Courtesy: Eric Classen,
University of North Dakota Saturday Press Conference 3-29-14
Release: 03/29/2014
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University of North Dakota Saturday Press Conference
NCAA Midwest Regional – Cincinnati, OH
Head Coach Dave Hakstol
Opening Statement: “The first thing I want to do is compliment Ferris State. The level of respect we had for their team, coming in here, was extremely high. Personally, the overall level of respect I have for Coach Daniels and his staff is at the highest level. And, obviously, a game like this is extremely hard-fought. We were put back on our heels by their team. We came into this game with a lot of respect for them and we leave with a lot. We were fortunate enough to make a play and get the goal in overtime. Beyond that, my biggest thought is how proud I am of these three guys (Connor Gaarder, Zane Gothberg, and Dillon Simpson) and their teammates, and, more importantly, how happy I am for them. They get an opportunity to experience a regional championship and move forward in the tournament.”
On Gaarder’s game-winning goal: “It is fitting for this group; it’s a little bit of an unheralded group. We’ve had different guys stepping forward on a regular basis. Coming into tonight, we said it would probably be someone different than last night. We had three different guys up here last night. Connor Gaarder shows up every night and plays for the jersey. It was nice to see him have that type of reward.”
On the team’s identity: “It’s a resilient, hard-working team that is very determined. The guys were determined in the locker room and you saw that in the first overtime. It’s a bunch of hard-working guys playing together and that’s a good formula for this time of year.”
Dillon Simpson (Defenseman, Senior)
On winning the Midwest Regional: “In a game where things weren’t going our way, everyone kept their composure and stayed positive. No one stopped believing in that room and that was one key thing to get our push in overtime.”
Connor Gaarder (Forward, Junior)
On his game-winning goal: “We were scrumming in the corner and it just came to a point out there. I knew I had to get to the net. The rebound came right to me and kind of just slid it in there.”
Zane Gothberg (Goaltender, Sophomore)
On advancing to the Frozen Four: “Growing up, you hear about North Dakota hockey and it is just tradition. It’s something we take pride in practice or in games. A lot of it starts with the coaching staff instilling that level of competition and pride. It feels great and all of our hard work has gone for a good cause.”
On the attitude of the team entering Frozen Four: “We’re having a lot of fun and that’s key. Our team is competing every night and in the process, we’re having fun and living a little.”
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