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Beauts GM Nik Fattey says time was right for coaching change

The Beauts announced Friday night that head coach Ric Seiling and assistant coach Craig Muni were fired.

Former Sabre Cody McCormick was named the interim head coach and General Manager Nik Fattey named himself as an assistant coach.

The Beauts play their first game after the change Saturday at HarborCenter against the Connecticut Whale. McCormick was not behind the bench because of a prior commitment so Fattey will run the bench.

"He's been talking to the players," Fattey said. "We put some systems in place together. We're excited about tonight and the next few days and the idea of winning the championship."

Before the game, Fattey addressed reporters on the change. Here are the highlights from audio recording provided by the Beauts.

On Seiling and Muni: I want to thank Ric and Craig for what they have done. They have been a big part of the Beauts for all the years. I wish them the best.

On the decision: It was my decision. It was a hockey decision that we made. The season in front of us is big and important. Tonight's game is important so we made the decision to move forward. …

We're a pro hockey team. We're always evaluating. … Last season, we went on a good run and lost the final in an electric building in New York. This season, we're gunning for first place in hopes that we can host the final in Buffalo. If it was in Buffalo last year, maybe the outcome would have been different. It's hard to play there. We're trying to get wins. We had meetings a month ago and talked about things. As we evaluated after Boston, after Russia, we made the decision.

In surprise, Beauts fire coach Ric Seiling, assistant Craig Muni

On not living up to high expectations after an aggressive offseason of player acquisition:  We have world-class players. We're 3-3 and that's not where we need to be. They know the expectations that are there. They are there for me, they are there for players and the coaches so maybe trying something new, having Cody's freshness and ideas will be really great.

On why McCormick: Cody's got great familiarity with the players. He's been doing skill skates all season. He's been on the ice all season. They all know him and he knows them. It's not like a voice they haven't heard before. There's a lot of respect for him. There's a lot of excitement.

Cody is a motivator. He has a good rapport with the players. He's really positive and has a lot of energy coming out of not playing that long ago. He's up to date on all the systems. Our girls are hungry for that. They want the current systems and want to play a system that's modern and helps them prepare for whatever they are doing, whether that's winning a championship with us or playing with their own national teams.

On searching for a full-time coach: We're going to be visiting those topics in the future. … We're going to do what we need to do to search … We'll get that after this week.

We're going through the process to identify the next full-time spot. Cody is here and we're here to win a championships. Any possibility is possible. We're focused on winning games and winning the championship this year.

On the rest of the season and earning the top seed heading into the postseason: Every game you want to win. You should play to win every game. That was an awesome place to play if you're a New York fan, not a good place to play if you're a Buffalo fan … Playing a complete season is what we're looking to do.

We need to be in that spot (to host the championship). We saw it last year. In the first couple of years, they had a neutral site. Now it's a home game. We just went to Minnesota — it was hard to play there. We just went to Boston — it was hard to play there. People say when they come to Buffalo, it's hard to play here. We want them here at the end of the year.

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