Jan. 24, 2014
No. 9 Wisconsin vs. Ohio State
Jan. 24, 2014
Kohl Center - Madison, Wis.
Head Coach Mike Eaves
On what the team did well tonight:
"Well we scored five goals. That would be the most immediate answer, versus their three. I think the thing that probably behind-the-scenes that stands out the most is the fact that in the first period our concern was to get ourselves going. We had two weeks off from playing, and surviving that first period and getting our game going again and it took, honestly, til the middle of the second period before we felt like it was closer to how we can play. But the thing that happened between those two points is the fact that there was some real good leadership on the bench. Guys were saying, “Hey, just stay with it, just stay with it, don’t get frustrated here.” We weren’t connecting dots, we weren’t catching the puck good, we weren’t used to the pace and the battling, and because we didn’t panic, because we had that maturity level, I think that eventually led to us staying on top of it and getting our game going."
On the Zengerle, Zulinick, Barnes line
"They were a good force tonight, and to answer your question, they need to be consistent with that. If they can do that, then they will be a force to be reckoned with. That was one game, and we needed that from them and if they can continue to do that maybe, like we talked last year with having Nic with Zengerle and Barnes, it didn’t take off right away. It took some time. If these three young men can take off like that, that gives us some options."
On the OSU power play and how the team adapted
"We did as the game went along. Yeah I think their first one was going 10 feet wide, hits Jake and goes in. The second one, they did something different that we hadn’t seen in the pre-scout, and we had to adapt, and we did adapt and did a nice job. So [Gary] Shuchuk got those young men in there and we made some adaptions, which is a sign of a good club, when you can make changes on the fly during the course of a game and make it work for you. That’s an important element of a good team."
Forward Mark Zengerle
On what was working well on his line tonight:
“I think it was just when we got up in the zone and finally got our forecheck going and just the way that we play. We all want to pass it to each other and that’s kind of what we’re good at. When we got in the zone and we started moving and moving our feet and moving the puck, that’s when things happen.”
On what the atmosphere was like tonight with Ohio State:
“I think it was pretty similar to last week with Michigan a little bit. You know with the whole fans thing and playing a big name school. It was fun playing them. I think it definitely felt like a conference game. You know they’re a good team. They had a lot of skill. The fans and that whole thing is awesome. It doesn’t go unnoticed. It’s awesome to see that.”
Forward Tyler Barnes
On being able to make plays tonight:
“I think it goes for all three of us, I think the biggest thing that we did was win battles in the corner and we got the puck, we brought it to the net and we had guys and the net and we didn’t hesitate to make that extra pass. We brought it to the net and we had some good bounces tonight.”
On having more line chemistry:
“Yeah, definitely. I mean he’s a reliable guy to play with, (Morgan Zulinick) he plays hard and he’s able to win those battles in the corner and really make plays which is nice because you know you can just get in front of the net and find an open space you don’t have to worry about trying to be on the defensive side.”
Defensemen Jake McCabe
On what the feel of the game was like tonight against Ohio State:
“They’re a well coached team. I think when you look at their systems play, they’re very adamant at their forecheck and their neutral-zone play. They’re very passive and right when you cross that redline they’re very aggressive and made us chip and work for pucks. Once our forecheck really started going, that’s when we get our success. There were a couple of funny bounces tonight, but I’m kind of glad it went both ways and that was nice to see. They had a lot of firepower up front as well. They had goal scorers and we have to shut them down and hopefully limit their goal scoring.”
On power play adjustments:
“The first one I was 10 feet off the net and it went in. It was one of those things where we got another one later, Morgan’s went off their guy’s foot so it evened out that way, but I think on their second power-play goal, I should have came out higher to block that shot. That’s what it comes down to. Our penalty killing is our ability to block shots with their one-timers and their shooting threats. You saw Sean Little do a great job at the end. He blocked like three shots in one penalty kill. That’s what it’s going to take to be successful and just working as one unit and we progressed as the game went on.”
Forward Morgan Zulinick
On Mark’s strengths: “He battles down low and he can find us too. When I play with a guy like that, I just have to get open and he’ll find me.”