The Men’s Hockey Team is currently riding a nine-game winning streak into the final weekend series of the regular season against last-place Vermont. During the streak, the Eagles have put forth a stout defensive effort, surrendering only 12 goals and posting consecutive shutouts against Providence. The Observer caught up with junior defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who is the top-scoring D-man on the team with 25 points in 34 games. The 6-4, 210 pound playmaking blueliner from Biddeford, ME is a 2009 second round NHL draft pick of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Q: On this winning streak, the defense has really tightened up—the team hasn’t given up more than three goals in a game, and that was only once. What has been the difference lately?
A: I think one of the main reasons is, as a whole team we’re playing smarter. We’re playing simpler. We aren’t trying to make the fancy play or the fancy pass. We are getting pucks deep and not turning pucks over at our blue line.
Q: What are the coaches stressing in the defensive zone these days?
A: Mostly just do your job. We’re all assigned a job in the D-zone and when we seem to get into trouble is when we are trying to make up for other players. If we just keep things simple and we’re quick and physical on their players and the puck, and we swarm well when the puck is dumped in, getting the puck out in that first eight seconds, then that’s huge for us. That makes us play in the other end instead of playing in our end.
Q: How does the team stay focused on these last few games knowing that the Hockey East playoffs are well on the horizon?
A: Well, one of our main goals before the season was to win a regular season championship and that’s what we are focused on in these next two games: We control our own destiny. If we win out then we’ll be the top seed. That’s really one of the most important things, getting that home ice advantage, being the number one seed. That can really pay dividends when we go into the Hockey East tournament, and we are hopefully at the Garden with the home-ice last change and things of that nature.
Q: Coach York’s 900th win was obviously a huge deal. What does that mean to the guys in the room?
A: It felt great to be a part of it, even though I can’t imagine myself winning 900th games, never mind him coaching for 900 and playing for a certain amount! I just think that’s a lot of games. We know that if he’s winning that many games we’ve got a good coach behind us. So, it’s just buying into his systems, and that’s what all his teams have been able to do. That’s why he’s been he’s been successful at teaching his players his system.
Q: What was it like to be drafted?
Oh, it was awesome. Just having a team recognizing you, to be wanted in their system was amazing. It was a whole amazing experience being at the Bell Centre for the draft in Montreal, and hearing my name be called. Just being part of the prior meetings, and not knowing which team you’re going to go to, it’s a lot of anxiety built up. You kind of don’t want to think about it, but then you can’t help but think about it—it’s a relief when your name comes off the board.
Q: What parts of your game have you worked on this year?
A: I’d say mostly my defensive play. I like to jump up in the offensive play and I like to put up points, but I feel like if I played smarter in my defensive zone and if I’m more physical and have better stick position that will help me get more points and help us win. That’s really the most important thing, is us winning. So, I feel like if I could help in the defensive zone that can only make the team better.
Q: Does Carolina keep in contact with you throughout the season to monitor your development?
A: Yes, to a certain extent. They talk to me, and usually have a regional scout that’s here every other game watching me, keeping game notes, telling me what I can do to help transition, hopefully, to one day playing in the NHL. Some of the directors of player personnel have come to watch me play, but they’ve always stayed on the outside and let me do my thing while I’m here at BC. They want me focused on winning championships here, which will hopefully help myself and in the future, for them. They keep an eye on me, but are really hands-off.