Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Alabama-Huntsville, Dec. 14


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Dec. 14, 2012

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Wisconsin vs. Alabama-Huntsville
Dec. 14, 2012
Kohl Center -- Madison, Wis.


Head Coach Mike Eaves
 

On the team's momentum heading into its break.
"If you take a look at the last six games, starting in Denver, since that time we're undefeated. We come back home, we play a Tech team and get two ties and we're somewhat disappointed because we're at home where you're expected to win and we needed to win. Then we give ourselves a real nice gift here, as we get ready for the holidays. We're undefeated in our last six and maybe we can say that ship is turned around. Unfortunately now, we have a break. The kids can focus on their school and finishing strong. But, I think we leave with a good feeling. When they come back there should be a feeling of let's get going again. When we return on Dec. 27, we have a little over a week to get ready for Alaska Anchorage and that's a good road trip for us."

On what contributed to the slow start in the first period.
"I was talking to [Coach Gary Shuchuk] on the bench and it felt like our guys were trying, but there was this veil of we weren't connecting the dots, we weren't doing the right things. I said to [Shuchuk], it seems like we're playing like guys have tests and exams going on, and I said, `oh, wait we do.' So, we just talked about being positive on the bench, let's just keep this thing going and get better shift-by-shift. You could see when we came out for the second period there was a different level there. In the first period we only attempted 11 shots on net, in the second period we attempted 22--that doubled that. So, I think we started to pick it up and play very well in the second and carried it into the third.

On whether his team learned more from tonight or Thursday's game
"Both. Because you're talking about getting your first win and all the lessons we had there. We had a night where we were able to do a lot of things we hadn't done before. We dominated in certain areas of the game. Tonight was more competitive, so there are different lessons to learn. We go into the third period up by a goal and get the job done, there's more reference for that chapter in our book. So, I think both nights there were things to learn and things that we will take with us into the second half."

On if he believes his team learns more from adversity as opposed to dominating.
"We needed [to dominate]. We needed to have that insert of confidence and to feel like we could do some things. So, that's why I think [Thursday night] was as important as the game was tonight."

On if he believes the "ship is turned around."
"I'd like to think so. But, you can only really tell if we continue to play and see where we're at. So, I think the ship is in the port and when we come back at the end of December we're going have to get it out and get sailing again and see where it's at."

On his primary penalty kill unit killing off the five-minute major.
"It was interesting because they were able to keep their shifts at about 35 seconds. They just kept rolling. They made good plays, icing the puck and getting it 200 feet. They never got caught in their zone running around. So, we had talked about using a third set of guys to be ready to go out there, but we didn't need to. Those guys have our most reps, they understand how to block shots, [John Ramage] took one off of his wrist. They did a really good job."


UW Players

Derek Lee on how it felt to score.
"It's always good to score. I was kind of in a slump there for a bit, but I just want to help the team contribute in any way and it felt good to get one tonight."

Ryan Little on the game's physicality.
"I saw a few comments from their coach, he was pretty disappointed in them. So, I think he got them fired up a little bit. As soon as they start getting into that, we're going to respond back. Once you play a game [the first night] you're testing the waters out, and then [the second night] you know some more guys out there, you know what they're trying to do and that creates a little more emotion out there. So, I think that added to it."

Derek on which game the team learned more from.
"Getting a sweep in any series is tough. It was good for our club to go out and play hard both games. I think tonight we might have tried to rush things a little bit early, maybe thinking that it was going to be a little easier to score a lot of goals like the night before. But, we re-grouped, played hard and we went back to our systems and kept it simple and it was good to get the sweep this weekend."

Kevin Schulze on which game the team learned more from
"Maybe tonight because we won last night and it's tough to beat a team back-to-back any time."

Schulze on the pass that set up his first career goal.
"It's hard not to score that."

Ryan on what's contributing to Lee's strong play.
"The thing I like the most is his work ethic. We all know he has talent and he's good with the puck, but he's been working really hard the last three or four weekends and I think that is what has allowed him to be successful out there."

Ryan on if the ship is turned around.
"It's definitely not turned yet. It's turning, we're heading in the right direction. But, we've still got a lot of work to do. As our record shows we're still well below .500, so I don't think it's turned."

Ryan on the penalty kill unit and why it was successful tonight.
"We take pride in it in practice. We're the mock penalty kill, so we like to go out there and give the power play some grief. We try to shut them down, that's our goal out there. Doing that more and more and being familiar with each other out there helps. I thought we were really good when they were trying to break the puck into the zone. Our defensemen were back there quick and clearing pucks out so that helped our forwards a lot. They didn't have a whole lot of time to set up."

Derek on what's contributing to his strong play right now.
"It's the flow. Playing with [Michael Mersch] and now [Joseph LaBate]. Michael makes it easy. He wins a ton of battles and opens up a lot of room for me. We create the cycle when he's in the back of the net. Playing with those two guys, it's easy to move the puck to those guys and see them make plays. It's flow. We're moving around, we're passing the puck, it's fun hockey. It's a tribute to my line mates."

Derek on his goal tonight.
"On that play I read the guys eyes. He looked that way and he looked away and I guessed a little bit. It just happened to pop on my stick and I scored the goal." 

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