Umile Transcript From Hockey East Media Call (3/1/16)

New Hampshire head coach Dick Umile participated in a Hockey East media call on Tuesday morning. The following is a transcript of his portion …

Opening statement on the season as a whole …

“Obviously it’s been a frustrating, disappointing season. We got off to a slow start, and just before Christmas we got into some rhythm, played consistently well, and then in the second half we have struggled and found ways to lose games. We have played a lot of close games but gave games away and we’ve had an inability to win games.

“As everyone says, and I’ll add to it, it’s a whole new season now. We’re in a very similar situation to where we were in last year. It was a good series against UConn (last weekend). We had a chance to win the second night and they took it away from us, but now we know what its going to take. We lost home ice, and I think Coach Dennehy said it, it’s positive to have home ice but its not the sole answer. We need to play with confidence and consistency and we look forward to the new season.”

On the two games with Merrimack earlier this season …

“That was earlier in the season. They are always a tough opponent, especially at their place. We know that. They are a balanced team. They have been getting solid goaltending and they’re coming off a very good weekend. As Coach Dennehy said, and as I told my team, it’s all about us and it’s about the upcoming weekend. There is a lot of respect there but we’re more focused on our team. We’re going to compete hard and not beat ourselves and play a solid 60 minutes.”

On the top line and the emergence of Matias Cleland …

“Our first line is a good line, one of the better lines I believe. There is good chemistry. (Andrew) Poturalski is a very talented forward who is good with the puck and is a goal scorer. (Tyler) Kelleher has not scored as much as we’d like, but he has a lot of assists and works well with Poturalski. (Dan) Correale brings a lot to the line. He’s as fast as anyone, works hard at both ends. He’s been the glue to that line. They get a lot of attention when we play, but we’re starting to get secondary scoring.

“Cleland is our workhorse. He logs a lot of minutes for us. He’s a warrior and loves to block shots. He’s a junior but he’s one of the leaders on our team.”

On the leadership, especially during the struggles in the second half …

“Our seniors are great group as far as leadership. Collin McDonald has been out most of the season with knee and shoulder injuries. Having him back (last weekend) was a positive. I believe we’re starting to figure it all out. We have a large sophomore class. Ara Nazarian, the freshman, is playing well. We’re starting to get help there from younger players. But leadership has been there. We just found ways to lose games. We’re just trying to put that all together. But it hasn’t been a lack of leadership especially from our seniors and captains.”

On if the team has confidence heading into the playoffs …

“Yeah, believe it or not. We know, as everyone does, our struggles. We watch our games on video on Mondays and we watch it together the things we didn’t do well, but we’ve proven we can play against some of the best teams in the league. We have the confidence we can play well. Our ability to build consistency and falling behind, which we’ve done. We’ve been battling back and getting it tied up and losing it in the last minute, we’ve played a lot of 1-goal games. Confidence is there that we can compete, but right now we’re looking for confidence that we can play with consistency. You can’t have a bad 10 minutes. Right now, the team is excited to start a new season and everyone is at zero, the winners go on.”

About Mike McMahon 6296 Articles
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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