No. 13 Wisconsin vs. No. 12 Lake Superior State
Kohl Center — Madison, Wis.
Nov. 1, 2013
Wisconsin Head Coach Mike Eaves
Obviously, you don’t want to start out the game like you did tonight, did it surprise you at all coming off a bye week and then Boston? Did you expect a little different start?
"Well we were hoping for a different start. As a matter of fact, it felt like we were in Boston again. The goals they scored were like the ones in Boston where it was hitting people. The first goal hit three people and then went in. The second goal was tipped in as well. The third goal, I think Petey would like to have back and a second try at it. It felt like holy-smokes we still haven’t got the demons from Boston out of our system yet. Brian Posick asked, “Well what did you say after the first period?” Let’s just relax here. This is a test for us. It is a test of our maturity as a team. How are we going to handle this adverse situation. Let’s not go on our own pages and get it all done by us. Let’s continue to play as a team of units of five on the ice. Let’s just get our way back in and that’s exactly what happened. I’m pumped. This is exactly what we needed for our guys. This is the kind of game to get some sound feedback that says we are a pretty good team that overcame some adversity. We earned a 3-3 tie, we pulled our goalie and we did it. So that’s a good thing for us and that’s what we leave with tonight."
Unlike in Boston, did you think about taking Landon out?
"No, it was his game. He’s an older guy and I thought in the first period that Mr. LaBate [and] Barnes could give us more. They missed a couple shifts. You could sit them on the bench and wake them up but you’ve got to let your goalie get back into it. He did a good job and it was a test of his maturity as well."
In the second period there were lots of shots, did you think that you were going to get some goals?
"The talk on the bench was this; when a young goaltender is playing that well saving the puck, you really have to do a better job of taking his eyes away. It means screens, tip-ins and rebounds. If you look, the last two goals were tip-ins. So as well as he was playing, we did what we needed to do to give ourselves a chance to score and that was getting pucks and bodies at the net."
What did you make of the shoot out?
"Actually, I was watching the people in the stands once I told the guys who was going. I wanted to see their reaction and it was fun. It’s good entertainment value. In deciding whether to do shoot outs or not in college hockey, the one concern was how it was going to affect the RPI. They said it wasn’t because this goes down as a tie. It was great entertainment for the fans. I’ve become a fan of it."
Do you feel like your guys will get something out of this in conference play?
"Yup, it means a little more in conference play but we get some practice at it going right now.
How would you rate the performance in power plays?
"The first one was excellent. The second two were a little dysfunctional. I don’t think we did as good of job taking what was given. I thought they did a good job in the second and third power play of retrieving pucks. When there was a shot going and getting it back. We kind of forced things in the second and third power plays. We were going for three and we will take that to the bank and watch video to see if we can be better tomorrow night."
On the same lines coach, how do rate yourself in the PK tonight too?
"The first goal they got was tipped, saved and went right to the guy. In the second and third I thought we did pretty good jobs of doing what we needed to do. We cleared the puck 200 feet when we had the opportunity. So we did some pretty good things and I think we can be better tomorrow night though."
Junior goaltender Landon Peterson
On if the start tonight was reminiscent of how things went in Boston:
“It had its glimpses of it. There were some unfortunate bounces from the point. That happens sometimes, but it seems like they’re coming in pairs now. You have to forget about it. There’s nothing you can do about it and you can’t control it so you just have to move forward.”
On how he responded after giving up three early goals:
“You have to drop it and move forward. If you keep looking back on the past you can’t move forward. Luckily these guys were able to battle back for me. They played hard. We should have gotten a win, but unfortunately we got a couple of unfortunate bounces to start the game.”
Senior forward Mark Zengerle
On the team’s mentality after falling into an early 3-0 hole:
“It’s tough going down 3-0 right off of the get go, but, compared to the last time we played, it was a little different how we came back. We didn’t let them get four, five and six. The talk on the bench and in the locker room was to just take it one minute at a time and that is what we did. It’s too bad that we lost the shootout, but we showed growth in our game tonight and we just have to come out with a hotter start tomorrow night.”
On how they were able to solve Lake Superior State’s goaltender:
“The goals that we started getting came from being in front of the net. They were whacks and tips. On Barnes’ goals (in the third period), the first was a tip and then he got a rebound after Mersch got a stick on the original shot. It was deflections, we were able to take his eyes away. That’s what we have to do. We have to start getting goals throughout the game though, not just during desperation time. It’s our fifth game and at least we showed some maturity and growth in our game in that regard. Hopefully we carry that into tomorrow night’s game and come out with a win and, hopefully, with a prettier start.”
Senior forward Michael Mersch
On his thoughts about the shootout:
“It was interesting and it’s good for the fans. Tonight’s didn’t mean anything in the rankings because it counts as a tie. It’s exciting, though. You hope you are on the opposite end of it with a win, but it’s exciting and I think it’s a good way to end games.”