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Postgame Quotes: No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 9 North Dakota


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ON WISCONSIN

March 7, 2014

Recap |  Box Score

March 7, 2014

Postgame Quotes
Wisconsin vs. North Dakota
March 7, 2014
Sanford Center - Bemidji, Minn.

Wisconsin Head Coach Mark Johnson

Overall thoughts on the game:
"I thought we played with a lot of heart. Obviously it was a disappointment. Overall I thought we played okay, but this time of the year okay isn't good enough. The nice part about it is that we get to play another game and hopefully this can be a learning experience and come back and make some offense and understand that we have to give a little bit more if we are going to be successful."

On the lack of power play opportunities in the playoffs:
"Obviously if you end up with a zero on the scoreboard you're best chance to score is if you get a power play and if you don't get any obviously that's going to make the task a little more challenging to score. But those are questions that the supervisors and the refs have to answer. We're just out there trying to figure out how to win a hockey game and the kids are playing hard and at this time of the year there's things at stake, there's high stakes and if team's lose their seasons might be over. So not only the players have to elevate their games but the other people involved in the game have to elevate it and understand that."

On the challenges of having your best scoring chances come in the first half of the game:
"The first period we played well, we had a couple of good opportunities. Britt went in all alone on a breakaway and the goaltender was able to make some saves early on. One thing you learn in the playoffs is certainly in NCAA games the goals especially the first ones create a lot of energy. In the second period for the first 8-10 minutes again we played well and there was about three faceoffs in our defensive zone where they ended up winning the faceoffs and create some opportunities out of it and got some offensive zone time through that. And then they scored the goal. Certainly that excited them and the first four-five minutes of the third period it was a bit like a game of chess, but at that time we need to be a bit more assertive and then they called a timeout and I thought from that point on that we started to play a little bit more desperate and started to create some chances but then you pull your goalie and it's only one to nothing, if you score even with x amount of seconds to go then suddenly you have the energy but we weren't able to do that."

On the momentum shift after UND scored:
"I think there was a little bit of shift after the three or four of our defensive zone  faceoffs that we lost, back to their point then the puck goes to the scoring area or to the back of the net, up to that point we hadn't spent a lot of time in our defensive zone with any type of pressure. They created some chances there and shortly after that we turned the puck over and they get a bounce and they're up one to nothing. When we score we're excited, so when they score they get excited."

On any silver linings to playing only one game this weekend:
"The silver lining is that if you take the lessons you learn from this game and as I mentioned to the team, I'm ok with the way we played but if we want to move on at this time of the year you need to play better. If they take that away from the game then it's a good lesson to learn and we move on to the next one. Obviously we're fortunate to get another opportunity but that doesn't mean you're going to be successful unless you continue to learn. And for our younger players it's the first time through and hopefully some of the lessons they've learned from the past couple weekends will make us a tough out. Now you're three games away from a national championship but the stakes are higher too."

Wisconsin senior goaltender Alex Rigsby

On how tough it is to stay mentally-focused:
"Yeah the most important thing for me is that I remain focused throughout the game. You never know when they're going to get a break, or lucky bounce or whatever, so just making sure I'm ready to go"

On the change in mood after UND scored:
"Yeah I would say so. I think we kind of played like we were defeated for a bit. I mean we had all the momentum and as soon as they scored there was a change in momentum so we tried to re-group in between periods and come back and try to gain momentum back to our advantage."

On the importance of UND's one goal in a series of low-scoring games:
"I mean yeah, you always want to try to get on the board first. It was just one goal, so it's an easy come-back for us. You just have to shake it off, and play like it's a zero-zero game and try to get scoring opportunities and little rebounds here and there, but they have been close games but we've scored before so there's no reason you should doubt that you can score again."

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