Michigan State Hockey Postgame Quotes
 
 
 

 

 
 

Jan. 4, 2008

Recap |  Final Stats

Michigan State Head Coach Rick Comley

On his overall impression of the game...
Overall, I'm happy with segments of it. I thought we had some people play real well, but I thought we had some people struggle. I know Lake Superior really struggled. We got one quick one on them and it seemed to put them on their heels. There were good parts to the game, but there are segments that we need to get better at. I think when you score a lot, it hides the true quality of play. Overall we played well. I think we can play an awful lot better, and I think we'll have to. As we saw around the league today, it's going to be highly competitive for the second half.

On who he felt made big contributions tonight...
I thought (Justin) Johnson played really well tonight. I thought Jeff Lerg had a really tough night, nothing clean around him. Mike Ratchuk played very well for us. Kurt Kivisto continues to play really well for us. Chris Mueller played very well. Tim Crowder played well.

On switching the lines around...
I don't think it's who plays with whom. I think that gets in their heads. Play hard, play a team game. We worked on our forechecking this week. Obviously, we worked hard all week and there was a reward today. My hope is that we'll better team tomorrow.

On facing his alma mater...
I always get a kick out of the jersey, the colors and stuff. I'm proud of them and it's a very difficult school to be good at. They don't have a lot of support, they don't have a lot of money and they don't ask a lot. They always represent well.

On the biggest differences in the play of sophomore defenseman Michael Ratchuk...
Composure. It wouldn't have been very long ago that he would've been victimized for the first goal and he would've been eliminated for the night. Now he's learning more and more to take the bad with the good. He's just so dynamic. That goal was as pretty of a goal as you're ever going to see. That's what I want out of him. I know he's got offense, but I told him we're going to make him a better defensive player to get him to the next level. He's growing all the time into a complete player.

 

 

On what he wants his team to take away from this game...
We didn't give up a goal in the third period. That was really big for me. We killed penalties well. That was very big for me. I don't care about the eight goals. I just want quality of play. We're not going to score eight very often, that's not what we're all about.

Lake Superior State Head Coach Jim Roque

Overall impressions...
Obviously when you get beaten 8-2 you don't play very well. We've been having a hard time killing penalties and we did again tonight. There were a couple of times in the first period we couldn't get it out of the zone and they took advantage of it. I thought we looked like we hadn't played in a month. I thought we did a lot of work in the last eight days to get ready, but there is nothing like playing games. We have to move on, and hopefully respond tomorrow.

On Michigan State...
We knew they would be good. Obviously they didn't play too well last weekend so they were pretty focused tonight. They knew what they had to do and I thought they played well. I thought Jeff Lerg made some good saves in the first period. I give a lot of credit. I think they were going on all cylinders and they didn't give us a break anywhere on the ice. I didn't think they were poor at one thing. They played a really good game and obviously they were the better team tonight.

Michigan State Defensemen Mike Ratchuk

On tonight's game mirroring Paul Coffey's...
I think it was just I came into the game, everybody did, knowing that we had to win. We had to bounce back from the GLI weekend. I think we all came out flying and everyone contributed.

On his second goal...
Chris Mueller had it on his tape and he looked right at me, I didn't even have to call for it because I knew he saw me. I think as he passed it, the guy pulled his arm and it was going towards my foot so I just kind of kicked it over. We were laughing. I don't even think the goalie's stick was even on the ice when it went in. So we'll take it on the board, but it was kind of a weak shot.

On his overall psyche...
Anyone will tell you that the last three years the problem with me was, my dad would joke with me and say, "If you have a bad first shift your game is ruined." I would sit on the bench and I couldn't get it out of my head. Finally coach Comley came up to me one of the first weeks of the year and said, "It's time to grow up, you can't keep doing this type of stuff." So I just had to figure out a way in my head to come back and say that it happens and to not let it happen again. And that kind of made it easier to shake it off. So now, instead of saying what I should of done, it's I can't wait to get back out.

Michigan State Forward Tim Crowder

On playing on a new line...
It was obviously different going out with new guys, but I was happy. It was a little change to get things going out there and it ended up working. So we played well today and hopefully that carries over tomorrow.

On the best part of the team's game tonight...
I thought we played harder than we did last weekend. Everyone was good being the first guy to the puck and everyone was working harder on the ice. There were less mistakes and less turnovers. And everyone was more focused today.

On the feel of the team during warm ups...
Yeah, you could see the anger in everyone's faces from last weekend's games. Everyone was a little frustrated and they just wanted to get out and win today.

Michigan State Forward Matt Schepke

On this being an important game to win...
Yeah, it was a very fun game to play. It was a must-win for us after what happened a couple weeks ago. But it was nice to see the team came together as a whole and really played well together - all the way from the goalies, up to the forwards.

On what was different tonight compared to the GLI games... Everyone was moving tonight. Everyone had that sense of urgency that maybe we kind of lacked at the GLI. It's a feeling of must-win from here on out. We dropped in the poll rankings and I think everybody kind of realized, that in order for us to maintain and stay in the tournament at the end of the year, which is the ultimate goal, we need to play on a must-win basis, one day at a time and take it one game at a time.