PROVIDENCE — St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh referred to his team as being “absolutely giddy” after the third overtime of his team’s NCAA quarterfinal game against Boston University in Albany, N.Y.
Apparently, the giddiness hasn’t exactly left Marsh just yet. Just another one of the repercussions of the longest NCAA tournament game in history.
Marsh took the unofficial prize as the comedy relief of the Wednesday news conference at the Frozen Four, cracking jokes on just about everything.
Among the best…
On the aftermath of the NCAA quarterfinal: “A small school like ours, to be on CNN Play of the Day the next day is probably akin, for all you photographers, to getting a real good snapshot of the Loch Ness Monster.”
On his team heading to Providence: “It’s a little tough to leave on a Tuesday. Some of the professors are maybe not big hockey fans and wonder why the guys are gone. I think they knew after we had a rally at the school.”
Responding to a question about the debate about width of rinks, North Dakota coach Dean Blais had just mentioned his school’s new building: “Well, St. Lawrence is not going to build a new rink unless, of course, we get another ice storm and we can practice on the football field.”
DUELING GOALIES: The Karl and Andy show will continue for one more day.
North Dakota coach Dean Blais didn’t tip his hand as to who would start — Karl Goehring or Andy Kollar — in goal for his team in its semifinal matchup with Maine at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday.
His reason for not divulging that information was the man sitting two chairs to his right.
“My decision between now and (Thursday) at 2 is which goaltender to start,” Blais said. “And I’m not going to tell Shawn (Walsh, the Maine coach) because I know he has something up his sleeve.”
Goehring went down with a concussion the week before the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Final Five, and Kollar led the Sioux to wins over St. Cloud State and Wisconsin at the Final Five and the win over Niagara that sent the Sioux to the Frozen Four.
Goehring appears to be back to where he was before the concussion, Blais said, whereas Kollar still has some neck pain from being hit in the game against Niagara.
“We’ve seen both of them play and they have a very similar style and they both win a lot, so it’s doesn’t really matter (which one plays),” Walsh said. “If you look down the stretch, Kollar played well against Wisconsin and Niagara, so he’ll be ready. Either way, they will be real strong.”
CONFERENCE PRIDE: You have to give credit where credit is due. And, according to Walsh and Boston College coach Jerry York, credit is due to Hockey East, which prepared its teams well for the NCAA tournament.
“I really think our league prepares you well,” Walsh said. “Last year, the last regular-season weekend we got swept at New Hampshire and it was probably the best thing that could have happened to us heading into the NCAA tournament.
“This year, we played Providence our last four games prior to the Hockey East Final Four, and believe me, those games could have gone either way. They just toughened us up, they exploited our weaknesses and showed what we needed to improve on.”
For York, it helped in facing the best of the West.
“People ask me about Wisconsin and Michigan State, and those are two great programs, how did you rise up to that level?” York said. “Well, that level has existed in Hockey East. Our competition between Maine, New Hampshire, BU, Northeastern, really prepared us to go to the Western Regional.”
SECOND TIME AROUND: Maine is looking to become the first repeat national champion since Boston University did it in 1971 and ’72.
A little added pressure, maybe?
“I think it’s an opportunity at this point,” Walsh said. “In the middle of the year, it might have been a hurdle, that can put a little bit of pressure on you, especially when you’re not playing up to expectations…. You compare this year’s team to last year’s quote-unquote perfect team, well last year’s team got swept on occasion, too. It ended up with a perfect ending, and one of us is going to have a perfect ending this year.”
ON THE RADIO: Stuck in Honolulu with no place to listen to the Frozen Four? Not anymore.
KGU radio in Honolulu is one of 78 radio stations in 31 states set to broadcast college hockey’s showcase event this season. Boston University broadcaster Bernie Corbett will provide play by play for the event, distributed by the Continental Sports Network.
YOUR PASS, PLEASE: Evidence of college hockey’s popularity may be best evidenced in the number of media personnel credentialed for the event.
According to John Painter of the NCAA, there were more than 300 media members credentialed for the Frozen Four.