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Postgame Quotes: No. 18 Wisconsin vs. Penn State, Feb. 24



Feb. 24, 2013

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Wisconsin Postgame Quotes
No. 18 Wisconsin vs. Penn State
Kohl Center — Madison, Wis.
Sun, Feb. 24, 2013

Head Coach Mike Eaves

On what was said after the first period:
“What was simply said was that we haven’t played in a week, we’re going to be better in the second period because we’ve played a period now, so let’s go out and play at a pace and a tempo that we want. It was more just a reassuring that we’re going to be OK. I think sometimes that gets lost when you only play twice a week and now we’ve had a full week without playing and we had a couple days off in there, trying to be smart about how to grind our kids during practice, and in the second and third the pace and the tempo took over.”

On what Penn State did well:
“It was 0-0 after one and only 2-0 after two, which is the worst lead in hockey. We came through in the third, but they worked hard and played together as a unit when they were on the ice. They kept themselves in the game. Guy [Gadowsky] is a good coach and he knows what it takes. Sometimes you have to get some pieces in there to make it all work, but they’re going in the right direction.”

On if the Badgers were a desperate team tonight:
“No, I don’t think so. We just talked about playing at tempo and pace. We know what that is from the inside out. We’ve played some teams that have that great pace and that was our focus. I don’t think it was desperate at all. It was wanting to play at a high tempo and pace.”

On the strides John Ramage has made as a player this season:
“His strength is also his weakness. He’s a caring guy and he wants to do whatever it takes to help his teammates out. Last year, his fault was that he tried to do everything himself instead of delegating and trusting his teammates to do their part. So, I think during the course of last year and then now into this year he was a lot more comfortable in his role as captain because he trusted and he delegated and he just has to do his part now when it comes to playing.”

On if this was the breakthrough he was looking for from Tyler Barnes:
“Hopefully it’s a confidence thing for him and a momentum thing. I think more than anything if he can have that feeling of confidence from the inside out and have that momentum going that could be real valuable thing for him, and us.”

On if there is potential for a good rivalry with Penn State:
“No question. If you take a look at Guy’s record in his coaching, everywhere he’s gone his teams have gotten better and better. He knows what it takes. We’re in the Big Ten, there’s history with all our sports, and I think that’s what’s going to be picked up here.”

On if this game could be a turning point for the power play:
“We think so. We have felt that if we could get Derek Lee and Jake McCabe and [Barnes] and [Mark Zengerle] and [Michael Mersch] together that that would be a pretty good unit. It looks like it in practice. For different reasons, one guy has been injured and another guy has been out, but when they’re together they can be pretty darn good for us. I’ll tell you, the other unit they did some good things too. We created 20 shots on our power play tonight and [Joseph] LaBate and [Brendan Woods] and [Nic] Kerdiles, they were a product of forcing a lot of shots on net for us. So, it was good for them to get a power-play goal too because they work hard and they’ve been doing a lot of good things for us.”

On if the Badgers have the right level of confidence as the season winds down:
“I would say yes. I think they identify with the kind of team they are. Other teams talk about us and say we’re hard to play against. I think we understand that if we get our power play working that’ll be a big key for us, producing some goals. When we get into the playoffs, we play a pretty stingy game. We don’t give up a lot and that’s to our benefit.”

Wisconsin Players

Tyler Barnes on Coach Eaves’ pep talk during the first intermission:
“Our team knows what we have and what we’re capable of. It’s just one of those things, a pat on the back to say you guys know what you’re doing, be ready, come back together and play like we know how to play.”

John Ramage on where the Badgers are as a team right now:
“It starts with [Joel Rumpel] on the back end, good goaltending and playing good defense as a whole and you build from there. Tonight we were able to put together five goals, which we haven’t done a lot this season. [Penn State] works hard. They’re not easy to play against by any means and they showed that in the first 20 minutes. It was good for our team to come back and get 51 shots on net after six shots in the first period, so I think that says something about where our team is at right now.”

Barnes on if this game was a breakthrough for him and his line:
“I’ve had opportunities this season. I haven’t been able to close on them. That’s when I would really be nervous, is if I wasn’t getting opportunities. I knew to just keep working hard, bear down and eventually they’d start coming. I think a lot of that comes down to Mark and Nic and how they’re playing and helping me out. We’re really getting some quality chances and I think that’s where it stems from.”

Joel Rumpel on what type of captain Ramage has been this season:
“He’s been great. Probably the best captain I’ve had in my playing career. He’s calm, but he knows when, like today when coach came in and gave us a pat on the back, John came in and told us we’re better than that and we need to be better than that. We have a lot of respect for him. He’s a great captain.”

Ramage on how much the Badgers pay attention to things like the standings and PairWise Rankings:
“Every team looks at the standings. Every team wants to know where they’re at. But, at the same time, we’re trying to control what we can control, and that’s winning. By doing that, I think we’ll be in a good place at the end of the season. It doesn’t matter where we’re at in the PairWise, but if our team is rolling and hot going into the playoffs, I like our chances.”

Barnes on if he sees the potential for a good rivalry with Penn State:
“Definitely. You could feel the energy that they were playing with. They came out hard right our of the gate and they really took it to us. We had a lot of turnovers in the first period and you have to give them credit for those. They were really working hard and not giving us a lot of time and space. We weren’t making the best possible decisions that were available at the time. You have to give them credit for how they came out. I really could see this developing into something that becomes a good rivalry.”

Ramage on what bugged him about the first period:
“We just could’ve been better, just could’ve been sharper. It starts with having a week off, but you always want more from yourself and the team and that’s what we did in the second and third periods and showed what we are capable of. We really took it to them.”

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