Michigan State 2, Northern Michigan 2 (MSU wins shootout, 3-2)
 
 
 

 

 
 

Oct. 24, 2008

Recap |  Final Stats

EAST LANSING, Mich. -

Michigan State Head Coach Rick Comley

On the shootout format...
You won, so you think it is great. There were a lot of schools that were in favor and some that were against it and (NMU head coach) Walt (Kyle) was against it. I just believe you have to break ties. The fans love it and they are going to continue to love it. It's a great hockey game. Nationally, it is a tie, so no harm done. Tonight was a really good win for us, perhaps, more than normal.

On any advantage goaltender Jeff Lerg provides in a shootout...
When you have Jeff (Lerg), you like your chances in a shootout situation with him in goal.

It was funny, the referee came over and said, `Do you want to go first or second?' and I said, `I don't know, I've never done it before.' Kurt Kivisto was sitting in front of me and he said, `Coach, you have to go first. In the NHL the home team always goes first.' So I said, `OK, we'll go first.' I told you since this summer we would use Kivisto, if he was in the lineup, as the fist shooter in a shootout because he scores all the time in practice.

On Andrew Rowe's play...
He's played pretty well. We lost Nick Sucharski early in the third and that made us even thinner than we have been. Rowe stepped with two big goals and we're searching for goals.

On the importance of the win...
I think last Saturday was big, too. I really went after them this week as far as getting them to be competitive, learning lessons, practicing hard and I think we were a better team tonight than last weekend. Northern is a very good team and obviously very big.

Michigan State Sophomore Left Wing Andrew Rowe

 

 

On capitalizing on his chances...
Well, Coach was saying our biggest goal was that we need to score goals and that's our main problem, some guys just need to step up. I guess tonight was my night, and maybe tomorrow night will be some other guy's night. But it was a big game and I hope the same for myself tomorrow. We need to come out confident.

On the tying goal...
It was just a rush, I think it was a two-on-two, and the puck almost went out and (Matt) Crandell kept it in for another rebound. Gazely luckily didn't tip it because it came right to my stick, and I just put it away.

On the shootout...
It was intense. When they got their goal I was a little nervous, but you can always count on Jeff Lerg stepping up.

On getting the bounces...
Definitely some luck was involved tonight, and then just burying the hatchet. Also got lucky here and there.

On Northern's physical play...
I thought we stood up well, it was an intense game, bodies were being thrown around. I tell you (Andrew) Conboy had probably one of the best hits, taking out their biggest guy (Phil Axtell). We stepped up for sure, compared to the last games. We are really taking the body now, so we just have to keep it going.

Michigan State Senior Center Matt Schepke

On the move he used in the shootout coming from Bryan Lerg...
Brian does the same move. That is something I've always grown up with and gone to. Playing for Honeybaked, that was my go-to move. So I figured it would work.

On being nervous before the shootout...
I was more nervous on the bench waiting to see who coach was going to call. It's funny, Gazely and I were talking and we both said, `Don't call me.' They have to write out the list before it starts. So, I knew I was shooting and I was hoping Jeff Lerg would give me the opportunity to put one in and not put all the pressure on me.

On if he thought he would be shooting in the shootout...
Yes and no. We work on shootouts and practice and I can't score on Jeff (Lerg). I can't shoot on Drew (Palmisano) sometimes too so it was up in the air. It showed (Coach) had confidence in me today though so I was happy about that.

On feelings about the shootout ...
I was excited. We haven't done shootouts since Juniors. It's been three years, so I was very excited to be a part of it. I'm glad they brought it back to college hockey.

On working on shootouts in practice...
We probably work on it two to three times a week. We take turns. Go down one end and shoot on Lerg and go down to the other end and shoot on the other two goalies.

On feelings about the game overall...
The team really stayed together, it was good. Even after they scored the first goal, it was really upbeat and I think that transferred onto us getting the next goal. I think everyone stayed really positive. The whole bench was talking the during the game, and that is really good. It's a building process and right now the team is really coming together. Hopefully we can come out tomorrow and take the rest of it.

Michigan State Senior Goalie Jeff Lerg

On the goal he gave up in the shootout ...
It was a good move. It's tough, when they swipe the ice, it comes back really quick. Stewart fell back a few times and we tried to match their speed but if you back up too quick and you slide into the net. He got the shot off quick and I can't say anything else about it.

On his performance in the shootout...
That's the time when all eyes are on me. My team did a good job at scoring two goals, but if you don't win, it's all coming down on me. They scored two it was my job to finish it.

On thoughts going into the shootout...
I was just excited. We've done the same thing during the week. I think coach had a good feeling it was going to be a close match up this weekend. When (Kurt) Kivisto scored first, I just thought now it's time to shut the door. Lucky enough we got that second one to finish it. It's been almost four years since Juniors, when we did shootouts, but I was excited.

On coming from behind...
The game was a good and they're a tough team to beat and tonight we still didn't beat them. We play close games with them. They're a tough team and they're big. They hit a lot. Hopefully tomorrow we can come out and finish the game in sixty minutes.

On the importance of getting the first win of the series ...
It was really good. They still got a point out of it and still have a chance of going three out of four on the road. Our job is to make sure they are only getting one point while we try to finish with four, which is huge for the standings.

Northern Michigan Head Coach Walt Kyle

On losing in a shootout...
To me, it means nothing. As far as I'm concerned it's a 2-2 tie and they get an extra point because they're better at breakaways.

On the play of the Kaunisto-Butcher-Hanson line...
I thought that Ray Kaunisto was real good tonight and that was our best line for sure. Matt Butcher is a guy who was hurt last year, had surgery back in May and missed a lot off the summer. He's just starting to get into shape so I thought those guys were very good.

On Northern Michigan's game plan...
We knew we had to keep it close to the vest and play tight. We're playing some guys right now that have been big scorers for us in the past and right now, they're not. They've got to start playing a little bit better and put some pucks in, which is going to happen.

On Jeff Lerg...
With (Jeff Lerg) it's not about getting shots on him it's about getting quality shots. The guy is a good goaltender; he's going to stop shots. I mean, he's just a horse. Both of the goals on him were good goals.