Postgame Quotes: UMass 14, Syracuse 13 (OT)
April 30, 2005
Here are head coach Greg Cannella's comments following the win over Syracuse:
On the win: "I am very happy for our seniors. Syracuse made a heck of a comeback. They were explosive in the fourth quarter with six goals including the final five. But our guys hung in there, they perservered and three seniors made plays at the end. That makes it special. ... Anytime you beat a national champion and a program like Syracuse, it means a lot. It was a big week but we are looking ahead to the next game (Rutgers)."
On Zywicki: "I am happy for him. It's great for him. These are memories he will cherish forever."
On Syracuse's rally back: "You hope that we can use the experience. When you win, its experience and you feel it helps you. Our seniors provided great leaderhip and had great composure which was very important. Coming back with five goals (by Syracuse) could have been devastating, but not with this group of guys, they perserved. Our guys have been very composed throughout the year and I told them not to change the way we played all game even though they came back."
On Dane Collins: "We have a lot of confidence in him . It says a lot about his teammates who they have stuck by him and kept the confidence. He only lost two face-offs total in the first and third quarters. Hopefully this helps him with his self-confidence and fortitude later on."
On the Rutgers game: "This gives us confidence, but you can't look to far ahead (to the NCAA Tournament), we have to be careful going to Rutgers. Two years ago we lost at Rutgers after we beat Georgetown and Syracuse, like this year. Our focus has to be the same."
Here are comments from UMass players:
Jeff Zywicki on the win in overtime: "I just get fired up in close games and in OT. It brings out the best in me. This is a big win. It puts us in a good position heading towards the playoffs."
Zywicki on his goal: "I just got open off a pick and roll with (Chris) Doyle and I had a shortie (a short stick defender) on me, so I figured it was as good a time as any to go to the net. I followed up the rebound and put it home. It came right back out, the goalie tried to scoop it, I got there first and put it over him."
Zywicki on the crowd: "I noticed the crowd the whole game, you could hear them the whole game, and they were going nuts. It was awesome, everyone came out in the rain and supported us."
Zywicki on his postgame celebration: "It was somersault, not a flip, I can't do a flip. It was a good somersault, not a bad flip."
Dane Collins on his big game: "This was definitely my best game this year. If you don't win it clean against these guys, they can take it to the rack, so I knew I had to have a big day."
Jack Reid on the crowd: "It's the best atmosphere I've played in ever. It's definitely better than my freshman year, even bigger and even louder."
Reid on Zywicki's game-winner: "If anyone's going to get two overtime goals against Syracuse, it's Zywicki. All week long, coach (Greg Cannella) said that (Syracuse goaltender Jay) Pfeifer takes a lot of steps and gives up rebounds, and we knew that coming in. He (Zywicki) ripped the shot, and he followed it up, and followed the scouting reports."