NCAA Frozen Four
INCH Measures Up DU's Matt Carle
talk leading up to the first Frozen Four semifinal will focus
on Colorado College's pair of Hobey Hat Trick forwards, Marty
Sertich and Brett Sterling.
has a dynamic duo of its own. Sophomore Matt Carle and junior
Brett Skinner are the best pair of offensive defensemen in the
college game. What's more, they're solid in their defensive end
as well –
Carle especially – which means he's seen a lot of his Front
Range rivals in their five meetings this year.
enjoyed a fairly understated celebration of its Northeast Regional
final win over New Hampshire, thoughts were already on the impending
matchup with CC. We sat down with Carle to talk about the defending
champions and the obstacles between them and another national
Carle has averaged nearly a point per game this season, with
12-28—40 in 41 GP.
College Hockey: How does this year compare to last year?
Carle: I don't like to compare last year to this year,
but it's definitely a stepping stone in our season. We came in
here expecting to win this regional, and the boys came out hard
today and proved that we deserved to be in the Frozen Four.
Why do you avoid comparisons to last year? You'd think you'd want
to relive that over and over.
Two different teams, two different mentalities, two different
seasons. We've done things that last year's team didn't do, and
last year's team did things that this year's team didn't do.
You guys impressed everybody in Boston last year with a really
loose, fun-loving approach to the game. Is the atmosphere in this
year's locker room the same?
I feel like it is. I think it's going to be fun for us this next
week off to let loose a little bit. We've been so focused; we
haven't had a weekend off since the middle of January, so it will
be good to get a break. Hopefully we can get away from it a little
bit and come back focused and ready to go to Columbus.
You hear all the time about guys who won championships as freshmen
not realizing how tough it is to get back to that level. Have
you thought about that at all?
I don't expect to do it. I know it's tough. You definitely have
to do the work, put in the time, and hopefully good things will
Talk about the offensive role the defensemen on this team are
allowed to play, and even expected to play.
Coach Gwozdecky really lets me and Brett (Skinner) do what we
want on the ice, and the forwards do a good job covering for us.
It's definitely a fun part of the game to jump up in the play
and get involved. It's part of the game that I've been trying
to add to, while taking care of my own end.
What do you think about facing CC again?
There's no better way. You've got to go through the good
teams to win championships, and they're a great team. We've seen
each other six times this year, so there's not going to be any
strangers on the ice, that's for sure. It'll come down to who
wants it more and who is willing to pay the price.
Are you getting sick of seeing (Marty) Sertich and (Brett) Sterling?
No, I love playing against those guys. The two best players
in the country, and you always love a good challenge. It'll be
Think you guys will share a plane out there (like they did for
the WCHA Final Five)?
That's up to the NCAA. It's not what everybody thinks
it is. We're two teams that respect each other, and nothing happened
on the plane.
Were you intentionally quiet on the flight back after winning
the WCHA Final Five?
Yeah, you don't want to rub it in. And we figured it would be
coming down to this, and we'd see them in the Frozen Four, so
you don't want to wake a sleeping giant.