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Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Alaska Anchorage, Jan. 25



Jan. 25, 2013

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Wisconsin Postgame Quotes

Wisconsin vs. Alaska Anchorage

Jan. 25, 2012

Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

Head Coach Mike Eaves

On whether he liked how the lines operated tonight:
“Yes. We got the result we had hoped for by making some changes. We stimulated some offense and got some goals for both units. That was our sole reason for doing that. Our hope is that we can build on what we started tonight.”

On changes made to the power play units and (Michael Mersch):
“We’ve had Derek Lee on that unit before, but tonight we gave it a little bit of a different structure. I thought at times we looked robotic but in the end their ability to make plays was there and that’s why we scored. We as a coaching staff would like to see them move a little bit more fluidly, and in the end even score more. It was a good start for that group and hopefully those lines will keep improving.”

On how much better he feels about the future of this team after their performance tonight:
“It’s funny, when we went into the locker room after the game coming off of a third period where the shots were 8-7 and we had both scored a goal, despite the overall score, the coaches are never satisfied. We were a little grumpy behind the bench, because we want them to stay focused and take the reigns and do the right things. In terms of where we’re at, I like the change in their game. It helps us go in the direction that we need to and it helps us have the type of production we need to have if we’re going to continue to play later in the year. It’s the start of a good thing, but we need to keep it going.”

On (Mark) Zengerle:
“I think if you look at the beginning of the season, our record was where it was partially because he wasn’t scoring enough. When we talk about Mark (Zengerle) scoring goals that solves a lot of problems. His contribution offensively stimulates a lot of things, power plays and how well that unit works together. It’s important that he gets on that score sheet.”

On how different he thinks his team is since the last time they played Alaska Anchorage:
“I think we’re a better team. I think we were just getting back to playing again. That first game was a really bad game because it looked like both teams were playing their first game. There were a lot of mistakes. Since that time I feel that we’re playing at a higher level and a level that’s good for us and we need to continue doing that.”

On whether he would’ve believed in late November that the team would be 5 points off of first place:
“I would have hoped it. Believed it? From where we were it would have been tough to.”

Junior Michael Mersch:

On the team’s power play success:

“It was definitely really big for us. We kind of just let things happen. We had some set plays, but we just kind of roamed around a bit more and things just clicked for us. It was really nice.”

On the advantages that tonight’s power play change gave the team:
“One thing is that they weren’t able to pre-scout that, so that was a different look. And then we just kind of let things happen, let things play out. It wasn’t really a set play—we were moving around a lot, which is really helpful, and they couldn’t keep up with us.”

Junior Tyler Barnes:

On whether he expected the line changes to pay off so quickly:
“I mean, yeah. What we were focused on was not the changes, but more just coming out and playing hard together. Getting a new look definitely was something different. Playing with different players definitely sparked some more energy. We were just focused on playing hard, getting the puck deep, and getting the puck to the net, and I think that’s where the success came from.”

On the team’s turnaround this season:
“Hard work is where it all came from. We had a rough start to the season, and we really came together and started to work hard, and now it’s paying off. We’re trying to really focus on not getting away from that core aspect of our game. That’s the biggest thing that Wisconsin hockey is built on is hard work, and continuing that legacy is what we’re trying to work towards.”

Junior Mark Zengerle:

On whether his goal tonight makes him feel any different than he has the past few weeks:
“Yeah, definitely. I think so. I think both of our new lines were creating a lot, and things seemed to flow pretty well. That pass (Mersch) gave me—he’s (Mersch). I think my mom could’ve put that in. That was a nice dish, and I just had to tap it in pretty much. But other than that, we felt a lot better I think.”

On whether this Badger team is different than the one that played Alaska Anchorage at the start of the month:
“I think so. You could look at it that way. I’m looking at the shots here, and we had thirty-something to (14), so that’s a nice change of pace. When you play up there it’s a different look. It’s tough to play there and they do pretty well up there. If they don’t win then it’s usually pretty close. We obviously got off to a pretty good start since the New Year, and I think everyone’s pretty confident. When you win that confidence gains, so I think we’re a little different.”

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