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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With North Dakota Defenseman Brian Lee

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, November 5th at 2:00 ET, North Dakota defenseman Brian Lee enters the chatroom at "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com.

Brian Lee

Brian Lee came to the University of the North Dakota with an impressive reputation preceding him. The 6'3" defenseman was named Minnesota's Mr. Hockey as a senior at Moorhead High School, following a season that saw him score 12 goals and dish out 28 assists in 24 games. That summer, Lee was drafted in the first round (9th overall) by the Ottawa Senators in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Upon arriving at North Dakota, Lee made an immediate impact, finishing 2005-06 as the top scoring defenseman (4-23-27) on a Fighting Sioux team that won the WCHA Championship and went to the Frozen Four. He was also part of the American team that competed at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Vancouver.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Brian won't be stopping by until 2:00 EST on Tuesday, December 5th, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Welcome to the second of our CSTV.com "Tuesday @ the Rink" chats. We're joined now by North Dakota defenseman Brian Lee.
Brian Lee: Hi to everybody who's "tuned in."

Jake (Fargo): Hey Brian, big fan. Just wondering how the team is going to be preparing themselves for a big run in the WCHA this year and hopefully frozen four. Good luck!!
Brian Lee: We're just taking it one series at a time, trying to work hard in practice and get better every day. We're looking at one opponent at a time. We're not focusing on the distant future, just the immediate future so that in the long run we'll be OK.

Eric (Bend, OR): Its obvious that you are all struggling this year. What needs to change to compete for the regular season championship?
Brian Lee: We just had a bit of a slip-up in Alaska, and since then, we have been playing well enough to win but just not catching the bounces. We just need to work a little harder, concentrate on the fundamentals, and hopefully that will put us on a run that will take us right toward the end of the year.

JOJO Grand Forks: Hey Brian, YOu've been a key point scorer with your assists this season. Will the Sioux have problems scoring with you being gone for the World Juniors?
Brian Lee: They haven't announced the World Junior roster yet so I'm not sure if I'll even be going, however, IF I do go our team will have no problem scoring goals. We have so many talented forwards and defensemen that we will have no problem scoring goals.

dggoddard (Houston): Thanks for taking our questions. We understand your younger brother will be coming to the University of Denver. What can you tell us about his playing style and will you be his agent when he becomes a big star in the NHL?
Brian Lee: John is a very physical and aggressive defenseman, however at the same time he has a certain poise with the puck and possesses a big shot from the point. Hopefully he can have continued success at the University of Denver, although not too much success against the University of North Dakota.

TE Johnson - Moorhead: Why is the Moorhead so succesful at producing top players on a consistent basis? Who was your favorite high school English teacher?
Brian Lee: I think that Moorhead's so successful at producing players because at Moorhead every little kids goal is to put on the Spuds jersey and play for the high school team. Having said this, they all work very hard to get to that point and thats why so many good players come out of Moorhead, hard work. And my favorite high school english teacher was a tie between Mr. Costello and Jim MacFarlane.

Aaron-Madison: Brian-Growing up in Moorhead, was it always your dream to play for ND rather than the Gophers? What has been your best experience so far at ND? Go Badgers!
Brian Lee: I actually grew up watching the Gophers just because we could get them on TV for pretty much all of their games, home and away. However, as I got older, I started watching the Sioux play being that I liked their brand of hockey more than Minnesota's and so when it came time to decide on what school to attend it was a no-brainer. My best experience so far at North Dakota was to make it to the Frozen Four last season and also to win the Broadmoor Trophy

Bill (Minneapolis): Brian, I work with your Aunt Kaye in Minneapolis, and we're surrounded with Gopher fanatics that are driving us nuts. As UND has proven the past two years, is the chemistry there with this year's team to peak at the right time to make the big push for a National Championship? I know the team is young, but college hockey has evolved to where you have to accomplish a lot with underclassmen. Who are the team leaders that can get this team to where they need to be? Kaye and I are in desperate need for a solid performance from the team on January 26th-27th. I hope you don't let us down, or else it will be a long season for us. Thanks.
Brian Lee: Kaye has told me of the Gopher nuts that you two work with. My condolences as far as that goes. Our team definitely has the chemistry to peak at the end of the season and make a push for a national chamipionship. Obviously we need to continue to work hard in order to peak at the end of the year and I think with the mix of guys we have that won't be a problem at all. As far as leadership is concerned, we have many leaders on this team. Obviously all of the guys wearing letters are great leaders for our team, both on and off the ice. But we also have guys like Phil Lamoreaux, Ryan Duncan, Scott Foyt...etc. who show up everyday to the rink with a great work ethic and show the younger guys whats supposed to be done at practice and what the right way to do things is. We'll do our best for the series at Minnesota and hopefully we won't let you down.

Todd (Hastings): How physical is the play in the WCHA versus the other conferences?
Brian Lee: The physical play in the WCHA is definitely a step above any of the other conferences in college hockey. I think it's pretty easy to see this just by watching a game between two WCHA teams. The play is so physical and quick. Other leagues around the country obviously are obviously great leagues in their own right, however I just find that when we play a series against a WCHA team that you better be ready to go to war, opposed to when we play a non-conference game to where you still have to be ready to play, however, you may not have to deal with as much physical play.

MATT (FARGO, ND): With some big, physical defensemen leaving over the last couple of years, who do you see as the physical enforcer type on the blueline and is that part of your game?
Brian Lee: With the likes of Matt Greene, Matt Jones, and Matt Smaby all departing our program within the last few years obviously we lost a lot of big enforcers for our team. Although we don't have a guy who is a pure hitter like those guys were, I think that all of the defensemen on our team have really stepped up to fill that physical presence that those guys gave to our program. Guys like Kyle Radke, Zach Jones and Robbie Bina have really led the way for us physically with a lot of big hits, and then I think the rest of our defensemen have just tried to follow suit in regards to that.

dave from Wilton NY: how much does the team workout in the weight room during the season?
Brian Lee: Our team typically works out Monday-Wednesday during the season. Guys can go into the weight room on their own too if they feel like they want to work on specific lifts or body parts whenever they want.

Dana (Fargo): I was wondering what your plans were for the next couple of years. It seems that anyone with a decent draft position is leaving their college team by the third year if not before. Is there a financial reason for this (lose signing bonus/money) that is motivating these players? How long do you think you will wait to move on?
Brian Lee: I'm just taking everything as it comes and I think that Ottawa will tell me when they believe I am ready to make the step to professional hockey. I think that guys are leaving so early lately because college hockey does such a great job of developing players for the next level. There really isnt a financial reason for this being that the money will be there whenever you want to come out of college, and as far as my own situation is concerned, like I said above, I'm just taking it one step at a time here at North Dakota. If and when Ottawa believes that I'm ready to make that step, they'll let me know, and until then I'll be at UND.

Dave (Madison): What are you looking for out of this weekend's series with Wisconsin? Do the struggles the Badgers have had take anything away from the matchup, or is this just as big because it's the defending WCHA and NCAA champs against one another?
Brian Lee: Wisconsin's struggles lately haven't even been talked about and will not be talked about by anybody on our team. When you're playing Wisconsin you know you always have to be ready or else they'll stick it to you. They're a great team, obviously with many players returning from their national championship team last season, and we're excited about the challenge to play them in what should be really a great series.
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all the time we have with Brian this afternoon.
Brian Lee: Thank you to everybody who submitted questions.
CSTV.com Moderator: OK, that will do it for this week's "Tuesday @ the Rink" chats, presented by CSTV.com and USCHO. Keep checking back for more info on next week, when we'll be joined by Harvard coach Ted Donato and another guest to be determined.

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