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Hockey's Benn Ferriero Predicts Strong Match-up With Wisconsin

Ferriero recorded two goals and two assists on Saturday in a win over Bowling Green

Ferriero recorded two goals and two assists on Saturday in a win over Bowling Green

Oct. 25, 2006

Sophomore forward Benn Ferriero has tallied two goals and two assists through three games this season. Ferriero's two-goal effort against Bowling Green on Saturday was the fourth multiple-goal game of his collegiate career. Ferriero and the fifth-ranked Eagles travel to Wisconsin this weekend to face the second-ranked Badgers in a two-game set.

In Saturday's victory over Bowling Green, you tallied two goals and two assists, breaking your previous single-game high of three points. Talk about your play that night.

I've got to give a lot of credit to my linemates. I'm playing with two great kids, Brock Bradford and Joe Rooney, and we've been moving the puck around all season. I think all of us had a bunch of points that night; it just shows how well we've been playing together. I got some open looks and got lucky to bury it.

You're centering a line with Joe Rooney and Brock Bradford. Talk about your line and how you feed off one another.

We all like to move fast, we all like to play fast, and we move the puck around a lot. I think that helps us get a lot of open looks because the game is more skating these days. They're calling a lot of penalties so they can't really hook and hold you as much. That benefits the quicker players and we're all unselfish and we move the puck around really fast.

There are only four seniors on the team. Does that make it somewhat important for the younger returning players to step up and help lead?

Yeah. Definitely. I think everyone's got to take some sort of a leadership role, whether it be small things or whether it be really big things like the captains take on. Everyone has to do a little bit of something and the younger kids, who may not have been looked at last year because of how many older guys there were, are going to have to take on some leadership roles this year.

What do think your role is on the team?

I'm just going to try to do whatever they ask of me, play all facets of the game. Whatever they ask me to do, whether it is power play, penalty kill or anything. Even off the ice, like being someone to look up to, being good around the classroom, attending classes, trying to do well in school, things like that - to make the young guys strive for that.

After the 7-1 loss to Notre Dame, the team bounced back and beat Bowling Green the next night. What was the atmosphere and attitude after Friday's game? What was said or done to get the team back on track so quickly?

After the game it was kind of down, as you can expect, but one of our things that we try to do after the game is to just say forget about it. Obviously you think [about it] but then you have to forget about it right away. Once we get to the next game, [we] can't even remember what happened. If someone asks what happened in the game before, how'd you guys play that bad ..."I don't know what you're talking about, I don't know what happened."

The team began the season ranked #1 in the nation. After splitting your two games last weekend, the team is now ranked fifth in the country. How much attention do you pay to the rankings at this point in the season versus later in the season?

It doesn't matter so much at the beginning of the year. It's more just a guess from people. You don't even really know where the rankings are coming from. As you come down the stretch, you want to get a good reputation and it leads into a good seeding in the NCAA Tournament. So right now not so much, but as you get toward the end of the season the rankings definitely count a little bit.

The Eagles travel to Wisconsin for two games against the Badgers this weekend. What can you tell us about the Badgers - based on scouting or based on last year's final game?

They're a team like us; they like to play fast. They've got a lot of good, skilled kids and they play strong defensively. They have one of the best goalies in the country. They match up well against us; they're the same kind of team as we are. They have some new younger players, and they also have a big corps of older guys who've been there and won a national championship last year so it'll be a good match-up.

Talk about Cory Schneider.

He's the best goalie in the country - I'll say it right there. It's unbelievable having him behind you. We're obviously going to make some mistakes and it's a big lift when he's back there to make a big save for you after you screw up. That can change the momentum of the whole game and shift it in our favor.

Last year you twice earned Hockey East Rookie of the Week honors. Looking at this year's freshman class, can you give us some insights on this year's newcomers?

They're all great players; they seem to fit into the team really well. Three guys have been playing consistently in the lineup. Carl Sneep is a big, strong defenseman who has really good offensive skills; he's been a big part of our game so far. And the two forwards, Ben Smith and Matt Lombardi, they work hard every day. They have good skills, they're doing what they're asked to do, and that's really helping us.

How do the older players guide the freshmen?

They definitely take them under and try to guide them along and show them how we play Eagle hockey, like working hard every day in practice, in the weight room, just pointing them in the right direction. We give them a little heads up and help them out if they need help off the ice somewhere around campus. They're all adapting well.

What is it like to play for Jerry York? Tell us a little about Coach York and the way he runs the program.

He's an awesome coach. He's a little bit different than most coaches. He's uptight - but not in a bad way - he's not too loose where you can walk all over him. Once you get here and the upperclassmen take you under their wing and show you what the BC hockey community is like, you just understand and Coach York doesn't have to put out all these rules. On the ice, he always knows what to do. He's the most knowledgeable person about hockey that I've ever been coached by.

How about the assistant coaches?

They're awesome too. They could be head coaches of many other teams around here and just like Coach York they're really knowledgeable about the team. They get along with all the players really well and they seem to interact and work with Jerry to make a really good coaching staff.

The team typically plays games on Friday and Saturday nights. Can you walk us through a typical week?

They try to give us one day off every seven days, so if we play Friday and Saturday, we either get Sunday or Monday off. We wake up, go to class and depending on when class ends, either go back and maybe catch a little nap, or come down to practice. Maybe two days a week, we'll work out after practice and then we try to get some study hall in (we've got to get in three hours a week). Then we do the rest of our homework, maybe get some time to play some video games, just hang out, go to bed, wake up the next morning and do it all over again.

What did you do in the off-season to raise your game to the next level?

I did a lot of working out obviously, a lot of strength training. I didn't skate too much, but I did a lot of shooting pucks in the driveway and things off the ice that would better my game - a lot of plyometrics, stuff that I need to work on like my shot, foot speed and overall strength.

What interest or hobbies do you have when you're away from the rink and out of school?

In the summer I live pretty close to the ocean, so I do a lot of fishing. I like to be on the water a lot, and like a lot of hockey players, I love to golf. I have a great time getting on the golf course for a couple of holes, and besides that, I just like to hang out and have a good time.

Interview conducted by Geoffrey Kehlmann

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