UW Health Sports Medicine 

Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Miami (OH), Jan. 18



Jan. 18, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats

Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Miami (OH)
Jan. 18, 2013
Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

Head Coach Mike Eaves

On his “hunch” to start Joel Rumpel in goal tonight:
“The tell tale sign in my own head, about who to start, was how Rumpel played last Saturday. You had the 36 shots and I thought he got out and handled the puck well. He was sharp, he was precise in his movements, which lent itself to saying he’s playing well and he’s on top right now. That was part of the reason he was back in the net tonight.”

On Joseph LaBate’s play tonight:
“Joseph and his line mates have been a pretty good line for us for awhile. They have good chemistry. What Joseph has started to develop into is more of an impact player. He’s assertive in his play, he’s stronger on his skates and his stick and he’s shooting the puck more. Tonight was a direct result of keeping his feet moving and shooting it—maybe before the goalie was quite ready for it and as a result it found its way in. Joseph’s rise has been part of the chemistry that has come between Mr. Lee, Mr. Mersch and himself." 

On the importance of this game:
“You don’t want to underline the importance to your team before the game because they have enough to think about, but from a big picture thing, we as coaches absolutely looked at tonight as a critical game for many reasons. We’re playing a ranked opponent in our barn, it keeps our momentum and our confidence going. It helps us elevate ourselves in the big national picture; the RPI. So it was a precious game in that commodity.”

On his impressions of Miami (OH):
“I thought their pace in the first period gave us fits. We weren’t prepared for that. They play a 200-foot game. They hunt down the puck, whether they have it or not, 200-feet, and that’s what good hockey teams do. They take away time and space and play at a high tempo. I think it took us until the second period before we adjusted to that. We hadn’t seen that pace since playing Minnesota in their building. They’re well coached, they have skill, they can skate, they play well together and as a result they’re a quality team. There’s a reason their record is the way it is and there’s a reasons they’re ranked the way they are. But, that game tonight exposed us to a level that we need to strive for and play at all the time. We said to the boys tonight, what if? If we’re in the playoffs, we’re in a regional tournament or in the Frozen Four, you win one big game, you have to win another one. We have that opportunity this weekend to play a quality opponent in back-to-back nights and prepare for that type of mindset.”

Wisconsin Players

Derek Lee on the importance of this game:
“You could feel in that locker room that the guys all knew who was coming in. Every year, they’re a real good hockey team. So, we knew they were going to come out hard and we’re on this little bit of a roll right now and we needed to match what they brought to the table. So, we definitely could sense it and it’s good that we came out the way we did.”

Joseph LaBate on what he saw on his goal:
“[Michael Mersch] crossed the ice which dropped the defenseman back and opened up space for me. So, I kept skating and I heard [Lee] telling me to keep skating and I just took it in, tried to get a shot on net and it went in.”

Lee on the chemistry with his line mates:
“That’s a tough thing to describe. For me, I can say that Mersch and Joseph, especially Joseph, have been playing great the last six weekends or so. That makes it easier for us. I think we’re all on the same page, moving the puck and moving our feet. When Joseph moves his feet he’s tough to guard and Mersch has the big body and protects it so well. I think we all help each other out in different ways and I think that’s the mix that makes it successful.”

Lee on the team’s confidence in its goaltending:
“Even when we had that rough stretch in the first half, who were our best players? It was those two goalies night in and night out. Whoever Coach Eaves goes with, the guys feel confident no matter who is in there. You watched it tonight. You saw Joel Rumpel, arguably the first star of the game tonight, make a couple big saves at some big times and he deserves a lot of credit.”

Joel Rumpel on Eaves’ decision to start him tonight:
“It starts in practice. I’ve been working hard this past little bit to become that guy. Since Christmas, both Landon and I, have [felt confident in the way we’ve been playing]. When your defense is playing as well as ours has, it makes our job a little easier and makes us look better sometimes.”

Rumpel on what the team is doing now that it wasn’t to start the year:
“We just have more of a complete game. At the start of the season we had our offense going, but our defense wasn’t going or we had our defense was going but our offense wasn’t going. We’re starting to feed off of each other and different guys are starting to show up every night. You saw it last weekend, with Jefferson Dahl’s line giving us some offensive chances and tonight with LaBate stepping up. Everybody is going every night, which is nice to see and hard to play against.”

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