M. HOCKEY: Allain hopes to build on 2008-’09

Q: After the huge success of last season and winning the ECAC championship, what are your expectations and hopes for this season?

A: We’d like to improve upon last year. I think that everyone in our locker room feels like they can get better individually and that we can get better as a group.

Q: What did you learn from your appearance in the NCAA Tournament?

A: I think one of the things we learned is that we belong there, and that if we get another crack at it, we can be more successful than last time.

Q: Do you think that your squad this year, given the freshmen that have come in and the seniors you have lost, is capable of competing again at the same level?

A: Yeah. I mean, that’s a long way off; it’s in April. We have to take care of November right now. I think if we have the same work ethic and have the same kind of team unity, we’ll get there soon.

Q: Do you bring a specific philosophy to coaching at Yale?

A: Specific philosophy? I guess one thing I’m a big believer in is practice. I believe that a team plays the way that they practice. The way to get better is to have high-tempo, competitive practices.

Q: Where do you see hockey at Yale in five years’ time and what part do you hope to play in it?

A: One of the things that [Director of Athletics] Tom Beckett and I talked about when he first approached me about this job was that the Yale hockey program has had a history of being OK and then not very good and then OK and not very good. My goal is to have sustained excellence as a hockey program. I think that we can play at a national level year in, year out. At this time of year when people look at teams in the ECAC, they always mention Yale as one of the two or three teams that has a chance to win it. I would like to be visitors to the national tournament on a regular basis and do some damage there.

Q: Is your job made any more difficult by the fact that Yale puts such an emphasis on academics, more so than at other schools?

A: Coaching at Yale certainly presents challenges that coaching at other places wouldn’t. I think that that’s what makes having success at Yale all the more sweet.

Q: Looking back over your time at Yale, how would you describe it? What have you given to Yale hockey?

A: I think that Yale hockey has given a lot more to me that I’ve given to it. I just think that we have a great group here and a group that I enjoy being with on a daily basis. They are extremely competitive, they bring the best out of each other and it’s been a pleasure working with them.

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