Post game quotes from Head Coach Mike Eaves and Players
After a playing career that ended with the most prolific scoring numbers in Wisconsin hockey history and an NCAA title, Mike Eaves returned to his alma mater for the 2002-03 season as the fifth coach in the modern era of Badger hockey. Now through 10 years behind the bench, Eaves has added to his legacy, bringing the program's sixth NCAA title to Madison in 2006. His team came within one game of a second NCAA title in 2010.
Firmly entrenched as one of the most respected coaches in college hockey, Eaves claimed his 200th career coaching win January 6, 2012 with a victory over RIT at the Kohl Center. The 2012 season also featured the fifth Hobey Baker top-10 candidate under Eaves in the last four seasons.
Eaves led the Badgers to their to their fifth top-three WCHA finish in seven years during the 2009-10 season. The second-place finish was just a warm-up, as the Badger reached the 2010 NCAA championship game at Ford Field in Detroit after advancing through the NCAA West Regional. Along the way, a Wisconsin player took home the program's first Hobey Baker Memorial Award, while two players were named All-Americans and six earned all-league accolades. The Badgers also played in front of 55,031 in a 3-2 victory over Michigan outdoors in the Culver's Camp Randall Hockey Classic, then another 34,954 and 37,592 fans at the Frozen Four.
Eaves led the Badgers to the 2006 NCAA Championship and the 2010 NCAA championship game.
In 2006-07, Eaves reached his first coaching milestone, notching his 100th victory behind the Badger bench with a victory over Alaska Anchorage at the Kohl Center on Feb. 9. He also oversaw the program's 1000th victory of Wisconsin Hockey's modern era (since 1963) with a win over Minnesota.
Eaves' tenure thus far is highlighted by the 2005-06 dream season. Finishing with a 30-10-3 mark, the squad defeated Boston College, 2-1, at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee for the storied program's first title in 16 years. Along the way, Wisconsin swept Michigan State and Michigan at the College Hockey Showcase, played in front of nearly 41,000 fans outside at Lambeau Field, reached the NCAA Frozen Four after a 1-0 triple overtime win over Cornell at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis., and set numerous school records. Individual honors were plenty, as well, with a Hobey Baker finalist and three All-Americans.
Eaves and the Badgers reached their high-water mark after a four-year process. In just his second season behind the bench, Eaves led his charges to one of the largest improvements in college hockey and to within one goal of an NCAA Frozen Four appearance. Included in the run was a national-best 15-game unbeaten streak, a third-place finish in the WCHA standings and national rankings as high as No. 3.
The Badgers continued their improvement in 2004-05 by qualifying for their first WCHA Final Five under Eaves, spending a league-best 10 weeks in first place in the WCHA standings and leading the conference in defense and penalty killing, while upping their goal average by a half goal per game.
Eaves returned to the UW after spending two seasons as the head coach of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program (NTDP). A program designed to accelerate the development of elite under-20 American hockey players, Eaves led the group to a gold medal at the 2002 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Piestany, Slovakia, the first-ever gold medal for the United States at the event. Eaves and his team clinched the gold with a 3-1 victory over Russia to end the tourney with a 7-1-0 record. Excluding the Olympics, it was the first gold medal won by a U.S. national team at an IIHF World Championship since 1933.
Eaves' encore performance came when he directed the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2004 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship to the country's first world junior gold medal.
Eaves' coaching days began in 1985 with the Calgary Flames (assistant) and since then he has held assistant coaching positions with the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers, and head coaching posts with the Helsinki Finnish Elite League, Shattuck (Minn.) St. Mary's High School and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL). He also spent one season at St. Cloud State (assistant coach) and one season at UW-Eau Claire (head coach).
Eaves has represented the U.S. in international competition both as a player and coach. He skated as a forward for Team USA at both the 1981 and 1984 Canada Cup tournaments and was a member of the 1976 and 1978 U.S. National Teams at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships. As a coach, Eaves served as an assistant under Bob Johnson for Team USA at the 1991 Canada Cup, was an assistant coach for the 1991 U.S. National Team at the IIHF World Championship in Finland and directed the 2006 U.S. National Team at the IIHF World Championship in Latvia.
Eaves was recruited to play at Wisconsin by the legendary "Badger Bob" Johnson. He became both a standout student-athlete and one of the greatest players in Badger hockey history (1974-78). A first-team All-American as a junior and senior, Eaves is the UW's career scoring leader with 267 points (94-173) in 160 games. He helped lead the Badgers to the 1977 NCAA title by scoring 28 goals and 53 assists for 81 points during that championship season. He assisted on three goals in the championship game, including the game winner just 23 seconds into overtime, a 6-5 win over Michigan.
Hockey and coaching were two things Eaves grew up around. His father, Cecil, won an NCAA title at the University of Denver (1956-57) and is also credited with helping to start the hockey program at Ohio State. Cecil was the head coach at the University of Windsor (Ontario) and is a past director of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA). His brother Murray lettered two years at Michigan (1978-80) before playing for the Winnipeg Jets (1980-86) and the Detroit Red Wings (1987-88). He currently is the head coach at Shattuck St. Mary's High School.
A native of Denver, Colo., Mike and his wife, Beth, are the parents of two sons -- Ben and Patrick. Ben captained the Boston College hockey team in 2003-04, while Patrick spent three years with the Eagles before joining the NHL's Ottawa Senators. He now skates for the Detroit Red Wings.
Ben became the third member of the Eaves family to win a national title when Boston College won the 2001 NCAA Championship.
Eaves graduated with honors from Wisconsin in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in physical education.
MIKE EAVES' COACHING CAREER
WCHA First Round
NCAA Regional Final
WCHA Third Place
NCAA Regional Final
WCHA Third Place
WCHA First Round
WCHA First Round
MIKE EAVES' COACHING RESUME
Head Coach, University of Wisconsin (WCHA)
Head Coach, U.S. National Team
Head Coach, U.S. National Junior Team
Head Coach, U.S. National Team Development Program
Assistant Coach, Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Head Coach, Helsinki (Finnish Elite League)
Head Coach, Shattuck St. Mary's High School
Head Coach, Hershey Bears (AHL)
Assistant Coach, U.S. National Team
Assistant Coach, Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
Assistant Coach, St. Cloud State
Head Coach, UW-Eau Claire
Assistant Coach, Calgary Flames (NHL)
Player, Minnesota North Stars & Calgary Flames (NHL)