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Postgame quotes: Wisconsin vs. No. 1 Minnesota, Friday, Nov. 11



Nov. 11, 2011

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Wisconsin def. No. 1 Minnesota, 3-1 FINAL

Head Coach Mike Eaves
On how in the second period they were able to get so many two-on-ones:

"Philosophy was to keep chipping it across the ice and get into foot races and that's what happened in the second period. We chipped it, got the pucks and created some odd-man rushes for ourselves.

On if this was the most complete game the team has put together all season:
"Pretty solid. There was a lot of good detail, not too many turnovers. We made some really nice plays in our own zone and coming out of our zone. We played a nice game in a lot of areas."

On if he sensed the game was congenial and if it felt like a Wisconsin-Minnesota game:
"It wasn't the high emotion that one would expect. I don't quite know how to explain that. I thought whistle-to-whistle we were pretty good. One thing's for sure, they're going to have some hornets in their nest tomorrow and they're going to be ready to go."

On how Joel Rumpel's performance impacts relationships with coaches and team:
"Well it impacts more importantly the relationship with the players he's on the ice with. As Gary Shuchuk said, it almost seemed like he was yawning out there. He was in control, he was moving well, he was big. He had good rebound control, he moved the puck efficiently. So, I'd say the relationship with his teammates and the coaching staff went up after that performance."

On the play of Michael Mersch tonight:
"I thought in the first period he stumbled a little bit, and then the second period he took it to another level. We're starting to see these glimpses of Michael Mersch at a higher level now - a big time level. If we could string a whole bunch of those together we're going to have a special player."

Wisconsin Forward Keegan Meuer

On if they game felt like a rivalry:
It felt a lot like it to me. I don’t know what it looked like. There was a lot of emotion in our locker room and a lot of emotion on our bench. I thought the guys stepped up well and as a team we rallied around it and came together and played well … I thought our team stepped up well and we rallied around the passion and the rivalry. It’s a good idea to ignore it, but if you embrace it and go at it with the right attitude like our team did tonight where you fight well you can play well if you rally around that.   

On getting the second goal so quick:
It was real big, anytime you can jump on a team maybe they are a little down or shell shocked from the first goal and the fans get into it you can jump on them again. There is something about the Kohl Center when the fans get into it and you start just pouring them on. If you look at our good starts in our first periods I think we’ve had a goal and kind of just kind of fed off the energy of our crowd and fed off the energy of our team and we’ve used those to try and rally. You just stay the course keep fighting, keep battling and it’s nice when the crowd is behind you and you can put a couple in for them.

On the confidence they have with the goaltending:
I wouldn’t say we’re any more or less confident -- we’ve always been very happy with our goaltending from both goalies, but Joel got the first start on Friday night and I thought he was pretty happy with it. I don’t know what it looks like tomorrow but we will see if he gets another look tomorrow.

Wisconsin Goaltender Joel Rumpel
On his performance:
I felt pretty good out there it was kind of an easy job for me tonight. The team and our defense let me see every shot, they let me play my game and they cleared all the rebounds for me so that makes a goaltenders job pretty easy.

Wisconsin Forward Michael Mersch
On his two breakaways:
The first one was my first break away of the year and I haven’t been doing well in shootouts on Thursday in practice, but I came down and ripped one. It’s always a safe play to shoot, but right when I got back to the bench I thought I could fake it and so I pulled that off next time around.

Wisconsin Forward Mark Zengerle
On the play of linemates and Minnesota natives Joseph LaBate and Tyler Barnes:
First of all they both played great tonight, they were all over the puck. For Labate he was really, really looking forward to it. He kind of had a sense of an extra push to him. Barney’s always talking about how he feels about Minnesota and we’ll keep it at that, but they were really excited to play and they showed it tonight. 

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