Boston College 6, Denver 2: Quotables

Postgame comments following Boston College's 6-2 victory over Denver in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament

Head Coach Jerry York overall impressions:

"I've said many times to our players that winning is very difficult, winning is very hard and when you can achieve that goal, you should be very proud of it. I thought we defeated a championship team in Denver. When you win your conference title that speaks a lot for how good a club you are. If you have a title in your hand going anywhere, that is the mark of a good club. We started very, very quickly. We got some terrific play out of Billy Arnold's line. [They] have been our mainstays through their careers and I thought tonight they were really sharp, moved pucks well. But, just as importantly, [they] competed really hard coming back and playing good defense. I thought our goaltender was strong. I thought Thatcher [Demko] was very, very solid in goal. We talked before about the game and coming into a tournament, first time I've done this in the NCAA tournament with nine freshmen that have never experienced this before. They were scattered throughout our lineup, but they really learned an awful a lot about NCAA competition tonight watching the leadership of this particular line here."

Senior forward Kevin Hayes on whether the goal was to have a big night offensively:

"I think it was just working the way it did. Luck was definitely involved, pucks were definitely bouncing our way. Just playing with these two other guys [Bill Arnold and Johnny Gaudreau] the game is pretty simple. Billy Arnold, everyone knows and everyone says, the way he plays defense is incredible. He's always back, he's always in the right spot. Playing with Johnny, just give Johnny the puck and something nice is going to happen."

Junior forward Johnny Gaudreau on the big night:

"I'm just kind of excited to play the game... I didn't want to send Kevin [Hayes] and Billy [Arnold] out of their [Boston College] careers without a good run for this championship, and that's what pushing me. Just trying to just improve and get them a national championship. Getting to play with these two guys, it's been a fun year. It's hard not to produce on the score sheet when you're playing with Kevin and Bill."

Hayes on the motivation level going into this game, after losing to Notre Dame in the Hockey East Tournament:

"it was rough losing to Notre Dame. They're a great team. Not being able to play in the Garden kind of hit everyone hard. I thought the coaches did a great job the last two weeks getting the guys ready. The motivation, like coach says, is we have nine freshmen and we want to show them how it's done and I think they got a pretty good taste of how hard they have to play."

Gaudreau:

"I think Kevin said it pretty well... Just trying to show these younger guys how important it is every single game, every single period, every single shift. You need to come ready 100 percent, and I think that was the motivation. Just trying to show those younger guys how important it is every shift you go out."

Gaudreau on how big it was just to make a quick statement in a game like this:

"Like coach said, Denver is a great team, they won their conference. We obviously had to show up in the first period... With nine guys in the lineup, we needed a big statement from our first line showing how important it is to start the game off right."

Hayes:

"It was nice to get the start and get out there and get the puck deep. I know Billy [Arnold] fore-checked and kind of caused some commotion and Johnny [Gaudreau] was left open in front and it kind of got the guys going. It's always nice to score on the first shift, so it was kind of our motivation for the rest of our team."

Gaudreau on his familiarity with Denver head coach Jim Montgomery, and what he expected defensively from Denver:

"I didn't really know what they were going to throw at me, but I know he's a great coach... I didn't know too much about Denver, but I knew that if he coached the way he coached our team in [the] USHL they were going to be a good team, and they were a good team. It was a good showing by our team."

Gaudreau on whether it was just a matter of Boston College doing what they do:

"Definitely. We had a lot of practice throughout these two weeks. I think we focused on the things that made us lose against Notre Dame, and I think we corrected them. And I think it showed tonight how we corrected them through practices this last month."

York on the team's opening aggression after being shut down by Notre Dame:

"I thought actually we played pretty well against Notre Dame. The Sunday game, I thought, was perhaps our finest game of the last couple months. A hot goaltender and pipes kept us off the scoreboard there. I thought the third game in three days we played pretty well. I just think that, we want to be aggressive but you can't be too aggressive because if we stay out of the fore-check the puck is going to come out of the end."

York on the success of the first-line:

"We can play them a lot more minutes because of the [television] timeouts. Two minute timeouts three times a period, so our game plan was to at least play them 24 minutes. I think they exceeded that, but at the end we sat them for the last six or seven minutes... You can't do that during the regular season. I see sometimes with the basketball, teams play five most of the whole half because the same thing, a lot of [television] timeouts."

