The Bulldogs are off to a solid start this season with a tie against Dartmouth and a win over Princeton in the Ivy League Showcase this past weekend. Captain and forward Andrew Miller ’13 — who has scored 116 points in 106 games as a Bulldog and has been voted by his teammates as the team’s best passer for the past three seasons — sat down with the News to discuss his big expectations for the team this year.
Q: After last year’s quarterfinal loss to the Crimson in March, this weekend’s game is a big deal. What is the team doing to prepare?
A We are having a normal week of practice. We are preparing like we would for every other team, going over our systems, learning theirs and preparing to put ourselves in position to get two wins.
Q: You guys are off to a good start, with no losses so far. What have been the team’s strengths?
A: Our defensive play was key last weekend. As a core we played pretty well defensively, giving us opportunities to win.
Q: What are some of the team’s big goals for the season?
A: Obviously win the Ivy League, win the ECAC and win a National Championship.
Q: As captain, how will you work on making sure the team is making progress on those goals?
A: We have six seniors that are important to leading this team. As a senior class, we have been in virtually every situation possible and that helps on the leadership aspect of our team moving forward.
Q: What is the team looking forward to most this season?
A: Playing hockey every day. There are times when we don’t want to be at the rink, but those are extremely rare. The energy and enthusiasm that our team brings to every practice and game is outstanding.
Q: This early in the season, what are some of the focuses in practice?
A: Development, teaching and cohesiveness. We are working hard to establish some chemistry on lines and defensive pairings. There are eight freshmen that need to be integrated into our systems and there are upperclassmen that have been given bigger roles. It is important for everyone to become comfortable in their new roles if we are going to be a good team.
Q: With six of your top seven scorers returning and five of seven defensemen, you have a lot of depth this year. How do you think that will help the team on the ice?
A: We have a lot of returning players, but we also lost some pieces of our team from last year. College hockey is about rebuilding each year, and if players on our team are capable of taking advantage of the bigger roles that they have been placed in, then we can compete at the highest level.
Q: Is experience going to be important for the team this year?
A: Experience is important to any team, but that surely does not define our team.
Q: What about contributions from the eight freshmen?
A: In order to be a good team in college hockey, you need contributions from freshmen. There is too much change from year to year to have your freshmen not be impact players on the ice.
Q: Josh Siembida is your new volunteer assistant. What are some of his responsibilities? Has he taken over coach Lund’s responsibilities?
A: He is working with the goalies, which will be good to have him as a teaching resource for them.