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Postgame Quotes: No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 1 Minnesota


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Postgame Quotes
Wisconsin vs. Minnesota
Feb. 15, 2013
Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

Wisconsin Head Coach Mark Johnson
Opening Statement
“I want to start off by thanking all of the fans that came out tonight to support our event. Certainly a special night for a lot of different reasons. Most importantly, we raised a lot food for Second Harvest Food Bank and obviously set an NCAA record. But I think also most importantly, we gave some players and individuals a memory that will last a life time, to get an opportunity to play in front of a big crowd. So thank you on behalf of the Athletic Department and certainly the Women’s Hockey Program.”

On what opened up for Minnesota in the second period after they played a tight first period:
“Well a couple of careless plays with the puck in the neutral zone. Certainly led to the first goal. In a game where the team that scored first would probably have a pretty good chance of winning, after watching the first 20 minutes, obviously you’re playing on a bigger ice sheet. The game’s a little bit different and you’re playing the second game. So they capitalized on a break down and then a second one to make it 2-0. I thought the first couple of shifts of the third, we looked like we were going to compete. They came down in the first play of the third period and their shot goes in. Now it’s 3-0 and you’ve got a little bit bigger hill to climb up.”

On why the Badgers seemed to play a different game than last night’s game:
“It’s probably a combination of a couple things. Sometimes when you’re at an event like this, you get so hyped up, then after the first couple of shifts your legs start to feel heavy. That’s why it’s important if you’re able to score, you get a quick shot of adrenaline that can help the process. But sometimes the most important games that you play are the ones where you get so excited and so fired up to play that sometimes you come out a little bit flat. And I think obviously playing on a bigger ice sheet expounds on that. So again, we weren’t able to score, we weren’t able to create energy. We were able to get chances, we just didn’t capitalize on it.”

On if playing on the bigger ice sheet causes problems filling up space against Minnesota:
“It certainly creates some problems. You look at the shot chart and if you’re going to beat them… you keep them in to the middle 20’s that’s not a bad place to be. It’s just a matter of the space and the timing. Again, on their fourth goal it’s an example of someone having a bunch of space and having somebody just a little bit out of position and by the time you get back in it, the pucks in your net. So it’s a good question and it’s certainly more challenging, especially with someone like the strengths that they have. Their biggest strength is their speed up front, so if you give them time and you give them space, it becomes more of a challenge to cover them.”

On the Olympics Men’s USA team beating Russia today and his reaction:
“It was exciting. It looks like a lot of people are watching by the articles and some of the SportsCenter shows that I’ve seen this afternoon, so what a great day for hockey. It’s different outcomes than I think some people anticipated on the women’s side and certainly on the men’s side. You don’t see that, I don’t want to say often, you hardly see what happened today in that game. With an individual taking six shots in a penalty shootout on someone else’s soil under that type of pressure. He probably could have scored all six. The two he missed could have gone in too. So it was special and certainly the electricity and excitement from the game has been shot out to the world. As my dad used to say, it’s a great day for hockey. Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t.”

On what he and the older players said to the younger players who haven’t been through this:
“It certainly creates some problems. You look at the shot chart and if you’re going to beat them… you keep them in to the middle 20’s that’s not a bad place to be. It’s just a matter of the space and the timing. Again, on their fourth goal it’s an example of someone having a bunch of space and having somebody just a little bit out of position and by the time you get back in it, the pucks in your net. So it’s a good question and it’s certainly more challenging, especially with someone like the strengths that they have. Their biggest strength is their speed up front, so if you give them time and you give them space, it becomes more of a challenge to cover them.”

On the girl’s being frustrated that the shots weren’t going in:
“It creates it, especially after they got the third goal. They want to do well. They wanted to win the game and it looked like we weren’t going to do it, so naturally kids are going to get frustrated. But I was trying to figure out how we were going to get a goal. Maybe put different line combinations to try to create a goal, because in a game it can change real quickly. If you score, you create some energy. Even though we’re down 2-0 going in to the third period, that’s alright. Now we just need to get the next goal. Even at 3-0, if you can get a goal, funny things can happen. If you get a power play or two power plays or a major, that’s why you want to play until the end and you have to compete. You’ve got to keep working because the game is a funny game and some nights, funny things happen. Unfortunately, in the later part of third period, we really didn’t get an opportunity or a bounce to put the puck in the net to create that energy that we needed, especially in tonight’s game.”

On the girl’s being frustrated that the shots weren’t going in:
“If you look at the way the season has rolled along, obviously if you’re picking a favorite it’s got to be Minnesota. They’ve only lost one game in the last two year, so they’ve got confidence. They’ve got a lot of things going well for them. But after next Saturday’s game, everybody goes back to the starting line and that’s the exciting thing about playoffs. As we’ve seen not only with our league this year, but you’ve seen the whole landscape of women’s hockey, funny things are happening. And people, I don’t know if they’re prepared for them, but as a coaching staff and players, other teams are doing a lot of good things and they’re winning hockey games that maybe a couple years ago they might not have won. If you look at our league, there are two, three or four teams that can come out of it.”

Freshman forward Sarah Nurse
On the takeaways from the series:
“I think it is obviously a learning experience. We will come back this week and watch video, look on things that we have to get better on. There is still season left so we are looking forward to the future.”

On her play during the series:
“I think I’m pretty happy with the opportunities I have. Obviously, I have to capitalized on a couple of those opportunities and help my team win the game.”

Senior Goaltender Alex Rigsby

On the second period with the number of shots:
“I thought we came out with a lot energy in the second period. They got that first one on me and then they were able to get a second goal too. In between periods, we went in the locker room and were able to refocus. We were like, ‘We can do this.’ We just needed to create our own energy and get a goal. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to do it. Overall, I think our team did a great job.” 

On coming out on the ice for Fill the Bowl:
“I think it was a pretty big adrenaline rush for the team. We never had the fog machine before. It was pretty exciting to come out and have a huge attendance already. It was loud out there today and we were really lucky to have the support that we do with the Badger community. We want to thank them for donating all of the food as well. It helps us so much when we come out and there is all this energy knowing that they are coming here and cheering for you.” 

On the take away from the series:
“It’s tough. I haven’t beaten them since my sophomore year, first series cleanly. To be honest, I’m tired of losing to this team but it is going to bring a determination to us. I think we can recover from this and like (Sarah) said we can refocus and come back from the season strong and into the playoffs. We are definitely going to face them again, no doubt. Hopefully we are able to capitalize on our opportunities and refocus. Make sure we do the little things right to succeed.”

ON WISCONSIN
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