Postgame quotes: Wisconsin vs. Minnesota State


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Nov. 23, 2012

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Wisconsin Head Coach Mike Eaves and Players Postgame Quotes

Wisconsin vs. Minnesota State

Nov. 23, 2012

Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

 

Mike Eaves

On the periods of the game:

“I'm going to have to go back and talk to Jim Snider and see if we had turkey again for pregame because it looked like we had too much tryptophan in our bodies. I looked to [Gary Shuchuk] on the bench and I said 'Who are these guys?' I mean, you watched us practice this week, we competed hard, we had good pace.

In the first period it just was slow, we didn't compete and the worst thing is we get behind 2-1. I had no issues with the second period, I thought we played well. In the third period, we probably had some of our better chances to score. We hit the post; the goalie makes, I think, an unbelievable save. I had no issues with the second and third, we lost the game in the first period."

On if giving up the goal off the first shot was a factor:

“I don't put any weight in that if it's the first shot, it's just the first goal. The first goal of the period by the other team where we get down is the factor there. The fact that it's the first shot I don't put a lot of stock in. But the fact it was the first goal it was them, yes."

On what is difficult about winning on home ice right now:

“I think it's been a different thing every night. It was our slow start tonight, not finding a way to score goals. We don't have a lot of room for error right now. We have to win these games 2-1, 3-2, try to get to that third goal would be nice once and a while. We're offensively challenged right now, we've talked about the fact we have to manufacture runs and we're not manufacturing runs enough to win games right now."

On feedback from the players on the slow start:

“We did speak , we pulled the captains aside after the end of the game and got their feedback. They had an interesting response. They just think that everybody has to be better at the beginning, it can't be just three or four guys, it's everybody. John Ramage had a stern message, Ryan Little had a stern message to the guys in between the first and second, but why then? Why not come before the game when the worst thing possible is to be embarrassed at home and in the first period?

 We tell our kids that every game is a riddle and there's no textbook answers. Well it's the same for a team, this team is a riddle right now for us as a coaching staff and for themselves to try to figure out who the heck we are. I said to them at the end as we walked out, we're not going anywhere and neither are you, so you better dig your heels in because we are going to figure this thing out together."

On if missing Mark Zengerle complicates the puzzle:

“The fact that those people are out, it certainly does. And that's what I was referring to before is that we have little room for error. We're trying to manufacture runs and we are missing some of those guys that have a big key part of that. We don't have a lot of room for error when it comes to offense."

On if coach Hastings has changed anything at Minnesota State:

“No, I don't think so. It's the first time we've played them. Their identity has always been a hardworking group, they've always had an older team and I think they compete hard. Their goaltending has always been good against us. Tonight the young man made some good saves. Pretty much the same, it's a good formula, it works. 

Senior Ryan Little

On if he can explain the slow start:

“No, I don't think I can. It was pretty obvious, coaches did everything they could this week in practice, we tried to get the team fired up and for some reason we came out dead and had no energy out there. When you play two-thirds of the game, odds are you aren't going to win most of the time."

On if he's puzzled by his team:

“We're puzzled, yes absolutely. We're all over the map. Start of the year, we came out flying in the first couple periods for the first two or three games and fell of the last period and now we're on the other end of the spectrum. I can't put my finger on it. I know it's extremely cliché and we keep saying that we have to go back to work, back to work and keep repeating ourselves, but that's literally our only option right now. I know no one in that room is going to give up, the coaching staff's not going to give up, the leadership group's not going to give up. That's our only option right now. We're pretty close to rock bottom and we've got to dig our way out."

 

Junior Michael Mersch

On if he has any answers to the slow start:

“I think more guys have to pick it up, maybe prepare better before the game. Maybe think about our systems, go over them in their minds. I'm not really sure, though I can't really speak for anybody else, but it needs to happen for us to win games."

On if missing Mark Zengerle is a factor:

“It's clear our power play needs a little more play making to it, Mark brings that. That's for sure. It's not an excuse that we don't have him. Other guys should be stepping up, myself included. Maybe I need to score another goal tonight to help us out or make another pass to somebody. Mark's a great player and we'd love to have him, but right now we are going to have to keep battling through it."

 

Sophomore Landon Peterson

On if he was surprised by the first 20 minutes:

“I'm definitely surprised after how hard these guys work in practice all week and we come out flat. Everyone can see that and it's disappointing but you just have to move on."

On what he saw on Minnesota State's first goal:

“I don't know exactly how it formed, but I know the guy had a pretty clear shot at the net. We had a pretty soft gap on him. It's pretty tough to let in the first shot that you see, but you have to control what you can and just move on from what happened. You can't dwell on the past."

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