TAMPA -- Less than 24 hours before the teams face off at Amalie Arena, here are what the players and coaches were saying at the Frozen Four media day on Wednesday:
Boston College Jerry York on why he's coached for so long: "I've always thought that if you like your profession, you're going stay in it, whether you're a sportswriter, run a local deli, if you like it, you'll stay longer in it...I found something I like. I enjoy the whole gamut, from A through Z, that's involved with coaching. So I enjoy going. How old is (Michigan head coach) Red (Berenson) now?
"I have to catch Red, you know."
North Dakota's Gage Ausmus on playing for hometown team: "And obviously being here now it's surreal. It's an unbelievable feeling putting on that jersey every night knowing that I watched them grow up and I watched the players play here and the tradition and culture that the University of North Dakota has, is just unbelievable. So it's amazing to play here."
Sam Anas on the growing culture at Quinnipiac: "I think a lot of that obviously has come from the coaches, but it's come from past players, whether it's been three years ago or four years ago, and I think a lot of that has just been driven into us. Mainly off the ice. Incorporating guys into everything. It's not like there's any cliques between the seniors and there's a difference between seniors and freshmen. When we do something, we do it as a team."
North Dakota coach Brad Berry on testing the boards and checking out the arena: "Whenever you go to a venue we haven't played in, generally the coaches and the players, too, we test out the boards for the bounces and the glass to see if there's any different hops coming off it. And again this is an NHL facility, a world-class organization, facility, I should say, and again it's state-of-the-art. So it's a perfect arena to have a Frozen Four in and again we were just making sure we're comfortable in that environment."
Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold on the Bobcats last trip to Frozen Four: "We haven't changed much since the '13 Frozen Four. I thought we played great that whole year. It was a great year. And the loss in the national championship game, we played well. We really played well. We had a lot of great scoring chances, and Jeff Malcolm was the best player on the ice. He was, and that's great. That's part of hockey."
Captain Teddy Doherty on his uncle winning a title at BC: "Watching that 2001 team win the national championships is really special to me. I remember it was like yesterday, Krys Kolanos scoring the goal was probably one of the happiest moments of my life, and I wasn't even playing. Now that we're in the Frozen Four and I'm a senior, it's kind of like the path he took. It's a cool resemblance, and I’m just happy to be here."
Quinnipiac captain Soren Jonzzon on making the semis his freshman and senior years: "I mean, playing in the Frozen Four my freshman year was an unbelievable experience. We definitely learned a lot, kind of got to see the red carpet and things like that.
"I think the biggest role our seniors have is to really make sure that all the other players are focused on the game rather than all the excitement, whether it be coming off the plane and there's music playing and people greeting us and things like that. In the end we're here to play a hockey game, and hopefully two hockey games, and we just gotta make sure that everyone's got their focus on that."
Steve Santini on more players coming from Florida/California: "You look at our roster we have Demko, Savage and Cangelosi from your non-traditional states such as Florida and California. I think it speaks to how much the game is growing. You look at the U.S. National teams and festival camps, there are players from California, Florida, Texas, a bunch of different states that aren't your, quote/unquote, traditional hockey powers.
"And I think it's great for the game. I think it's great for the United States of America, and hopefully the game can continue to grow and we'll continue to be a dominant force around the world."
Denver coach Jim Montgomery on playing on Atlantic Coast: "Well, you know what? We're not used to this humidity, so we're not used to being this body temperature warm and sweating as much. Our players were remarking right away they were sweating profusely compared to what we do in Denver and the Midwest. So that's going to be our biggest obstacle physically for the Pacific Rim Line. Besides that, they're going to go over the boards just as much. "
Pecknold on his goals during his first year 22 years ago: "My first goal? Survival. We had midnight practices. I taught high school. I had to get up at 6:00 a.m. I would get home. By the time I got to bed, it was 3:00 a.m. Sleep 3:00 to 6:00, go to my job, get home. The teaching job and Quinnipiac was 70 miles apart, if I remember that correctly. Then I would sleep 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., get up, go down, recruit, midnight practice.
That first year was tough. It was all survival. And I think I won one game. I think it was 1-12-1 after 14 games. I was like, what? What am I doing, for nothing? But I loved it. I knew we'd get better. In year two we brought in 19 freshmen, and we were off and running. My fifth year we went Division I."
Captain Grant Arnold on the recent success of Denver athletics: "It means a lot to our class. It means a lot to a lot of people. Means a lot to the alumni. It means a lot to the school. Denver Athletics takes a lot of pride in winning championships. The skiing won the national championship, and along with lacrosse last year. So it's a huge honor to represent the university. There's no question about it."
North Dakota's Gage Ausmus: "That's why I don't win shootouts, so I don't get dogpiled on."