Postgame quotes: Wisconsin vs. Minnesota


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Postgame Quotes
Wisconsin vs. Minnesota
Feb. 6, 2013
Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

Head Coach Mike Eaves
On what he is most satisfied with after tonight’s game:
“Well we got outshot 32-19 and so the first thing that would indicate is that Joel [Rumpel] was pretty good in the net and he was for us. Penalty killing had to do their part with him leading the way. We did some good things, blocked some shots. In all honesty, it looked like we had our classroom legs out there tonight when we played, especially the first two periods, I didn’t think we particularly played very well. And so the third thing that I will say was good is the fact that our guys hung in there on a night when we weren’t playing very well and found a way to get a victory. Minnesota controlled the pace, they had the puck more in the first two periods, we only got three shots in the third. But our guys hung around. We have played better here and lost. It’s funny how the game goes sometimes and tonight we didn’t play very well and found a way to win. There’s an old cliché in hockey and in sports that good teams find a way to win on nights they don’t play well. So we’ll deposit these points in the bank and our task tomorrow is to come back and play better at a higher level.”

On Jake McCabe redeeming himself with a big goal:
“Jake is a big-time player and he wants to be that guy. I don’t know if Rau knocked it off his stick, I know he tried to rim it and whether it flubbed on him or it was knocked off. It was a turnover and they ended up scoring. And then Jake is one of the guys on the team that we as a coaching staff look to and his teammates look to in big moments -- come up with big plays and he did that for us tonight and for that we’re thankful.”

On applying lessons learned from past games where the score has been tied in the third period to get the win tonight:
“I think so, we’re an older team and we’ve talked multiple times that we have an upperclassmen team and I think that there was no panic on the bench. There was actually some really good dialogue from our older guys in the locker room between the second and third and on the bench. Sometimes when you get a lead against a good team there’s an ‘oh my goodness, oh my goodness’ giddiness and there was none of that. They stayed pretty calm and did some good things and as a result we kind of brought that win in.”

On Soleway’s contribution to the team:
“In the first goal he gets credit too because he was in front of the young goaltender when Frankie took the shot for the goal so Jedd has done a lot of things that go unnoticed with his presence in front of the net, and that goal he went all the way around the net. And I still think we’re seeing holes in his game in terms of systems play. He still has to get better at the details. But with his size and the way he can shoot, we’re trying to find ways for him to be a contributor.”

On the team’s physicality in tonight’s game:
“The physicality is predicated by the fact that I think we didn’t get there as often and as fast as we needed to. I think we can be more physical because our skating will allow us to get there to be physical, so that’s one area that I hope improves tomorrow.”

On the most challenging aspect of Minnesota’s game:
“Their pace, their speed and we hadn’t been on a big sheet in about a week and a half and at times in our defensive zone coverage it looked like we watched them go side to side rather than skate and move and take time and space away. We got somewhat better as the game went on but we need to really pick that up tomorrow because there’s no way we can play back-to-back games like that and have a chance to win.”

On the significance of this win moving forward:
“Well it’s against the number one team in the country, that’s going to mean a lot at the end of the year. So to hang our hat on, we’ll hang our hat on it because we beat the number one team in the country, but we know internally that we need to be better and we can be better. We’ve played way better this year.”

Junior defenseman Jake McCabe
On the lessons learned from previous games in which they trailed or were tied in the 3rd:
“I think coach gave us a little pep talk, if you want to call it that, after the second. We weren’t playing well tonight and with a veteran team like we have, we’ve been here before multiple times, not just this year, but in the past couple years, and we have learned to finish games. You have to stay on course, and I guess we call it ‘patiently persistent.’ We just wanted to settle down, get pucks in, get pucks out. I guess it wasn’t pretty but when you get that ‘W’ in the end that’s all that matters.”

On redeeming himself from the turnover that led to a goal in the first period:
“Actually after the first, I sit next to (Joel) Rumpel in the locker room and I said I owed him one. That’s definitely my fault completely. [Kyle Rau] beat me to the puck, turnover, bang, goal. Unacceptable. When I’m out there, me and Frank especially, we want to be plus every night. We’re relied upon to be consistent defenders and to let Joel down like that, it’s never a good thing as much as he bails us out every game. I guess to get him one back actually felt good.”

On Jedd Soleway’s role in his goal:
“Jedd’s a big boy obviously and he’s good down low. He’s best when he’s moving his feet down low and I think that’s really what it comes down to. He’s fending off that defender and moving his feet the whole way through. I don’t even really know why I was up there to begin with, but like you said, it started with Jedd and he found me on the backdoor there and I think LaBate was the one who took away (Adam) Wilcox’s eyes and you just have to find that open spot. It’s a big time play for a freshman.”

On why the team has had such success at the Kohl Center:
“I think just the biggest thing, we’ve been asked this question before, especially throughout our home stand, but I think when we come into this building every night we expect to win. When you have that kind of mojo, I guess, and you have that confidence it really goes a long way. We’ve gotten some good support from our fans this year, it’s definitely improving. We want to give back to them and we’re really playing for each other out there. Like I said, we expect to win every night and tomorrow night we’re going to expect the same.”

Senior defenseman Frankie Simonelli
On what the win meant despite not playing that well:
“We definitely didn’t play our best hockey out there but when you can find ways to win like that, it definitely helps out. Sometimes going through the season, you’re not going to have your best game every night but if you can come out of the game with a win that’s definitely a good thing. We’re going to regroup and come back at it tomorrow.”

On why the team has had such success at the Kohl Center:
“I think it starts our fans and the support they give us. The Kohl Center is one of the best places to play in college. When you’ve got the support behind you, 10- to 15,000 people night in and night out it definitely helps you. I think everyone likes playing in their own environment. We’re used to it, we’re used to the big ice out there and I think that helps us out a lot.”

On whether or not he thought his goal gave his team a lift despite Minnesota tying it shortly after:
“Yeah, definitely. Anytime you get the first goal it’s big. But our power play has been kind of struggling as of late, so that helps it out, as well. But after that it came to the end of the period one to one, but we still knew that we were in the game and it might not have been our best period, but when you come out of the first period one to one, you go back looking for the second period and hope to have a better period.”

Junior goalie Joel Rumpel 
On his save on Kyle Rau’s breakaway:
“We had a back checker on him pretty tight and he was kind of on his hip on the left side there so I knew he had to kind of go glove side on me. And I just kind of read the play, had good speed coming back and I guess I just touched it with my stick and barely caught it with my pad. No, it was a good move by him, and it ended up fortunate that it stayed under my pad.” 

On the shot blocking from the rest of the team:
“They blocked a lot of shots, they always do. It’s kind of what we live and die by on our team. Especially these two next to me, they’re great in front of me. And again, the shots that they had, they keep them to the outside for the most part and that makes my job pretty easy and helps me out a lot.” 

On whether or not the team took note of Minnesota at least splitting series over last five years in Kohl Center:
“It’s always tough to win two in a row against any team in this league. But, I don’t know, it’s kind of just forget about tonight and regroup and watch a little video and just kind of come back and just the 1-0 every night, kind of our mentality. But yeah, it is tough to win against any team two nights in a row but we don’t really look at it that way. We just want to be 1-0 every night, which hopefully we do tomorrow.”

On how different the team is since last playing Minnesota:
“We’re a different team now. We’ve learned a lot since then, and going into the third period, 30 seconds left and they ended up getting the winning goal, which was a heartbreaker. Kind of tonight, going into the third period tied again and we just didn’t want to let that happen again and we battled hard and didn’t let it happen.”

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