Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dartmouth Returns Home, Looks for First Win

Obviously the season has not gotten off to the start that you and the team were expecting.
Coach Gaudet: I've said all along that we play in the toughest college hockey conference in the country. I thought we played well in both games this past weekend. Do we make mistakes? Yea we do but I love this team, they play hard and work hard. Obviously it has to do with a little bit of luck and a bounce of the puck here or there and the game could be completely different. I'm a firm believer that the harder your work the luckier you become and that's just something we have to keep doing. This is a game that I've been involved in pretty much all my life and it's not a job for me, it's a passion and we have guys on the team that just love the game but sometimes you have to step back and realize that even if you play hard things may not always work out. I thought Princeton played well in an overtime game and it's a credit to them. Then the next night we played a very skilled Quinnipiac team that really moves the puck well. I thought we traded chances in the first period and were down 3-0 but then we got some good play in the second period where we controlled the puck and made it 3-2 going into the third. But we just keep on battling and I thought we were better this week than last week.

We had James Mello come into the game in the second period against Quinnipiac and you said you were hoping it would jump start the team. But do you also think it was also good to have Jody take a step back?
Coach Gaudet: Jody can't be blamed because we had great chances down at the other end. I can't look at the Quinnipiac goalie and say he was the reason that we were down either. To pull Jody out was big for me. I don't do that very often and I do that thoughtfully but it was a way to have him sit back and take the pressure off him. James has worked hard and plays very well and he deserved a chance. I wanted to get Jody through the first period and put James in to start the next frame. When I told James in the locker room that he was going in and asked him if he needed some practice shots he just said that he was ready to go. I thought he did a real nice job and I think it was good for our team. I think it was a positive thing on a lot of fronts.

Two guys who really stood out after the weekend was Scott Fleming and Dustin Walsh.
Coach Gaudet: Flem is a guy that we rely on as much and maybe more so for his work ethic. He's not a big guy but plays big and he's not afraid to go to the net and tough areas of the rink. Scott's a guy who really works hard and has a good skill level but his biggest skill is work ethic and that's how it's always been with him. He's good with the puck and can shoot and thinks the game well and to see his work ethic pay off has been great. He's going to just get better and better and that's going to pay off for us. Flem's not all about scoring goals and that's what I like about him. Dustin just shows flashes as a young player of having a special quality with the puck. He's a big kid with a long reach and is a very good skater for his size. He's got a really good total package and he'll get his strength built up as he gets older. His size and ability with the puck will continue to be enhanced as he goes along. It was a nice goal he scored, you could say it wasn't a pretty goal but it's the kind of goal you like to see as a coach because it was a hard working goal that had quite a few of our guys involved in the play.

We've talked about most of the freshmen class but this past weekend you had a chance to see Alex Goodship play.
Coach Gaudet: Alex is a very strong player and when you see him on the ice you don't realize how big and strong he really is. It doesn't show as readily but he's very strong and is a very good skater. He's very diligent defensively and has an excellent shot. He has some upside offensively and has always had an ability to score goals. Alex is a very reliable player for a freshman and that's something you need in a younger player. I like his game, he's very quiet about what he does but he just goes out every day and work hard. It's a tough call because we have a number of guys that can and will play for the team but it's a matter of trying to sort it all out right now.

This weekend we have Clarkson and St. Lawrence as we're finally back home. Both of them have also struggled a bit in the early goings of the season but that doesn't really speak to the quality of them as opponents does it?
Coach Gaudet: Both are very good teams. Clarkson and St. Lawrence have 18 full scholarships and sometimes what happens is that the puck just doesn't bounce your way sometimes. I think both are going through stretches but they are both very, very good teams who have skilled players and quite a bit of depth. I like the way SLU plays, they are very quick, aggressive and play hard all the time. I thought they were the best team in our league the second half of last season, they were almost unstoppable when they got going. Both teams are well coached high quality teams. I've said it before the challenge of playing the ECAC at the division I level every night just gets better and better. We'll really need to have our "A" game and hopefully get a couple of good bounces. We're going to work really hard against good teams and we look forward to playing at home.

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