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Michigan State, 2 Michigan, 2
 
 
 

 

 
 

Jan. 26, 2008

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Michigan State Head Coach Rick Comley

On Michigan's final goal..
. Well, obviously (Mike) Ratchuk was cross-checked from behind, and there should have been a penalty, but they didn't see it. If they didn't see it, then they can't make a call.

On tonight's game...
Obviously, it leaves a bad taste in their mouth, but it was a hard fought game - much different than it was last night. It was chippier, and it was contentious. It was just a wild game, and the power play obviously played a big role in the game. But, our kids fought hard.

On picking up three-points...
[Michigan] is the No.1 team in the country coming in. They were fortunate to be able to leave with a point. We had a 5-on-3 power play, and that got us right back in the game. When two good teams go at each other, things happen.

On Tim Kennedy's game...
He struggled a little there late, but it looks like his game is coming back. He almost had the goal there to start the third period, and that would have been a big one for us. I think he has been really frustrated, but I thought he played very well tonight.

On Corey Tropp's game...
He has come a long way. This is a big series for Michigan kids to play in, in their first time through it. He had a real good shot there at the end. I thought there were a lot of kids on both teams that played hard and played well.

On what can be taken away from the weekend...
We need to keep getting better. We aren't yet where we need to be. We have a real tough series coming up next weekend [Nebraska-Omaha]. Right now we are trying to inch out every point. I thought tonight we were a little spurty. I think maybe we were too cautious at times, but their speed can cause problems for you. We are two different style teams.

Michigan Head Coach Red Berenson

On tying the game...
"Well I am happy with the effort. I thought our team played well pretty much the whole game. The 46 seconds when we gave up the two goals on two-man short and one-man short, that was the difference in the game. We had to battle back from that, but I thought we played hard. Our young kids got a great experience playing in here, and we easily could have won the game. So I am not thinking about the tie, more so the effort. Look at their team. They have only given up three goals in the past five games, and four of those games have been on the road. So goals are tough to come by against Michigan State."

On Billy Sauer ...
"I thought he played pretty well. I don't know about the two power-play goals, whether he had trouble seeing them or not. He really hung in there in the third period when the game was on the line. I mean, they had some good chances, but he did a good job."

On coming back after MSU's two quick goals ...
"Well it was tough, and it's disappointing. The penalties that they ended up calling were very big. We were down, but I think it showed the best in our team. It showed a lot of character and leadership. Our best players showed up, everyone played hard, and we got something going."

Michigan State Senior Defenseman Daniel Vukovic

On the weekend series...
Obviously, everybody in the locker room is disappointed - not of our play, just the overall outcome of it. We thought we deserved four (points) and we didn't get it, so maybe next time, we have to do something a little bit better to get it. Three out of four against the number one team in the nation shows that we can play with anyone. There were questions before this weekend that we couldn't play with the number one team, so I guess this shows that we can. Personally, I think that we can play with anyone and compete and beat anyone in the country day in and day out.

On MSU's defensive play...
Jeff (Lerg) played phenomenally, and I think everyone can agree on that. The forwards back-checked amazingly this weekend. We worked on that all week - the forwards back-checking, and I give them all the credit. They really saved the D a few times on back-door passes and lob passes. I thought a lot of the D, especially some of the younger guys, really stepped up. I thought (Jeff) Petry played unbelievably. He really stepped up and logged tons of minutes.

On stepping up against the top team in the nation...
I think any team looking at us would have to say that we can stop any top line in the nation. You're stopping two Hobey Baker candidates with (Chad) Kolarik and (Kevin) Porter. They might have had a point here or there, but it wasn't like they dominated the game and had tons of scoring chances. It's not just them - from the first line to the fourth line, they're a real deep team, and I thought we shut them down excellently. I thought the guys worked their butts off this weekend, and really played their best.

Michigan State Senior Forward Bryan Lerg

On the weekend series...
We got three out of four points, and I think that this tie kind of felt like a loss, losing it in the last 1:38 or whatever it was. If we had played here Friday night and tied them and then gone down there and won tonight, it would be a totally different feeling. I guess it's just the way you end up on Saturday. We fought hard and had a chance to bury them, and we just couldn't bury them. We took a step this weekend for sure. I think we proved to a lot of people that we can stick with the top teams in the nation - Michigan's been ranked number one for a while now. That was a game that we shouldn't have let slip away, but it slipped away, and we still got three out of four.

On playing the top team in the nation...
I think our D kept up with them pretty well this weekend and took away their top players. If you look at the stats, I don't think Porter registered a point this weekend. We shut those guys down, and we put shots on (Billy) Sauer, and he made some good saves toward the end. We just couldn't put any of them home.

On where they stand in the CCHA...
I don't see us out of the race at all because of this tie or anything like that. We play a lot of other great teams coming up - Nebraska comes in here next weekend. I think we just need to keep going, and keep plugging away one game at a time.

Michigan State Goalie Jeff Lerg

On Michigan's tying goal...
I just saw a guy shot it from the corner and there were a couple bodies lying out in front and I watched it. Unfortunately, Schepke was trying to throw it into the corner and gave a three-sixty right into the net. So I just saw bodies flying. I was kind of just watching it in slow motion, thinking nothing big and all of a sudden it was coming at me out of nowhere.

On if he saw the crosscheck at the end of the game...
No, I saw someone go flying, I don't know what happened. I was really just looking at the puck. It was just peripheral vision I think, I didn't know what happened. But the puck kind of hit off someone in front and it was kind of in the air so I was watching that and then all of a sudden I saw the puck go flying by me from I don't know where.

On the disappointment after a tie like this...
Well, we're really disappointed. We gave one a way a few weeks ago to Notre Dame, we kind of shrugged it off and said that's ok, but now we felt that we played our game for the whole game. We came out with a lot of intensity. And I thought we deserved to win; I thought we played a really hard game. I felt that we played our game better than they played their game I think. We were really playing the body out there. We had a lot of emotion and that's what college hockey is all about. Then to throw it away like that is really disappointing. We were playing a really sound defensive game in the third. Our defense settled down a bit and it's just pretty unfortunate.

On the improved defense...
Yeah, it was a totally different defensive look that we've had in the first half of the year. I think guys are just bearing down knowing that it's playoff time, and it's time to start making plays and not giving up as many shots against. I think tonight we did a good job of keeping the shots against down. I mean for a team that is as talented as Michigan is, that scores that much, I think on average we did a good job all weekend. I think our defense is doing a good job of not getting beat one-on-one and also they're clearing bodies out in front and rebounds aren't getting on sticks, so they're doing a really good job.

Michigan Senior Forward Kevin Porter

On Michigan's play...
I thought we had a lot of chances. That last goal might have been lucky, but to come out with a tie doesn't feel lucky at all.

On Michigan State's defense...
They always had three or four guys back, so it's tough to get your offense going when they've always got those guys back. You don't have three-on-twos or two-on-ones, so it's tough to capitalize.

On Michigan's play in the third period...
We knew we had to come out right away and score. We didn't want to wait until the end like last night. It ended up going that way, but we wanted to get on them right away.

 

 

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