we played through it and got a win. That’s what counts."
VandeVelde on the team’s attitude after two periods: "The second intermission, we just came together. A bunch of guys were saying ‘we gotta believe, we gotta believe. We just got to outwork them and play our game.’ And that’s what we did."
VandeVelde on his reaction upon seeing the goal go in: "It was unbelievable. People were just yelling. There’s nothing better than that feeling. It’s just a huge rush and an unbelievable feeling."
VandeVelde on how much the comeback win over Denver helped in this game: "It showed what we have to do to comeback. You never want to be in that situation. It happens. There are times you don’t play good. Maybe for one period you can play good and get a win, so it definitely did help."
VandeVelde on the matchup with BC: "I heard they came back just like we did. It’s good for them and congratulate them. It’ll be a battle just like it is every year."
Oshie on returning to the Frozen Four: "This time, it’s all business. We haven’t taken advantage of our chances before. We have to bear down and realize what we have in front of us."
Oshie on the atmosphere: "Their crowd was phenomenal. It wasn’t a sellout, but they were really giving it to us. The other team was feeding off of that. But we battled back and it feels good to do it again."
Oshie on the matchup with BC: We’ve been working hard, we’ve been kind of waiting for this all year — a chance to kind of redeem what we did last year and the year before that. I’m excited for the challenge, I’m excited for the opportunity. And I’m going to do everything I can in the next two weeks to take full advantage of it."
Mike Eaves’ opening statement: "It’s kind if ironic, paradoxical tonight. Last night we were very excited and I think it stings a little bit more tonight because we were so close. We got off to the start that we wanted, had a 2-0 lead and hit about four posts. We couldn’t get that next goal that maybe would have given us a little bit more of a spread that would have been harder to come back from. Being a veteran team, North Dakota stayed on it, stayed on it and got themselves back in the game. We couldn’t quite find the answer physically with energy at the end. Maybe they wore us down, I’m not sure. But their veteran guys played well at the end and got the job done."
Eaves on Shane Connelly’s performance: "We talked about three keys going into this weekend in order to win the playoffs. Your goaltending has to be good, and your special teams and your beginning, as I said in the opening comment. I thought all three were there. I thought that Shane did a nice job for us, the power play was basically two for three tonight and the penalty killed off all of (UND’s) power plays. In the end, they got to some loose pucks and they put the puck in the net. As far as our goaltending, I thought Shane was very solid for us."
Eaves on expectations and emotions: "I think there are both sides here. I think as Bo Ryan talked about, when you lose and you’re so close, it stings. It stings deeply. And one of the things we talked about after the game is that you’ve got to use that for next year. The guys that are returning here, when they get tired this summer, they’ve got to take what they heard at the end of this game and use that to motivate themselves to get more conditioned, stronger, so that they build that will. When you get to moments like this it’s our will versus theirs. And in the end, their veteran guys showed their will. They weren’t going to settle for anything. And they didn’t. They got the job done. Unfortunately, we didn’t."
Wisconsin captain Davis Drewiske on giving up two goals in less than a minute: "It’s tough. They’re obviously a very good team and you expect some kind of push from them like that. We still had confidence in what we were doing and we settled in there a little bit after they got those two quick goals, so it felt like we were going to pull through."
Drewiske on the team’s performance: "I thought we were just riding that wave of emotion just from having that second life of getting a chance to be in the tournament and wanting to prove some people wrong. We wanted to prove that we deserved to be here. We were riding pretty high there, especially after the second period tonight. I thought we were completely controlling the game there for a while in the second.
Jamie McBain on his goal: "It was a play we’ve drawn up in practice Kyle (Turris) made a great look, good pass and they really had no chance. All I had to do was tap it into the empty net. It kind of gave us another boost. We kept going there through the second period.
Turris on UND’s effect on Wisconsin: "They might have worn us down a little bit. I thought we came out with a lot of energy in the game. As the game went on, they might have worn us down a little bit. But I think emotionally, we still had energy. The crowd helped us and we just wanted to keep going and try to do everything it takes."
Turris on UND’s overtime goal: "I lost the faceoff and I should have won that. It went back to the point. I tried to follow my guy through the slot and I saw the D-man wind up so I just stayed there and tried to block it. I tried blocking it with my arm. I thought I hit it, blocked it. It came back out in the slot. I don’t know where it went, but I think their guy kind of one-timed it."