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Mark Dennehy, Merrimack head coach

Opening statement …

“We did what we had to do in order to get two points and secure home ice. I want to give Coach Sneddon and the Catamounts a lot of credit, tonight was a battle. We didn’t play our best hockey and some of the things they did had a lot to do with that. I thought that our compete increased each period and we did what we needed to do.

“I thought Drew Vogler again played excellent, but I thought we battled. Like I said, we did what we needed to do. I’m proud of our guys.”

On Drew Vogler …

“They had a couple of chances to tie it up, and he was there. I give him a lot of credit. In my 20-something years of coaching, I’ve never seen a goaltender grow in the last four months like he has. A lot of it has to do with confidence, but his acclimation to the play and the level of play has been excellent. He has gotten better. He had that stint at Christmas and he played OK, but not great. But he used it wisely, he learned from it, and he’s come back and been really good.”

On the Larsson goal and Seney’s play to set it up …

“Those are the little things you need to do. Seney is so dynamic, and he’s at a new position playing the wing, so there is a learning curve there, but he was one of the guys who played a little harder as the game went along.

“Ludvig had to still beat that guy and he went through the stick and got body position. Then to get that over the goalie like that was pretty special.”

On keeping an eye on UConn-UNH …

“We tried too. I don’t know if we would have been able to keep track. We heard it was tied 4-4, and we just knew we needed to win. But we were leading, and we just kept playing.

“I like how we played with the lead there. We kept attacking. We didn’t sit back. They had some opportunities, but it wasn’t because we were on our heels. We kept attacking.”

On how big home ice is …

“It’s as big as we want to make it. We went on the road last year and won a road series. Hockey East is so tight.

“What I’m excited about is that our students will get an opportunity to experience it. Our supporters, our alums, to get a sense for it. That’s exciting to me. This will be the third home playoff series since moving to Division 1. Our guys have done something only two other teams at Merrimack have done, but there’s still more to come.

On Biega and Kolquist …

“They just battle. There’s a reason there are As on their shirts. We log minutes, and I think the iPad might have exploded this weekend. With Carle down and Cronin hurt yesterday, we had to shorten the bench. They had 25 or 26 minutes last night and they had probably 30 tonight.

“I thought Ethan Spaxman had a good weekend, Aaron Titcomb’s mobility and competitiveness had an effect as well. There are a lot of positives on the defense for sure.”

Brian Christie, Merrimack Sr. forward (capt.)

Opening statement …

“Obviously it was a positive weekend. It’s awesome that we get to come back here next weekend for the playoffs. It’s been a progression the last couple of weeks, we’ve been starting to play a lot better and things we’re working on are coming together on the ice. It’s about getting better when we step on the ice and we’ve been doing that lately.”

On getting another crack at UNH, which beat Merrimack earlier this season …

“We’re excited. We didn’t know who we were playing. We’re just excited to be back here in front of our home fans. We’re pumped for it.”

On the last three weeks being similar to playoff games for Merrimack …

“The last six-game stretch we’ve been playing much better as a whole. All 20 guys going every night. We’re doing the little things that we work on and Coach preaches. It’s been working. We just need to keep at it.”

On Vogler ..

“Can’t say enough about him. He’s been quite the goalie for us the past couple of weeks. We have all the confidence in the world in him.”

On trending upwards late in the year and the extra-attacker goals …

“We had a rough stretch where things were kind of dull, and it speaks a lot about our team to show resilience and now we’ve worked our way out of that. It’s positive looking forward.

“It’s obviously (6-on-5) working great. It’s how we draw it up in practice. We’ve put a couple in the net and got some important points out of it.”

Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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