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ND Hockey at the NCAA Regionals: Friday Practice

Mar 29, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT

NCAA tournaments are very different from conference championships. There’s an increased spotlight, with the NCAA and ESPN running the show. After we walked over to the Huntington Center, the headquarters for this year’s Midwestern Regionals, there were ESPN interviews to do. Steven Summerhays, Anders Lee, and Bryan Rust met up with ESPN to talk about the recent CCHA championship, and what that meant to them coming into the NCAA tournament.

A few things we learned from their ESPN interviews…

  • Kevin Nugent is the undisputed “class clown” of the team.
  • The juniors do have their freshman year trip to the national semifinals at the Frozen Four in mind as they make this trip to the NCAA tournament.
  • They have you do “artistic” poses post-interview (pointing at the camera, taking helmets on and off, flipping pucks, holding different facial positions looking at the camera for 20 seconds at a time).
  • Many of the teams that are in the NCAA Tournament they have never played before, so they focus on strengthening their skills and the game plan.
  • This team likes to laugh and there have been a few practical jokes, but they won’t name names.
  • Bryan Rust only has 3 “tv faces”- “happy,” “competition,” and “surly.”
  • Winning the CCHA Championship has given the players confidence that a national championship can be theirs if they play their game.

Coach Jackson and the players knocked their interviews out in one shot, and then it was time to get on the ice and back to work.

For all of the behind the scene action, follow them on Twitter at @ND_Hockey. You should also check out their Spotify list that was created for the CCHA Tournament.

Tune in tomorrow on ESPN3 (and on WHME-TV channel 46 in the South Bend area) at 1:30 pm for the game vs St. Cloud State. Go Irish.

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