Frozen Four: Michigan Pre-Game Quotes

A day before the Wolverines NCAA Semifinal contest against No. 1-ranked North Dakota, head coach Red Berenson and senior's Louie Caporusso, Matt Rust and Carl Hagelin met with the media to discuss getting back to Minnesota.

Tomorrow night the No. 6-ranked Michigan hockey team meets No. 1-ranked North Dakota in the second NCAA hockey tournament semifinal contest. Coach Red Berenson and seniors Louie Caporusso, Matt Rust and Carl Hagelin met with the media a day in advance to talk about competing in the 2011 Frozen Four.

Head Coach - Red Berenson
On being in Minnesota:
"It is interesting that this senior class played their first ever college game in this building. We are proud to be here and we want to put our best foot forward in this tournament. Our program has been in this tournament since I have been here 11 times, only getting to the championship twice."

On shutting down UND's top lines:
"We need to play our game, and if we let them do what they are good at, they will do it. We need to stay on the ice, be responsible with the puck and be ultra responsible without the puck. If you give this team out-numbered rushes and power-plays they will take you right out of the game.

On Minnesota crowd support:
"I think they will root for Michigan. I know the animosity between Minnesota and North Dakota. If it was a game at Michigan State, they would be cheering for North Dakota. We have to play our best game of the season, no matter who is here."

On why Michigan can win:
"Stranger things have happened. You need good goalkeeping, good penalty killing, good back checking, good play coming out of your zone and you need to be opportunistic. We know they are a better team, but we are going to come and play hard.

Louie Caporusso
On being at the Frozen Four:
"It's great being back here in Minnesota. I remember it like it was yesterday, playing our first games against BC. We are really excited to be back here and we have a big job ahead of us."

On having played against a hostile crowd in this building, and how that has prepared him to play against North Dakota:
"North Dakota is going to have a lot of fans here, but we're not concerned about the rink or who is coming, we are just concerned with how we are going to play. We have played in these types of atmospheres before; where the other team is bring a lot of noise. I don't think it has affected us before. We like playing on the road, so if it's a hostile atmosphere, so be it."

Matt Rust
On the difference in Michigan's team as freshman compared to now.
"Our freshman year was a different story. I don't think anyone really knew what our team was going to do that year with 12 freshmen. That was pretty much considered Kevin Porter's team. I think starting off the season with a senior class that we have had, being such a tight-knit group that we are I think we had one goal in mind and that was getting here. But none of us are truly satisfied with just getting here. My freshman year, there is still a bitter taste in my mouth just coming so close and losing in overtime. But other than the team, there really isn't anything different."

On thriving in anti-Michigan crowds:
"I think the most important part is us sticking to our game. Obviously there are a lot of lights, glamour and the entire atmosphere surrounding the Frozen Four, but coach always tells us it's still a hockey game and we are always against someone who wants to win as much as North Dakota does. Just sticking to the simple things and knowing how close we are will really come together for us and we will do some special things."

On the excitement of his parents on having two sons in the Frozen Four (Bryan Rust: Notre Dame):
"Its kind of an interesting story just to see where Notre Dame has come and their path getting here is similar to my freshman class. I think it's more special for my family, for my parents, to really just enjoy the experience and my friends, for all of them to get down here and have two sons in this. I couldn't think of, if I was a parent, how happy I would be to have both of my boys in the game. I'm happy for him but at the end of the day, I'm going to take my time and be a little selfish. I think this is my time and hopefully my brother can respect that and we can go on our separate ways."

Carl Hagelin
On feelings about tomorrow's game:
"We're all excited to be here, it's a great facility with four great teams and it's going to be interesting to see what's going on tomorrow but for us it's important that we all bring our A-game and go from there."

On the difference in Michigan's team as freshman compared to now.
"Maybe this year we are more of a team then we were our freshman year. Back then we had more of a core group of players scoring all the goals and this year we are better defensively and if we want to do better that's what it's going to come down to."

On playing the second night against Minnesota last tournament will prepare them for the potential hostile crowd for UND game.
"We are used to this now, we've played in front of large crowds before and I don't think it will affect us."

On thriving in anti-Michigan crowds:
"Yeah I think it will help us. It doesn't matter where we play we just have to focus on our task and that is to win the game tomorrow. Every guy on our team is excited and we know it's going to be packed but we just have to play our game."

On having played against a hostile crowd in this building, and how that has prepared him to play against North Dakota:
"I think we are well prepared for this. Is shouldn't bother us."

On traditionally playing well in an anti-Michigan atmosphere:
"We all want to be here, so it doesn't matter where we play. We just focus on our task, and our task is to win that game tomorrow. Every guy on the team is excited. We don't know if we will have more fans than them or not, but we will just go out and play our game."

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