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Postgame Quotes: No. 17 Wisconsin vs. Penn State



Postgame Quotes
No. 17 Wisconsin vs. Penn State
Kohl Center—Madison, Wis.
Dec. 7, 2013

Final Stats

Wisconsin Head Coach Mike Eaves

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“I don’t know if you folks are aware of this, but we’re 6-0 when Sean Little scores. Just a little detail I thought I’d share with you guys… thanks Andy, I didn’t know that.”

On why Wisconsin is 6-0 when senior forward Sean Little scores a goal:
“He’s that spice in your stew that gives it some flavor. He comes out, he plays hard. He plays his game. He keeps it simple. Every once in a while we’ve been asking him to chip in, go to the next level, because he hasn’t done what he did tonight for… while since last year really. Him and (Jefferson Dahl) have been working after practice doing little things to get their hands going and thinking about chipping in offensively and tonight he was rewarded. But it started with his strength. That’s what he gives us. He’s our guy in the locker room that’s a little off centered and funny. When we do our shootout, he always comes down and does something creative for us to give the boys a little chuckle. So he’s an important part, no question.”

On if Little got both of this weekend’s game pucks which the UW players give to each other after every game:
“He got the hardhat tonight. Nic (Kerdiles) got the game winner, so he got that, but the boys gave Sean the hard hat, so it was recognition of his weekend.”

On if this was Little’s best overall weekend in his career:
“I would have to think so. It has to be up in the top three for sure. Timely stuff happened for us, with him, with the assist and the hit. So I have to think that it’s in the top three.”

On Little’s attitude about his weekend and how he will mostly likely come to the press conference downplaying his contributions:
“He’ll down play it for sure.”

On that being part of Little’s charm:
“It is. It really is. When he was given the hardhat, he put it on backwards and kind of saluted the boys in the locker room… you can picture him doing that.”

On having to forget last night’s performance, but also remember what happened last season (when Penn State beat UW 3-2 in overtime on Feb. 23):
“We talked about mindset a lot tonight. We talked about mindset at the meeting coming in to the game. We talked about mindset in between periods. We talked about it on the bench. 7-1 is not going to happen a lot. We found ourselves in a game where they were playing their game at a high level, chip it in, chip it out, just throw pucks at the net and see what we can get in terms of rebounds, and it was working well for them. But our mindset, we stayed persistent, we had a steely resolve to do what we wanted to do and it paid off for us. The exciting thing about this is it helps us form our team identity. We’ve been talking about that early in the season. Last year, we had an identity that they earned as the year went on and you only create it in terms of games and tonight was an important piece for us.”

On if Little is going to go home most excited about his hit that set up Joe Faust’s or his goal:
“Definitely the hit, definitely the hit. He gets more of those so he’ll be more excited about it.”

On how the Badgers started tonight’s game compared to Friday’s game:
“Well, we didn’t get trapped in our zone for almost two minutes tonight like we did last night, so that was a plus. Our start was better. We got everybody into the game right away, so we didn’t have to have guys sit on the bench and try to get the lactic acid out of their legs in the first two minutes. I think it was a better start just from that. We got the puck in deep and we did the things that we wanted to do, so much better start.”

Sophomore F Nic Kerdiles

On the importance of getting back on a winning track:
“It’s huge. Last weekend we didn’t get any points against Minnesota. The Big Ten is open now and we’re fighting for three points every night. To get six points this weekend is huge, and whether it was ugly or not tonight, we got it done. We look forward to next weekend.”

On how the team used what they learned from playing Penn State last year:
“We’re all aware of what happened last year. We did talk about it a little bit, but we didn’t focus on it too much. We just knew that we had to start off strong and play our game. We knew that if we did that, we would be successful. We’re not going to think too much about what happened last year and that’s what we did tonight. It wasn’t the prettiest game, but we got it done and that’s all that matters.”

On his transition from wing to center this season:
“I think it has gone pretty smoothly so far. Obviously, I have to get back to things like face-offs and getting used to taking those again, but those are repetition things and I am getting used to it again. But, I think I have a little more freedom now (as a center) when it comes to the middle of the ice and I can use my speed a little bit more, so that’s nice for me. My line is doing great and we’re connecting well, so I think it has been smooth so far.”

Senior F Sean Little

On his favorite part of tonight’s win:
“Obviously the win is the number one priority of our team. As for my favorite part, Mark Zengerle falling over in warm-ups is probably the top thing on my list. That was very entertaining.”

On his performance:
“Our whole line played well. Keegan Meuer had a great game, Joe Faust and his goal were huge for us and Grant Besse made a lot of great plays. Jefferson (Dahl) set me up on my goal, which may or may not have hit Brad Navin. I’m not sure. Overall, I’d say that Dahl, Keegan and Besse all set me up to have a successful game.”

On if he played the best series of his career this weekend:
“It could have been. I’m not the most offensively talented guy, so to have three points on a weekend is definitely a plus for me. But, like I said, everyone around me set me up for success, so I can’t take a whole lot of credit for this weekend.”

Senior F Jefferson Dahl

On why the Badgers are undefeated all-time when Sean Little scores a goal:
“I think it’s his lucky underwear that he has on (laughs). He just switched back to his old ones. But, when you get help from other lines from the top two it really helps the team. Fortunately for us he was on this weekend.”

On what Sean Little brings to his line:
“He’s most effective when he’s moving his feet, catching passes and getting up ice. On (Faust’s) goal he went and buried that guy, got the puck and made a good pass. When he gets down low in the corners he is tough to beat and you saw that this weekend.”

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