Brandon Naurato: Michigan Medicine 'saved some guys', hockey team 'didn't spend a lot of time on hockey'

Brandon Naurato: Michigan Medicine ‘saved some guys’, hockey team ‘didn’t spend a lot of time on hockey’

ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The Michigan hockey team played shorthanded and lost to Minnesota on Thursday night at Yost Ice Arena, but the game and its result took precedence over ongoing medical issues within the program. .

Six UM players missed the match due to illness, amid a suspected adenovirus outbreak. One of the six – defenseman Steven Holtz – was hospitalized in Michigan Medicine’s intensive care unit this week, according to a Facebook post from his mother. Wolverines did not train on Tuesday due to illness and on Thursday outfitted a substitute keeper as a winger.

After the game, Michigan coach Brandon Naurato met with the media and discussed the emotional week. Here is what he said:

Michigan hockey coach Brandon Naurato on preparing and playing this game:

Yeah, it’s been an extremely emotional week. We haven’t talked too much about hockey this week. It’s been nothing but worrying and thinking about our teammates, their mental health and their physical health. We have a great group of kids, and the guys are still fighting.

On how the team reacted to the off-ice situation:

I’m extremely proud of how our guys reacted. It’s difficult. We don’t make excuses with the numbers. They wanted to play and they came here and they worked really hard. We are going to look at a few things. They scored a few power play goals and then other things happened, but they’re extremely proud of our guys and how they reacted tonight.

On the challenges he faced as a coach ahead of Thursday’s game:

It puts things into perspective. That’s kind of what we’ve been through this week, that we all really like the game and what the game gives you too. The biggest thing it gives you is the relationships and the love you have for your teammates and brothers that you fight with every night. To have several players that we miss in the locker room that you want to fight for – I thought the guys did well, but it’s been a hugely emotional week. We didn’t spend a lot of time on hockey.

If there was a discussion to postpone the game:

Yeah. It’s not my decision, though. These are the health professionals.

I will say one thing: Brian Brewster, Darryl Conway. Michigan Medical Team, Michigan Hospital. I can’t imagine if this was a junior or minor pro team without the resources we have in Michigan. That’s why they are the leaders and the best. Everyone stepped up and did an incredible job of caring for these children.

It’s not a catch. It’s true. They saved guys. It’s a big problem.

On whether he was afraid for his players:

Yeah, high time. Yeah. Without going into details, the first phone call I received, I hope never to have again.

If the Big Ten was involved in the postponement or the game:

I don’t want to talk out of turn. I do not think so. I think it’s more CDC and medical.

On Eric Ciccolini’s hit, which injured the Michigan forward:

I thought it was an extremely dangerous blow. We are already understaffed. I hope Cicc is doing well. I hope Cicc is doing well. He didn’t play a shift after that – or actually tried to play a shift and then he was done. So we’ll see where he is tomorrow, if his physical health is fine.

But I thought it was extremely dirty. I thought it should have been a DQ. I am not a referee. It’s a blind shot, you can’t protect yourself, and it’s far enough from the boards that it’s even scarier than being right in front of the boards. It is the same player who scored his fourth goal.

On whether Michigan can play Friday if Ciccolini is injured:

I don’t know how it works. We would be nine [forwards] and six [defensemen].

On his comments that Michigan players wanted to play:

We haven’t talked much about playing. They wanted to play for their teammates. It’s not their decision, but if they were able to, then that’s what they were going to do. The medical professionals felt that we had enough players to play.

On the team’s emotions after the game:

I think it’s upsetting that you’re in the game going into the third and then everything that happened after that. But really proud of these guys for the way they fought.

It’s hard to play. It’s one thing to play with nine and six against another team that has nine and six. The game would be completely different. But it is what it is. We decided to play. It’s like that.

I just want to make sure these guys are healthy. This is the most important thing. It’s not about wins and losses. It puts things into perspective of what matters.

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