York on whether or not the team needs more balanced scoring:

"Well it is nice to have balanced scoring like we were just [talking] about for a little bit. If they are going to score goals, six is enough to win most hockey games... I love to see more balance on the score sheet, but I am not going to say don't score. We want to have a good offense. If it happens to come from three players then it comes from three players. I think when they watch from the bench they can see some of the plays they make and how they protect pucks, it helps all of us."

York on Thatcher Demko's first NCAA tournament game:

"I thought Thatcher [Demko] did not play fairly up to his standards in the last series [against Notre Dame]. I think it was really important to his confidence to have...a good game in goal. He is still only 18 years old, so this is a big step... He has had a really good year but all of a sudden when you get to the NCAA tournament, it is like...playing from the back tees on the golf course. You're not on the friendly, up forward tees that I play. All of a sudden they move you way back because the competition gets a lot stronger, a lot tougher, and I thought Thatcher rose to the occasion tonight."

Denver coach Jim Montgomery's opening comments:

"We knew in order to have success today we would have had to play perfect hockey. Unfortunately, Boston College played perfect hockey. They won face-offs, they executed on special teams and their top line was phenomenal tonight. They made high-end plays. There's a reason that those guys will end up playing at a higher level and making a lot of money. But, for our season I'm really proud of our group that's been able to win a championship and add to the legacy and tradition of Denver hockey. There are seven national championships, several WCHA Championships. It's great to be able to add the NCHC conference tournament championship in the first season in our league."

Denver senior defenseman David Makowski on the first 10 minutes of the game:

"It came really quick, and you have to give Boston College a lot of credit. They came out and gave us more than we could handle. But like coach said, I'm very proud of this team and very proud to be a Pioneer and everything we were able to accomplish this year. Winning a championship at the NCHC is no easy feat... I'm very proud of my teammates."

Makowski on #JohnnyHockey and Boston College's top line:

"We just...had two [defensemen] caught in the corner and then obviously he's [Gaudreau] pretty elusive, so he got all alone there in the slot and...we have to take credit for it. He's a heck of a player and we can't give him those kind of opportunities."

Montgomery on the first 10 minutes of the game:

"The first shift was our worst nightmare. We didn't have our center down low and our wing rotated high without a communication. They did make a high-end play and Johnny [Gaudreau] made no mistake about it. That being said, I thought that we regrouped actually pretty well there after that. I give coach York credit. I thought he was matching up their top line against our top line, and the second goal I put out our third line and he went with his guns and they won the draw and Kevin Hayes looked like Frank Mahovlich on that goal. You have to give them credit. An unbelievable skill that was displayed, and give Jerry York credit. I tried to influence who he put out on the ice and he didn't bite."

Montgomery on what the team needs in the future:

"John Gaudreau. I don't mean him, I mean a clone. With the season, the way it went I'm proud of our student-athletes who overcame a lot. George Gwozdecky is a great coach. They lost their mentor and their lead recruiter Steve Miller. For them to overcome that, regroup, win a championship in a really tough conference... To me, it was the second best conference outside of Hockey East. Our eighth place team, Miami, is a really good team, but they're not Notre Dame. I think you saw that today, too. For our players to win the NCHC Championship is a tremendous feat. It's building blocks for next year, but there are not guarantees. We have a lot of work to do.."

Montgomery on the mood before the game:

"We were really happy with where our players were at mentally... They were light but confident. We believed we could beat [Boston College], but then we saw their first line score some unbelievable goals, and like you said, put us on our heels and we didn't regroup well enough. Our execution had to be perfect and it wasn't close."

Montgomery on what Boston College did well tonight:

"They put their top line on the ice every third shift, every two and a half shifts. That's what I thought they did well. That top line, their understanding of time and space. Johnny Gaudreau is the straw that stirs the drink. His ability to find open ice... And that third goal, we scouted him and I know coaching him, that he comes down the strong side he's going to fake that shot. He's going to try to get that goalie to go down, he's going to go for the wrap around on the far post. But until you see that creativity and you see the head fake and the shoulder drop you don't realize. On film it might be great, but live it's kind of like the first time I played against Mario Lemieux."

Postgame quotes via goholycross.com and denverpioneers.com.

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