Photo Credit Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography
While no one with the Yellow Jackets program is happy that a 2-0 lead against the Minutemen of Umass Amherst evaporated into a 2-2 tie, they do have some positives to take away from a night that put the team forward in the right direction as they are heading to Niagara to face a team that just swept Omaha. Head Coach Eric Lang said “I’m really encouraged about what we saw tonight. We weathered some storms. That UMASS team is one of the strongest forechecking teams tonight. Cheese was the best player on the ice tonight. I’m disappointed that we can’t nail it down up 2-0.”
On the tie and the need to keep getting better, Lang said , “Our program is beyond moral victories, for us I want to see our guys get better. We are at 25-30 percent of our capacity.”
On the goalies supporting Jarrett Fiske, who got his second tie in two starts and won his second shootout ( that was done for practice and does not count in the final score).
Lang said , “you have to be an incredible teammate to root for that guy to do well.” He said this because that is the reality of the position. If a goalie does great the odds go down of you as a goalie playing. Lang said of Fiske “The guy waited four years for this.” “This kid has worked his way here and we are going to reward him.”
On the night Lang said of what he wants to see from his teams, “I’d rather our teams play with great intensity rather than great emotion.” Intensity is more constant and less volatile than emotion.
Lang praised rookie Alex Malinowski “we didn’t know what we were going to get. I thought that line was our best line tonight, but they created some offense.” Lang also said that his line was the best at generating chances.
Lang also talked about playing a non counting shootout after the tie. He said “to me this is the dumbest thing we do in college hockey. This is flatout stupid.”
For Fiske, he said of his chance in what he’s been told “once you get the ball don’t drop it.” Fiske played well because of his patience and ability to read plays and pick things up fast. Often times he was in position and didn’t have to make acrobatic saves. He praised goalie coach Patrick Tabb for helping goalies get better in reading plays over time. That helped him in developing his patience. Fiske said of that and on the night, a sentiment that everyone at AIC shares “ it’s all about the team.”
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