Monday, March 15, 2021

UNH Coach Souza Reacts to Season-Ending Playoff Loss

Mike Souza
UNH Head Coach

After Boston College scored three unanswered goals in the first period of the 2020-21 Hockey East Quarterfinal round, UNH stormed back with goals by senior Eric MacAdams and freshman Luke Reid in the second period. Despite several grade A scoring attempts, over the final two periods, UNH fell just short losing to #1-Ranked BC 3-2.

In the postgame press conference from Conte Forum, UNH Head Coach Mike Souza talked about the game, the challenges of the season, and his appreciation of the senior class. Here are some excerpts:

Mike Souza (UNH Head Coach): Clearly, they're (BC) a scary team; it's three nothing and I'm like "oh boy", but we never thought we were playing poorly. By our staff's count, our 5-on-5 scoring chances were even after one period. So we said "boy fellas, there's nothing we can do, it's three nothing, trust the process", all the boring coach talk but we talk about it all the time.

I thought we had so many good efforts by so many players. It's heart breaking for these guys. It's been a long arduous year, for a lot of programs. I'm just thankful we had an opportunity to compete this year when others didn't.

I feel for the seniors. It's a surreal feeling when you go in after the end of the season and see guys crying their eyes out, it's...(pause) all of us coaches have been there at some point and it's hard. You want more for these guys, you want them to keep playing. I think in a trying get to Wednesday (win over Maine in opening round) and we really saw something to build's disappointing.

Mike Lowry (The UNH Men's Hockey Blog): Speaking of the seniors, would you comment on, as a group and individually, how the seniors played in what might be their last game for UNH, for some or all of them?

Coach Souza: You know, we had one guy in a shoulder harnass, he could barely lift his arm...We had another guy who really, really fought through a difficult injury all year, in Charlie Kelleher.

You know, you love those kids. I've been around them for the whole time here and you see them grow as players, but for me, more importantly, you see them grow as people. A kid like Charlie Kelleher, who's been around the program for, seems like forever, 10 years or something, when his brother (Tyler) was here. The Kelleher family has invested so much...I'm optimistic Charlie's going to be back next year.

You see Eric MacAdams tonight, he wears his heart on his sleeve all the time and I thought he was outstanding tonight. I thought (Kohei) Sato played hard. (Mike) Robinson, I thought, know, it's the crazy thing about college sports, you get attached to these kids and they move's hard. Hopefully, we'll see some of them back in Durham again.


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