It was a lighthearted but emotional press conference for the Spartans, who fulfilled the dream that every college hockey player has – to hold the trophy aloft after winning the final game of the season.
The rest of the USCHO crew will have all the details with a variety of recaps and features. I am left to offer a few impressions:
- Senior captain Chris Lawrence, still wearing his skates, entering the press room and slamming the national championship trophy down on the table in jubilation.
- Lawrence admitting that he wept before the game, knowing that win or lose, it would be his last.
- The look of satisfaction and vindication on Jeff Lerg’s face, knowing what he had accomplished, and proud that he had “sent a message” that when playing against the likes of John Curry, David Brown, Ben Bishop and Cory Schneider, he had beaten them all. That he was a pretty darn good goalie, too.
- Lawrence telling the story about how the team did 21 sit-ups every day to remind them that it has been 21 years since the Spartans had last won a national title.
- Coach Rick Comley, looking tired but exonerated, candidly talking about the pressure he faces coaching a premier program like Michigan State, and how happy he was for the CCHA and for his mentor, Ron Mason.
- The genuine respect and love these players had for each other.