Well, I don’t know what the game looked like from upstairs, but it was a hard fought game from the ice level. It as intense. It was gritty. And I thought Western was as good as we thought they would be, and they really turned it up in the second period and had us on our heels and we were fortunate to get the next goal. I think we had a couple of bounces tonight. It was the difference in the game. There wasn’t much to choose between the teams.
On what he said to the team after the second period… We didn’t like the last ten minutes of that period. It was embarrassing. I think the goals came too easy, and sometimes your team starts relaxing. Well, there’s no room for relaxing in that game, and they came out harder than ever and they got two back and we were lucky it was just two.
So we had a better third period. We played better Michigan hockey. Better third period hockey. We knew they’d been a strong team in the third period, so it was important we win the third period, not just hang on.
On staying out of the penalty box… We didn’t want to be in a penalty filled game one way or another. I think our team is playing with discipline. Their team—I don’t think we had a power play tonight, did we? So that’s the way the game way and you got to play the game five-on-five and I think we’re a good team five-on-five.
On Kevin Lynch scoring his first points in 19 games… It’s good for the team, and it’s good for Lynch. He’s worked hard. He’s been a player we kept in the line up for all those games when he wasn’t scoring, but he’s worked hard. We switched him to center and I can’t tell you that had anything to do with it, but he’s been working hard for a kid that hasn’t scored. We’ve explained to him it’s not about scoring, it’s about playing well and playing hard and playing good defense—when you’re not scoring you better not get scored against. So for the most part Lynch has kept himself in the line up by working hard and tonight he got rewarded.
On Greg Pateryn’s four point night and if he did anything different… No, I think he’s just keeping the game simple. We’re asking our (defense) to move the puck up—quick up the puck. He made that play to Scooter coming out of the penalty box. A little bit of luck with the timing and everything as Scooter’s penalty is up and Pateryn’s got the puck, so that was a nice play. And then he got the puck through from the point and we get a rebound—Lynch’s first goal was a rebound off Pateryn’s shot. So we’ve been talking all year about getting shot through from the point and that paid off tonight.
On building a four goal lead… Well, we just came off a 2-1 game against Ohio State and you know how those games are. Every play is a big play. You better be able to play in that game. But I’d much rather play with a three goal lead than one goal lead, especially with a team like that that was threatening.
On Hunwick being a factor… He was a factor again. We gave up too many good scoring chances. I think if you measured the scoring chances in the game they’ll be pretty even.
Did it feel like you were playing playoff hockey again tonight?… Both these teams are playing hard. They’re playing for something. It just seems like you’re in the playoffs.
GREG PATERYN AND KEVIN LYNCH
Pateryn on the mood in the locker room after the second period… I think we were tightening up a bit. We were too loose after the second period. They got 17 shots there in the second, so we really just wanted to focus on defense and make sure we kept as many chances out as we could.
Lynch adds… Our focus was to just come out in the third and win the third period. If we won the third period, we going to win the game. We just want to come out and get those first hits and get pucks deep and get pucks on net.
Lynch on scoring two goals for the first time in “a little while”… A little while? Not since November, but it felt good, though. I thought I’d been playing pretty well but it hasn’t been going in for me. Tonight it was nice to get those couple of goals, but my line mates played pretty well and made some great passes, so hats off to them.
Pateryn on Western’s ability to come back… You guys could see towards the end of the game they just never stopped. Two goal game, they just kept on coming and coming. They scored, we scored—kind of back and forth. They’re a really good team. They’re really hard working and they’re just relentless—they never stopped. Just look at last week against Miami. But we’re going to get a harder game tomorrow, so we got to be ready.
Pateryn on if he’s ever had a four point game… I don’t think ever in my hockey career. I think last time was maybe high school and we beat a team like 9-0 or something. Guys were putting the puck in. Scooter’s scoring every chance he’s had basically. Lynch put one in there for me. Brownie good deflection. Rust made an unbelievable pass. So I got to give everyone else credit, too, not just myself.
Lynch on his first goal… I made an offensive play to get the puck in, then somebody passed it back to (Mac) Bennett and then over to Greg (Pateryn). His nice shot got through and it hit the far pad and I was just right there. Saw the puck go in, and it was a really good feeling to get the monkey off my back.
Pateryn on if Red congratulated Scooter on taking his penalty (since he got a goal coming out of the box)… No, I don’t think so. They didn’t have any penalties, so I think tomorrow’s going to be another good game that we need to play five-on-five and make sure we score more than them.
Lynch on if the Mercyhurst game came to mind after Western scored two goals… Obviously there’s a thought if they get the momentum, but I think the next couple shifts after that we kind of matched their intensity. We weren’t like scrambling around on the bench. We had a pretty good cushion. We just wanted to keep them from putting the puck in more, and, like we said, come out in the third period and win the third period, which we did.
Pateryn on getting the early lead… It’s always important to have a good start in any game no matter what team we’re playing. We started off well. Couple of bad opportunities against, but we just kept on going. Just if we had bad shifts, came out the next one and made up for it with better play. I think everyone knows we need play a little better tomorrow defensively and we’ll go from there.