Postgame quotes: Wisconsin vs. Minnesota-Duluth, Dec. 9


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Wisconsin Head Coach Mike Eaves


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On the quick start in the first period:
“It was a great start, the best case scenario you would hope for. We played well, moved the puck crisply, and got some goals. But when you’re around this game long enough you recognize that 2-0 is the falsest lead in the game of hockey, and that’s what happened. In the second period it becomes 2-1 and the momentum changes. Next thing you know it’s 2-2 and things leveled out and the game went from there.”

On Brad Navin’s play tonight:
“It was a nice step forward for Brad tonight, getting that first goal. But his game has been opening up, you see the confidence level in a couple different areas. Now when he goes in to hit, he hits with authority. He’s making his decisions quicker and he’s shooting the puck with authority, so you can see the youth start to wane away a little bit and a college hockey player just starting to emerge.”

On how Minnesota-Duluth raised their level of play in a close game:
“In the second half of the third period their poise and confidence with the puck rose to a level that we don’t quite have yet. We’re just trying to get through that and encourage our guys on the bench to play with that poise and confidence—to be authoritative, and to have that belief that we can make plays. So that was a good experience for us, to get through that against the number one team in the country.”

On how Minnesota-Duluth’s experience helps them:
Well they’ve got a pretty veteran team and they’ve got a veteran goalie. We talked about it all week—they have that intrinsic knowledge after going through what they went through last year in that locker room, and they pass that to the young guys. That’s one thing that we miss right now is those older guys in our locker room when the coaches aren’t there, coaching our guys and making them aware of situations and how to play, and that’s definitely a positive factor they have in their locker room.”

On how he felt about tonight’s outcome:
“We talked about that as a team, because there is a side where we’re happy with the point against the number one team in the country, but there’s also that fine line where we cannot be satisfied. We had a 3-2 lead in our building and it slipped away, and we need to take that and build on that for tomorrow. If we slip tomorrow from where we are tonight, then this game tonight does us no good. We have to continue to push forward, and our attitude is ‘let’s not be satisfied, let’s continue to push’.”

On what he thought of the power play’s performance:
“We made the analogy in the locker room that it was kind of like the three-point shot in basketball. It wouldn’t go in the hoop and we couldn’t get to the offensive boards to tap it in. We did tremendous things: I looked at the stats and we were 1-8 but I bet we had chances on that thing that would number almost double digits. So I was pleased with everything we did, but we just have to put the biscuit in the basket.”

On Justin Schultz:
“I think that these types of games are ones that he relishes, because they’re big games and they push him to a level that he likes to play at and it brings out his best. I think you saw some really good hockey tonight, not only from Justin but from Mark Zengerle and their [Jack] Connolly. I think that those three players were pretty good out there tonight.”


 

Wisconsin Defender Justin Schultz

On Minnesota Duluth’s poise as a team:

“Yeah definitely, I mean they’re ranked No. 1 in the country and I think that just shows a lot.”

On Minnesota Duluth’s ability to come back twice and if that is what separates Wisconsin from playing at that level:

“I think that is part of the reason they won it all last year. They know how to win and win on the road especially. I think we’re young, but we’re figuring it out. It’s going to take time, but I think we are almost there and it was a good game tonight.”

 

Wisconsin Forward Mark Zengerle

On what he was thinking on the assist to Justin:

“First of all I’m thinking of just getting the puck to him. It was weird on the power play—we got so many chances today and it was weird how that one goes in. He’s the best in college hockey at getting those pucks through and it’s just a matter of time before one of them goes in. If you give him shooting lanes it’s probably going to go in more times than not.”

On everything being there during the power plays except for shots finding back of net:

“Yeah actually we came to the bench one time we were laughing because we had so many chances, and we felt it’s the best that our power play kind of moved around and everyone kind of got touches on it. We were just laughing how we hadn’t scored yet, but we were saying keep going and we’ll probably get one soon. And we did early in the third but our power play was great today. It is kind of frustrating when you’re not getting them but it finally did come.”

 

Wisconsin Forward Brad Navin

On his performance tonight:

“I played alright. I got that first goal so that was huge but the team, the boys and myself are definitely not satisfied with a tie so tomorrow we’ll come back. The energy tonight was great so I can’t imagine what is it going to be like tomorrow.”

Learn about quality of opponent:

“We came out flying in the first period and they responded, but we proved we can play with the No. 1 team in the nation so we’ll come back ready for tomorrow. I can’t wait for it.”

 

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