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NCAA Hockey Frozen Four: Quinnipiac Bobcats' Rand Pecknold Meets the Press

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As a part of the preparations for the Frozen Four, all coaches participated in a conference call with the media Tuesday. Here is Quinnipiac University's Rand Pecknold.

Opening Statement

We’re excited to get to Tampa and compete for the Frozen Four. It’s been a great run for us this year, certainly one of our goals was to make it to Tampa. We made it one of our goals last spring, and our guys worked hard in the spring and summer and all fall and during the season too, to make that goal a reality, so we’re really proud of what we’ve put forward and the sacrifice that they’ve made, and we’re looking forward to the challenge of playing Boston College in the semifinal.

On the difference in competition between 2013 Frozen Four and 2016 Frozen Four

Certainly three storied programs with an immense amount of success, a ton of draft picks, a lot of high first round type draft picks, there’s a lot of talent on those three teams. For us, we’re happy to be in the Frozen Four with any three teams, it doesn’t matter, the 2013 teams that we had then and the team we have now, we know we’re going to be playing good teams, we’re excited for the challenge, and I think for us, it’s about us continuing to play to our identity. We’ve had success all year long, because we’ve done that, and if we continue to do that we will get rewarded for it.

On learning from the 2013 Frozen Four

We need to stay the course that we’ve been on, certainly no question that it’s a big stage. Exponentially it’s a huge jump from the regionals and from our league tournament and a championship. It just is. For us, our guys have been really good all year, they’ve handled adversity with the pressure we’ve had, we were the No. 1 team in the country for most of the season, and in the end it’s still a hockey game, and we need to find to be ready to go when the puck drops, and just attack it in a professional manner.

On what to expect from a Jerry York coached team

Obviously Coach York with his 1,000+ wins, he’s extremely well prepared, he’s got a lot of really good players, I don’t know, 12, 13 draft picks, you’ve got those high first rounders, causing some problems for teams in the regional, so I think he does a great job. They always play within themselves and play hard, and they’re extremely well coached. For us, we know we have our hands full, and we have full respect for Coach York, and the Boston College program, the success they’ve had in the Frozen Four and in national championships so. Again, I haven’t gotten into enough tape on them, we’ve got some games on them we need to watch and I’ve watched a lot of Boston College over the years, and have always been impressed, for us getting back to it it’s going to come down to sticking to our game plan, sticking to our identity, and making sure we’re ready when that puck drops.

On Michael Garteig

I don’t know if I can say anything. He’s our guy. He’s battle mode is infectious. He’s a leader for us which is unusual, I think, for a goalie to be that type of leader, but we feed off his battle level. I thought he was great in the regional, I thought he was great in Lake Placid when we won the ECAC championship against Harvard. He’s our guy, he finds a way to win. His career record is pretty amazing.

On the profile of the university being lifted by 2013/2016 Frozen Four runs

Our run in 2013 with the No. 1 ranking for most of the season and then the Frozen Four, I think it galvanized our university. We’re a young puppy when it comes to Division I athletics. We’re only 18 years in, and men’s ice hockey has kind of galvanized not only our students but our alumni base, and our community into realizing that we can compete on the national scene. It’s been a lot of fun, that ’13 run was fun, the previous two years we’ve made the NCAA tournament again, and here we are at it again. We also realize that we are a young program, and we’re in there with some of the big boys, and that’s ok. We don’t mind being kind of the underdog. I think it’s kind of unusual that we’re in the No. 1 team in the country, but we almost feel like we’re the underdog going into this tournament. Either way we’ll embrace the situation, and we’re going to enjoy the moment, and the boys will play hard when the puck drops.

On underdog status being related to unknown status

We’ve had that all year, the No. 1 ranking all year, and in the media sometimes people kind of cast us as the new kid on the block, and we are and that’s fine. I don’t really worry much about the polls, it’s all about our process, and making sure we’re prepared and ready to play when it’s game time. Either way, it’s certainly an interesting Frozen Four with those three storied programs with 40, 50 or 60 years or more of history and national championships and plenty of Frozen Fours, and here we are the new guy on the block and that’s ok and we’ll embrace that and be confident and prepared.

On the ECAC

The ECAC is a phenomenal league, top to bottom, just an outstanding league, great coaches throughout, I feel like our team is really battle tested just because of what we had to go through in the regular season and the playoffs, playing against other ECAC institutions, like I said I already mentioned the coaches, I’ve been really impressed with the coaching in our league the last five to six years. It’s tough. It’s a battle every night, and I do feel like our team has been battle tested.