UW Health Sports Medicine 

Postgame Quotes: No. 18 Wisconsin vs. No. 2 Minnesota, Feb. 17



Feb. 17, 2013

Recap |  Final Stats

Wisconsin Postgame Quotes
No. 18 Wisconsin vs. No. 2 Minnesota
Sun., Feb. 17, 2013
Soldier Field -- Chicago

Head Coach Mike Eaves
“We rode a real good, explosive period for us, in terms of goal scoring, by scoring three goals. I think we did a good job in the third period of keeping the puck down in Minnesota’s zone. We kept it simple. Having the lead, it’s a game that you don’t have to press and you can just put it to areas.  We protected the puck well and even created a couple of scoring chances.
“One of the things we talked about this past week is that we’re in the dog days of the second half of the WCHA. To have an event like this becomes an emotional energizer. It’s different. It’s unique. It’s not just another game in the second half of the season.”
On why the teams elected to switch sides midway through the third period…
“Well it was a unique situation in that the referee came over and I’m sure he said the same thing to [Minnesota Coach Don Lucia]; he said ‘the ice is really bad down there and it is our recommendation that we need to split the ice.’ So, we took his recommendation and then we had the choice of which end to take first. We chose what we did because we wanted to have the line changes closer to our bench in the last two minutes.”
Junior Forward Michael Mersch
“We have season tickets here (Soldier Field) as a family and it was a surreal experience to be able to share this with my teammates and get the win tonight.”
Senior Defenseman and Captain John Ramage
“It was a great feeling, being in Madison and at Camp Randall, but for our team, this year, playing at Soldier Field and playing against Minnesota, a big rival, I think this definitely overtakes it. Today was a big win for us and hopefully it will push us forward to the end.”
Sophomore Goaltender Joel Rumpel
“Tonight we just battled in front of the net. The defense helped me see every puck and they cleared all of my rebounds, which makes my job pretty easy on the penalty kill.”

Head Coach Don Lucia
Opening statement…
“It was obviously a great experience to be a part of a game like this. It’s something I know our players will remember the rest of their lives. But, like I told them, you remember it better if you win. Unfortunately that didn’t happen tonight.  I thought we came on and played a very good first period and then ultimately the second period cost us tonight.”
On the game comparing to the NCAA tournament…
“Four quality teams here. It reminds you of that type of an (NCAA) environment and this was a good experience for our players.”
On the venue…
“The weather cooperated. It wasn’t that cold. The guys had a great time. Last night, I had to get them off the ice. They probably would have stayed and practiced for a couple hours if they could have.”
On the event ...
The experience was terrific. The guys did a great job and came out, and ultimately didn’t win, so that’s the disappointing part; but all-in-all, just a quality experience for the players involved.  And I think the fans had a good time … and that is what to me, this game was a little bit about—the event—to experience something like that. It was two thumbs up for everything. The organizing committee did a fantastic job and it really felt like an NCAA environment the way it was handled.”
Zach Budish Junior Forward
On the event…
“Like coach said, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us … We want to thank the people who put this event on.  It was a great experience for us, but obviously frustrating to come off with a loss. Like coach said, it’s a lot better when you win.”
On the hype of the game…
“Obviously it’s disappointing to lose, but we talked about it last night as a team that this is a big stage and big event and you get treated well. A lot of attention.  It’s a Sunday game so not a lot of college games were today, so I’m sure people were tuning in across the country.  It is what it’s like when you get down to the NCAA tournament and I think it’s a good learning experience for us.  We have to learn to play a full 60-minute game and I think we got away from our game a little bit there in the second.  Give Wisconsin credit.  They went to the net and they made plays whether it was off their stick or whatever.”
On the event as a whole…
“We were treated very well when we came here. The second we got to the hotel, there was someone there to greet us and the whole staff put on a great outing for us as players and I’m sure the fans had a good time. It was a good crowd and a lot of our fans from Minnesota made the trip, so obviously it’s frustrating for us to not get them the win when they traveled six, seven hours. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, big stage and we just fell short.”
Nate Schmidt Junior Defender
On the venue…
“I hadn’t been to Soldier Field before and it was my first experience here.  It’s a great venue. It was unbelievable; you could feel the fans on top of you from however far away they were. It was a good atmosphere, a great event and we appreciate our time here. They put on a really good event for us.  Just tough that it came out the way it did.”
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