March 3 postgame quotes: Lintuniemi, Mersch, Zatkoff

Alex Lintuniemi, on getting back into a game:
Yeah, it was nice. It’s been a tough season again for me. Couple of injuries, but it was nice to get back again with the team and get that goal away.

Lintuniemi, on what he saw on the play when he scored his first AHL goal:
Puck came to Vinny on the blue line and their forwards, both of them rushed to Vinny. I went down to the net and Vinny shot it and the rebound came right to me so I just put it in. [Reporter: Any special plans for the puck?] Uh, I don’t know. Probably send it home to my little sister or something. She’s gonna love it.

Lintuniemi, on the flow of the game:
Always when it’s a lot of penalties it’s tough to stay in the game. Some guys play power play, some guys play PK, some guys don’t play any of it. It’s tough for everyone but we played really good today for sixty minutes.

Lintuniemi, on the importance of answering tonight after Wednesday’s 6-2 loss:
That was big, big for us as a team. Get the momentum going for tomorrow hopefully.

Michael Mersch, on what it means for him to be back in the lineup and contributing:
I was trying to work hard to make sure I can contribute to the team right when I came back. There’s still some things away from the puck that you’ve got to get used to again.

Mersch, on the difference between Wednesday night to tonight:
I think our penalty kill was a lot better. I don’t know what the numbers were. We had the first two goals in the game, better start and then it was [trails off]. I thought tonight was a really chippy game. It felt like a playoff hockey game. That’s probably the difference. [Reporter: Did it seem like there was a weird flow with all the penalties in the second period?] Stutts is probably going to talk about it but we’ve got to score on the power play and the game’s over. I’ve got to find one in front or something. If we score on the power play, no matter if it’s in the first or second, three-nothing instead of two to one.

Mersch, on Jeff Zatkoff’s first start:
Great. He did a really good job. He’s a great teammate. Comes here and works incredibly hard. Gives Jack a little bit of rest, too. So they’re both really good and I think they’ll push each other. It’s good to two good goalies and they can be fresh.

Jeff Zatkoff, on what it felt like to start a game again:
It was fun. It’s fun to be able to play. That’s why, I think we all play, to be able to play in the games. It’s kind of been frustrating for me not feeling like I’ve been able to get in there so it’s nice to play Wednesday and then be able to come back with a start and get the opportunity to play and just be a part of, you feel like you’re a part of the team to be able to contribute and ultimately we got the win so that’s all that matters.

Zatkoff, on any challenges he faced or if Wednesday’s relief appearance helped:
I think Wednesday made a big difference. Just getting into the game. I’ve played a lot of games throughout my career so it’s just getting settled in playing, kind of getting a feel for my reads and the pace of play and all that. Like I said, once the game starts you just play. It’s a good group of guys here. It’s fun coming to the rink and the coaches have been great. It’s nice to kind of have that positive energy when you come to the rink and to be able to get out there and just compete, that’s the best part. There’s nothing better than playing a game and when you win, just sitting in the locker room after with everyone.

Zatkoff, on his ECHL-Reign days versus playing another game here:
It’s been a while, nine years? It’s nostalgic. I remember just walking in for the first day. My wife’s down here, we’re here for the weekend from Manhattan Beach. I remember when I had left school early she was a senior in college and now we’re back here, full circle, and I have a little kid. My daughter’s dropping me off at the rink instead of me going by myself. It’s funny though. It’s a great city I think. It’s got to be one of the best American League cities in the league. I think a lot of times you don’t realize the city you have until you’re gone from it, you play in other American League cities. We’re lucky to be in a spot like this.

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