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Mike Eaves postgame quotes from Nov. 24


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ON WISCONSIN

ON WISCONSIN

Nov. 24, 2012

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Wisconsin Head Coach Mike Eaves Postgame Quotes

Wisconsin vs. Minnesota State

Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

Why did you swap out Joel Rumpel for Landon Peterson after the first period.
From the bench, two out of the three goals seemed to go through him, so I felt like he was fighting it a little bit. I know he really wanted to play tonight and play well and make a difference. It was kind of a gut feeling in what I saw on the bench.

Last night Ryan Little talked about hitting rock bottom, did you get closer to that or did you distance yourself from that.
We made the analogy after the game. [Gary Shuchuk] and Matt [Walsh] has seen a lot of hockey…when you get in these funks, it is like turning a freight liner in the middle of the ocean. You don’t turn it on a dime. You have to bring it around in a circle. With the effort that the boys made tonight, they started to make that thing turn. That is the thing we wanted them to leave the rink with tonight.

Where would you be without Michael Mersch?
We would have fewer goals, that’s for sure. I think maybe for young Tyler Barnes – you talk about hitting rock bottom – if wasn’t for bad luck he wouldn’t have no luck at all. But that too will turn. What I like about Tyler tonight versus the first period last night, he was good all game. He created chances. He was good when he didn’t have the puck. This will change for him.

Do you think you are losing this group?
No, not at this point. Not right now. I look in their eyes and they are responding. The things they are saying on the bench. We wish success for them so they have some reward. You can ask the players when they come, but my feeling is when I am looking at their eyes on the bench and listening to them, they are still with us.

If there was a separation in the series between the teams, is it their number of playmakers.
We gave up [only] 11 scoring chances last night. I bet we gave up 11 tonight. I think they took advantage of their opportunities. They were opportunistic. Their three goals, other than their high sticking one, we were right there, but not there.

What do you say to the fans right now?
Stay with us. This group has not quit. They work hard. We’ll get healthier and we will have some difference makers in our lineup and they’ll like watching this team so stay with us.

You are more positive than last night. How do use the team’s frustration.
First of all, I am encouraged by what we did tonight. Again, talking about moving that freight liner in the middle of the ocean. We are starting to turn that. There is no doubt there is frustration on the boys part because they are disappointed in not getting rewarded for their efforts. Their mindset as a human being is ‘I work hard therefore I will be rewarded with a win. That is an athlete’s mindset. We are not being rewarded right now with goals and/or wins. It is how you channel that frustration. To your point, it is how we channel that frustration that becomes energy for us.



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