Monday Press Conference: Mike Eaves

Men's hockey coach addressed the media Monday

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After the bye week, what do you think of the schedule and how that lays out down the stretch with a couple at home and then a long trip to Anchorage?

"Well with the opponents that we're playing the trip to anchorage is hard enough as it is and they're playing better this year, they've got great goal tending so that'll be hard and then we play opponents that are in the top echelon with us so we'll control to some degree our finish and where we sit at the end of the year so I kind of like that, its in our hands."

What's more exhilarating, sweeping the No. 1 team or calling out "Lets play hockey" at the NHL all star game?

"Definitely sweeping the No. 1 team. My hands were pretty sweaty when I go to do that yesterday, that's not my forte. Put me behind the bench and I enjoy that a lot more."

Coach you mentioned not liking the way your team has started out in the past couple of weekends in pressure situations and series. With so much on the line now in these next couple of weeks…a chance at a league title, NCAA tournament birth, all of those things kind of down the road. How do you keep them focused on just week-to-week and what's at hand and not looking at the prize or the pot at the end of the rainbow so to speak?

"The message is the same every week from the coaches in terms of, think about the process. Our plan for success is there in front of them every day; we talk about it every week, if you focus on just what you said you'll never get there, but if you just focus on the process the bye product will be there. It's once again our jobs for us to do that and keep that message in front of the kids. The one thing that….Andy asked a question about being emotionally, how are we growing? We've been in a lot of tight games and we continue to be in games like this when it comes time to be in the play offs to be in the NCAA tournament hopefully, we've been there. We've been in those pressure situations and being a young group we need to be in those situations so we mature."

Is there a favorite in this race in your mind?

"Each team has its strength, Andy. I mean if you take a look at the teams that are up there. I haven't seen Minnesota Duluth play, we saw St. Cloud play earlier in the year, we just seen North Dakota we know what their strengths are. I think we're still growing in our strengths and in our ability to play. Its going to come down to…I don't think there's a favorite, it'll come down to which team - A gets hot goaltending and is playing to their strengths the best."

What do you think your strength is that sets you apart from other teams that are there in the top five?

"Well there's one thing that stands out and that's the ability of our young goaltender. He has given us the chance to grow, get our feet underneath us in tough games and because of that we've become a better team. So that in my mind separates us clearly"

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