UW Health Sports Medicine 

Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. RIT, Jan. 7



Jan. 7, 2012

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Wisconsin Head Coach Mike Eaves
On the 5-on-3:
"Leading up to that point in the game was the fact of what we did in the second period. We spent a lot of time killing penalties and it could have been one of those things that broke us down mentally, but we stayed hard. We stayed persistent. They took us out of our rhythm in the second period and we met that challenge and then were given an opportunity. The guys were ready, they were sharp and we executed really well. On the five-on-three we did exactly what we wanted to do. In reality that goal was a 5-on-3 goal because the guy wasn't truly back on the play. It was nice that you could see our guys right before the five-on-three started, they got in a little circle, and they were talking about our options and what we wanted to run. They went through each stage and executed and eventually scored the goal. Kudos to them, they did a tremendous job and kudos to the penalty killing in the second period because it allowed us not to be down one and have an opportunity to win a game."

On the issues in the second period:
"We never got into the rhythm offensively. We'd kill a penalty and just start to get our lines back, and then we'd have another penalty. We never got anything rolling offensively. You know how football talks about getting the offense in a rhythm. We didn't do that. We did get our pucks and bodies. Sometimes that can take you off your game because you get frustrated there's no rhythm. The guys didn't do that. We talked about being patiently persistent and we stayed with the game plan, got through that rough spot which I think for this young team was a victory within a victory. It showed that we are growing mentally"

On Jake McCabe this weekend:
"I think we're starting to see what we hoped we would see if the first half if Jake had not been injured with his hand. He's still gaining confidence and certainly these two goals in these two games are indications of things we might have seen had we had him in the line-up in the first but it's a real good spark for us. I know he's excited. It's given him confidence and that going to project as we head into the WCHA schedule."

On the second period penalty kill:
"Coach (Bill) Butters and the penalty killers gave us a different wrinkle on their first power play last night. If you watch carefully we were taking that away. All that we were giving them was a shot and if they wanted to try and shoot through our blockers then we were going to give that to them but we did a good job in what we technically wanted to do and then what we wanted to do hard-wise, get out a block shots. They did a great job. Their will was really strong in that penalty kill where they had to stay out there two minutes."

On the momentum gained from the penalty kill for both teams:
"There are two perspectives there. As a power play guy you're moving the puck around and you're getting some shots but the shots are going through, they're getting blocked. You feel good about it though, you're doing some things. You're in there the whole two minutes so you feel good. It's a battle of who got the most out of that. I think our guys did a good job. We survived it and that gave us a boost and projected us into the third period."

Wisconsin Players

Sophomore Defender Mark Zengerle
On the second period penalty kill:
"It was great. Obviously the momentum switched over in our favor there. I have to say Sean (Little) was probably the lead guy with all the blocked shots. He's a heart and soul guy. He's probably the most loved guy on the team, so he got the boys going there."

On his streak:
"It was very similar to last night's game and how my points were. I think both of them tonight were second assists. Sometimes that's how it goes. Today where I thought maybe I was going to score or we made a nice play and I thought it was going to work out. Then there are plays where it ends up going in and it wasn't pretty or how you thought it was going to happen. Sometimes that how points work out."

Freshman Defender Jake McCabe
On the importance of the second period penalty kill:
"The willingness to block shots was important. I think it just gave us momentum for anything. We overcame adversity like that and it really got us fired up. We kept battling and battling. We were due I guess, we kept saying we were due for that. After we saw they got five minutes up there we were looking to get at least two goals. In that five-on-three we had a couple of close calls. (Michael) Mersch had that one right in the slot that Zengerle fed him. Mersch is always in front of the net, always taking the goalie's eyes away. Look at yesterday and now today. That goalie had no idea where the puck was and you just got to find that open spot."

Sophomore Forward Sean Little
On the second period penalty kill:
"Without a doubt we were very fortunate they didn't score. They had a wide open net that just missed high. I think just the willingness to lay the body out on the line made the difference. All four guys out there did not give a crap about their body. It was great to see."

On how many blocked shots he had:
"I couldn't tell you. I kind of blocked it out half way through. It was definitely the longest shift of my career. I'm usually known for my short shift, not the best stamina, not the best skating stride. I couldn't tell you how many shots I blocked, (Jefferson) Dahl had a few, (John) Ramage had a few. All the guys were putting their hearts out there. It was awesome."

On the difficulty of the penalty kill:
About halfway through you start getting a little light headed, your legs are dead and you just have to stick to the game plan. You need to stick to what the coaches have preached all week on the penalty kill and know where your spot is and just get in front of shots."

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