Five at The IX:
Here is a roundup of quotes from Connecticut Whale camp! Shannon Doyle, Nina Rodgers and Ryan Equale weigh in on the state of #ThePod
Erica L. Ayala: Shannon, you talked just a minute ago about knowing that in the shootout loss to the Riveters last week, the team had more to give. How important is it for the Whale to keep improving, despite the fact every team makes the playoffs?
Shannon Doyle: It's really important to have these games under our belt because, even though everyone makes the playoffs, it's really about the mentality and feeling that you know once you've reached the playoffs ... you know what your team has and you know what your best is.
Performing like this now in December is definitely going to help us when March rolls around.
ELA: You get your first professional goal here in Pittsburgh. You've been on a line [with Emily Fluke & Katerina Mrazova] that's really been buzzing ... what did you see on your goal today?
Nina Rogers: My teammate/roommate [Shannon] Doyle was calling for the puck and she shot it and I was fortunate enough to bang in the rebound.
ELA: How do you think the momentum from the past three games with the Riveters will favor the team as you head back to Buffalo next week?
NR: Coach [Ryan Equale] reminded us we got seven out of nine points available in the series with the Riveters. It's just awesome ... Meeri [Raisanen] getting a shutout win on her birthday, can't get much better! We're all very happy and hope to keep it going!
ELA: Your doing another long road trip and will play the Buffalo Beauts who are coming off a 4-game exhibition series with Team Russia. How do you think all that might factor into Saturday's game?
Ryan Equale: We expect them to be very sharp and in shape. Whether they're playing NWHL teams or other teams, it doesn't matter. They're playing as a team and continuing to get to know each other.
From our side, we just remain focused on what we control. The players feel good about themselves and they should. I think everyone has embraced the "road warrior" mentality. So, that part is not going to phase us. We know what to do with our bodies to be ready to go for a seven hour bus trip.
Without the team [specifically] talking about it, our expectation is that they are excited to play Buffalo again. It's been kind of a quirky schedule ... it's nice to go up against a team we last saw October 13th having developed more as players and as a team. It's exciting to test the waters again and she how far we've come.
ELA: You joked earlier about the team responding better to [player-coach Cydney Roesler] during practice and games. I've heard there is a defender returning to the league. Is that correct, that Colleen Murphy is coming here to Connecticut?
RE: Yeah, we're going to sign Colleen to a [professional tryout]. We spoke to the team before practice tonight. For us, it's a good fit for a number of reasons. She knows the Buffalo team obviously very well, having played for them last year and we need another right-handed defenseman and she satisfies that need as well. So, we expect her to step in and if nothing else, contribute from a game planning perspective and hopefully on the ice as well.