Saturday Player Quotes

Following the Bronco hockey teams 4-3 win over the Michigan Wolverines, Broncos Illustrated caught up with Mike Mantua and Vince Bellissimo. Mike talked about the game; he talked about his performance and about the fans. Vince talked about his two goals, the crowd and his parent's.


Mike Mantua Quotes

Talk about tonight's game.

"Our team played excellent tonight. I mean, first period we were dominant. Only thing, we let them back into the game, a couple power plays and we took it back to them in the third period and showed what we got."

You faced a lot of shots throughout this game, especially in the first and second period. First period it seemed like you couldn't do anything wrong. Second period they got a couple by you. The third period you guys put pressure on and then you guys got the fans in the game.

"Well the fans are going to make every game for us. The fans are excellent for us here. Team defense tonight was tremendous, my job was easy as I only had to make the first save tonight and they would cover it up for me. So, couldn't ask for anything better."

So talk about the fans real quick like.

"Fans are awesome. I love the fans. When we come out there flying out on the ice, I'm always the one flying out first. Those fans just get under your skin. It feels great."

Do you know what was going on in everybody's minds when Vince (Bellissimo) got that first goal in the third period?

"We were just excited. It was the turning point in the season right there. That goal and the lucky bounce he got in the second period helped. Anything we can get."

That goal got the crowd really into it to.

"Yeah, you know it may make the other goalie look bad. But it happens to everyone. It's something the crowd can get on the goalie for and we definitely got it in Michigan yesterday."

Did you hear the chant they were saying after that goal?

"No."

Osgood

"Oh really? (Laughing)"

Look at the next series a little bit.

"The Miami series that's coming up? It's great motivation going into the Miami series. We didn't do to well against them last year and we're working to move up into the standing now."


Vince Bellissimo Quotes

Talk about your first goal a little bit and then talk about your second goal.

"The first goal is a really fortunate play. I just crossed red line and I didn't really make to many good plays at the blue line today. So, I was just looking to dump it in and just maybe try and get it in on net so we can get a faceoff in their zone. I think Jeremy Cheyne who was forechecking kind of handcuffed the goalie because I shot it right through his legs or right by one of his legs and I don't think the goalie saw it until the last minute. So it was a fortunate bounce. On the second goal we had a good break out play, a give-and-go with me and Jarmuth and then again with Cheyne who made a beautiful area pass at the blue line that created the whole play for me. He just allowed me to generate some speed and I was able to take a snap shot and beat the goalie."

After that first goal, it got the crowd into it. How much of an affect did that have on the team?

"Yeah, when you're down three one, they say a two goal lead is the toughest lead to defend. I guess that proved true tonight. The fans got into it a bit more a fortunate bounce and it turned the game around tonight."

Just talking about it sounds like Jeff Campbell was talking about it earlier today; you guys just need the one bounce.

"Yeah. We've been having a rough time. Friday nights we've been having a rough time playing hockey. Saturday nights we come out strong for the last few Saturday nights. But we haven't been able to come out with the two points. Tonight we were down three one and just takes a bounce like that sometimes in a season or during a game and hopefully it will turn things around starting tonight."

With things as tight as they are in the CCHA obviously it's very important to get that win for the team.

"Definitely. I think we're seven and seven now. We're probably in the middle of the pack again. The most important part I think is we probably generated some confidence tonight and that's what it's going to take going against Miami next week. We got to play confident, we got to keep our feet moving and make sure we make smart decisions with the puck and hopefully we can get into the top four in the league."

You touched on it a little bit when you said Friday you guys come out and you play kind of weak, but you've been playing against really tough opponents. And on Saturdays you guys have been coming up without the two points. Tonight you come away with two points how's that going to help your confidence and possibly help on Friday nights?

"I think just we've got to come out more prepared on Friday nights. This weekend a poor Friday night and a good effort on Saturday night. So, this week we had a meeting today in the dressing room, we talked about a few things to make sure we come out Friday nights like we always do on Saturday nights. Hopefully we can get in the top four of the league."

Can you talk about yourself just a little bit? Because I don't want to say you were in a slump because I can't really say that. But, it must feel really good to just be able to break out and get a couple goals in.

"Yeah. Every player goes through these things. It's just important for me as well as the rest of the team to get it going and we got to turn it around."

This series in particular, do you guys look back to that first intermission Friday night after the debacle of the first period? Is that kind of where tonight's game started because it seems like that just watching it.

"Yeah. When you're down seven to nothing, after the first period, it's probably the most embarrassing moment for all of us in hockey. We brought that up a lot, second and third period we tied them three-three last night, not that that means anything. But tonight we beat them 4-3 we got the split. Last night was ugly but that's behind us now. It's time to look forward to CCHA action."

A little bit on the lighter side. I met your dad outside in between the second and third period. In the media guide you were asked a question, what you would do with a million dollars. You said you would take and treat your parent's to a vacation.

"Oh definitely."

I asked your dad what he thought you would do before I told him the answer. He goes, "oh, he'd give me some money. He'd give me some of it." I told him the answer and he goes he still owes me.

"I owe my parent's a lot like every other player. My parents especially support me through my fifteen, seventeen years of playing hockey. A lot of ups and downs and my dad and my mom, they've been there all the time for me. I see them in the stands and it gives you a little extra jolt. Got to make sure you're going and tonight I was fortunate on the first goal and the second goal was a nice play. So, hopefully my parents are happy with me as well."

Talk about the fans.

"The fans here are absolutely tremendous. I've never seen a bunch of fans able to pick up a team like that. We played Ferris State, we beat them four to one, they really picked us up that game. Tonight they really picked us up again. Fans are like a big team so we try to feed of that; we try to play like a team. Because they're all in it together so we've got to be all in it together too."

Broncos Illustrated Top Stories