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Q and A with Scott Mayfield

Islanders prospect Scott Mayfield is helping to lead the way for the University of Denver Pioneers.

Wednesday, 02.29.2012 / 10:40 AM / News
By Cory Wright
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Q and A with Scott Mayfield
Islanders prospect Scott Mayfield pulled the orange and blue sweater over his head for the first time at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft when the team selected him with the 34th overall pick. The St. Louis native has taken his game to University of Denver, where the Pioneers rookie d-man is making quite an impression.

DU is 8-1-0 when Mayfield records a point, 3-0-0 when he scores a goal and last weekend, he scored the game-winner in a 5-3 victory over the University of North Dakota. The Pioneers are a formidable 11-4-1 since the Christmas break.

Scott Mayfield is having a notable rookie season for the Denver University Pioneers.
During Denver’s second-half surge, Mayfield put together a four-game point streak (1g/3a) in January and scored two points in two games against nationally ranked Minnesota (no. 4 at the time) in February. Assisting on the game-winning and game-tying goals against the Golden Gophers caught the eye of the WCHA brass and they named him Rookie of the Week on Feb. 14.

Check out this Q and A with @scottmayfield2:

How are things going in Denver?
I think we’ve been playing better as a team. We struggled in the first half, but came back after Christmas and knew we had to turn it on to make the tournament. I think the whole team has turned it on. We’ve only had four losses since Christmastime.
Personally, I think the game is slowing down for me. It took me a while to get used to the college level and everything. I think all that’s slowing down now and I’m playing better than I was at the start of the year, too.”

Was it a case of the guys just needed a couple of months to come together?
“Definitely. And realizing that we had to start winning almost every weekend. We knew Minnesota was a huge weekend and we came out and swept them. Just the way the whole team has been playing, they’ve really stepped up.”

Everyone says at every level the game gets faster, but what other changes are there at the college level compared to junior?
“The speed is definitely the number one thing, but it's playing against older guys, too. We’re playing against some kids who are 24, 25. So, it’s a step up with the older guys. The size and the physical play is definitely ramped up and the skill is even better. It’s an all-around game. The speed is definitely the number one thing that it takes younger guys to get used to. It took me quite a few games to get used to.”

How did you make the game slow down? What does it take to get adjusted to it?
“Experience, getting your chances in the games and working hard in practice. You’re practicing against guys that are skilled too, especially at bigger schools. Day in and day out you are getting used to it and then in-game situations are the biggest thing that helps.”

You played against North Dakota and Brock Nelson. Have you been keeping tabs on the other Islanders prospects? Do you guys ever talk to each other when you play each other?
“Me and Brock roomed together at camp this summer, so that definitely brought us a little bit closer. You realize when you are playing against other prospects, even other teams’ prospects.
The hockey community is so small that everyone kind of knows everyone. I have friends from St. Louis on this team, I have friends I played with in overseas tournaments and everything.”

Who has been an influence on you in Denver?
“Our coaching staff has been huge. I owe all the credit for the game slowing down and getting better to them. That’s who’s giving me all the tips every day. I think the coaching staff has done a great job with all the freshmen this year.”

Is there a specific player, too? Maybe a new d-partner?
“I’ve been playing with Paul Phillips. He’s a junior and that’s helped me out a ton. He’s a Chicago prospect. Coming in, he kind of took me under his wing and I feel like that’s helped a lot. The older guys, the influence that they have can be huge and I think all of them have done a great job. Our captains have been great. It’s a whole team effort.”

What has it been like having to balance school and hockey?
“School’s definitely still there. I came straight in as a true freshman, so I never got the year off or anything. I’ve always had quite a bit of schoolwork with hockey. It’s a little more of a grind at the college level because the classes are a little bit harder. School's always been pretty important in my family, so it’s nothing new to me. I take the grades pretty serious, but it’s definitely a grind when you have a hard weekend and lots of practice, but you have to stay on top of the classes, too.”

You were named the WCHA Rookie of the Week on Feb. 14. What was your reaction to that honor?
“The personal success is great. I think after that Minnesota weekend, (Feb. 10-11) our power play was good that weekend. We scored. The second game we scored with about a minute and a half left to tie and later won it overtime. Like I said, the personal success is great, but I owe it all to the team. Without the team, none of that would have happened. It was just a team effort that weekend, we knew we needed all four of those points against the fourth-ranked team in the country at that time. We really came out and played together and that’s what we need to do every weekend.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 64 41 18 5 172 142 87
2 NYI 66 42 21 3 211 185 87
3 TBL 66 40 20 6 217 173 86
4 NYR 63 39 17 7 197 155 85
5 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
6 PIT 63 36 18 9 182 158 81
7 WSH 66 35 21 10 194 164 80
8 BOS 63 31 22 10 168 165 72
9 FLA 65 28 23 14 159 185 70
10 PHI 65 28 25 12 173 187 68
11 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
12 NJD 64 27 27 10 144 165 64
13 TOR 65 26 34 5 175 199 57
14 CBJ 63 26 33 4 163 201 56
15 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
16 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 66 31 36 5 67
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 66 14 28 22 42
B. Nelson 66 18 20 8 38
F. Nielsen 66 11 26 13 37
A. Lee 60 22 13 14 35
J. Bailey 54 13 20 13 33
J. Boychuk 56 7 25 15 32
N. Leddy 66 9 19 17 28
T. Hamonic 56 4 21 16 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 34 13 1 .911 2.48
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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