No. 14/15 Wisconsin vs. Alabama-Huntsville
Dec. 27, 2013
Kohl Center - Madison, Wis.
Recap | Final Stats
Head Coach Mike Eaves
On the team's start to the game:
"I think the mindset was a big help. I think coming into the series recognizing what was at stake, what we needed to do. And I agree with you, I think having a bunch of older guys does help keeping everybody focused, it keeps them in that right mindset, so getting that early lead is always a good thing."
On feeling in control of the game with it only 2-0 heading into the third:
"Having the feeling of control is a very slippery slope to feel, and even if its 2-0 going into the third and the thing that we talked about is 2-0 is the worst lead in hockey if you've been around any time that's a scary thought because its either...the next couple goals are huge. It's either 2-1 or 3-0. And that third goal that Besse scored was a big one and the probably the watershed moment of the game. Even though the shots were what they were and the possession was what they were, you just have to get that next goal so that the bounce of a puck doesn't put you back on your heels."
On the balanced scoring from the lineup and how it is encouraging:
"Yeah I think the two things coming back from break you usually see is the guys have energy. They go home, they rest, they're really excited to come back, school's over so they had that. The other aspect that comes with having the break is you have rust. And again, the sights on our guns were a little off tonight, but we managed to tuck five in."
The message to the team to avoid second-night struggles:
"Well we lived through it last year a little bit, when we played Penn State. I think the score was 5-0 the first night, then we went out and we were up 2-0 and we fired a lot of pucks, and we all know the result of that game, so know for a fact they're gonna come out they're gonna have a burr, I think again. The simplest answer is we have to make sure our mindset is of the proper one that we go out there and we have that edge that you need to have in order to create a victory."
On UAH's play:
"They played right to the end, and even the last four minute timeout I could see coach giving them, `hey, this thing, who we are, we're going to play right to the end' so they take pride in that. They lost 10-0 up in St. Cloud and they came back the next night and lost a one-goal game. And they lost in Bowling Green three spit and they came back the next night and won in overtime, so if you take a look at their pattern, tomorrow night's gonna be a whale of a hockey game."
On the team's power-play performance:
"Yeah there was a couple different things, I thought Jake McCabe in particular fought the puck a little bit and didn't make the passes and it rolled on him a couple times. We need to get some pucks down there. The other unit with Frankie [Simonelli] and [Kevin] Schulze on the top end, they actually had more chances and shots but again, being off the length of time we've been off it's about getting the rhythm again and getting the rust off so you know what, maybe tomorrow night they'll get that rust off and they'll contribute."
On the difficulty for goaltender Joel Rumpel in managing a game like this with few shots:
"Well keeping your mind in the game, you've been around Andy, long enough that it becomes a mental battle then to keep yourself focused and not wander off and think about the smell of popcorn from the stands or that type of thing. He did a pretty good job. Even when the puck was dumped in what was pleasing to us as a coaching staff was that he got out there he stopped it, he made the right play, so you could tell his mind was still in the game."
On Keegan Meuer getting a goal and more playing time:
"Oh, he's excited. He got the game winner! And you know as a player you want that responsibility, and with Nic [Kerdiles]being gone he gets a chance to really show what he can do and contributed tonight and you know that's as much as we can give him as far as ice time, he wants to be out there."
On Morgan Zulinick's first collegiate goal and his recent struggles:
"It's a maturation process. We welcome these young 18-year old young men to our campus and it's a pivotal part of their growth as human beings and Morgan's had his up and downs and he's still growing but I thought tonight was a nice step for him and he gets his first goal and he works hard and he makes good decisions at the blue line with the puck to get it in or to carry it. He rung one off the post -- actually it hit the cross bar and the down post. You know those are good signs from Morgan and with that comes confidence. You can see his growth right in front of our eyes."
Forward Keegan Meuer
On starting the game quickly after having a break:
"It was good to go out there and have a solid start. It was a fortunate bounce for us and we were able to get a quick goal there to start and you get that confidence back. We definitely had some miscues out there. Pucks were bouncing on us a little bit but it was really nice to get out there and have a good start. I think that helped guys get confidence going out there and once you start with a little bit of confidence, everybody feeds off it. We were able to use that and come out with a good first period."
On if every line contributing is a sign of a better Badgers team:
"I would definitely say it's a sign of a better team. We did come in with limited ice time, limited practice, but I think guys did a good job over break of making sure they were ready and staying sharp and focused. We took our time yesterday very seriously. We have a message as a team to come out and we have got three more games, so we want to come out 3-0 in the rest of these games. We'll take it one game at a time, but we need to make some hay while the sun is shining."
On scoring his goal and how that helps confidence:
"It was good. I don't know if it was their defenseman or if there was a deflection, but it came right off the net and happened to come right on my stick and the goalie seemed a little bit surprised by it. He was a little off his angle and I was able to put a quick one by him. Getting that confidence back coming off a break, you feel like you're right back in to it. It was good to get one early personally and for the team."
Forward Morgan Zulinick
On if it felt like the Badgers dominated UAH from the start:
"It did. Off the start, I thought right away we were in the zone playing a lot of offense. It felt like we didn't play too much defense. They were a pretty good team though. They never really let up on us, but it felt like we were playing more offense than defense."
On if scoring his first goal as a Badger made it a memorable night:
"It will definitely be a memorable one for me."
On if he feels he played well:
"I felt I played better than I've been playing. I got that goal and it was kind of a load off the back. After that, I had a little bit more confidence. I play with great guys and they help me out."
On his first goal as a Badger:
"After Keegan (Meuer)'s goal, pretty soon after, we went in the zone and I don't really remember what happened it all happened so fast. I just remember getting a pass from Sean Little through a few guys right on my tape and I was like, `Oh, I better shoot it,' and I let it rip. Not really, it kind of went on the ice pretty slow, but it went in and I was like, `thank god.'
On if it felt good to score a goal to start the third period and go up 3-0:
"Yeah. A two-goal lead is the worst lead in hockey they say. When we got that third one it was like, `alright, here we go, let's keep going.'"
Goaltender Joel Rumpel
On the challenges Rumpel had to deal with after having so few shots on goal:
"Obviously the team was great in front of me. It is a little tough when you only get no shots the first period and three shots in the second. You have to stay in it a little bit, try not to fall asleep. The team kept all the shots to the outside so that helped too."
On the mindset the team has to have for Saturday's game:
"Obviously they're going to have a bounce back game. They are coming off of a long break too, so the second game will be a better view of what kind of team they are. I know that our team will come out hard like they will and that will be key to fending them off another night."