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Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Duluth


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March 12, 2011

Recap |  Final Stats

Postgame Quotes
Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Duluth
Kohl Center - Madison, Wis.


Mark Johnson
Opening Statement:
"I'm just really excited. Obviously we're excited. I knew when the draws came out last Sunday that it was going to be a nail-biter. If you look at the history of the two programs, what each group has been able to accomplish and the games we've played against each other, even this year, a couple of games have gone into overtime. I actually anticipated us going into overtime tonight, just the way the programs have conducted themselves and played over the last five years. We get to move on and get another opportunity to practice Monday and play another game. These young ladies were the ones who were warriors tonight, logged a lot of ice time and did the things necessary for us to play another day."

On putting Hilary Knight, Brianna Decker and Meghan Duggan on the same line:
"Both top units logged a lot of ice time. The first period, I didn't think we had the legs that I was anticipating. Sometimes in these types of games, kids can get really excited and fired up for a game, almost too excited and you come out and your legs feel heavy and you're a little bit flat. I wanted to try something, just try and create some more offense and create some more opportunities because I certainly felt we had another gear to play in. I've told you before, and every coach will tell you, goals create energy. Obviously when we scored the power-play goal it gave us some energy and certainly the kids moved forward. I thought we had some opportunities to get a second one. Kim Martin is a good goaltender, and I've been facing her for years. If you're going to beat her, it's going to have to be a good goal. Obviously, Meghan's goal giving us a 2-1 lead was huge. The reason we did it was to create some more scoring opportunities."


Junior Hilary Knight
On playing with Brianna Decker and Meghan Duggan:
"When you get to play with players like Meghan Duggan and Brianna Decker, it's an easy transition. You just know where the other one is, especially Meghan, playing with her for the last couple years, or even longer than that with the national team. She's a tremendous player. Whenever I get the opportunity to play with them I'm really excited. We get in the corners, we grind and we put pucks on net."


Senior Meghan Duggan
On playing with Brianna Decker and Hilary Knight:
"Obviously those two are power-house forwards and incredible players. Throw the three of us together and we can create some energy for the team and make things happen. For those people who were in the building in the second period, I think we had 10 minutes straight where the puck didn't leave Duluth's end. That's not only because of our line and the three of us together, but because of all three lines. We fore-checked like crazy. You could tell that we really wanted to win. We were determined to put the puck in the net. Whether it got things going for us or not, I think it was an outstanding second period, an outstanding game by the entire team."

On her goal:
"I was kind of trailing the play a little bit. Decker had moved the puck up to Hilary. The way Duluth plays, if we turn over the puck we can catch them on odd-man rushes pretty often. So I saw Hilary take the puck down the left side, and I just fell into that F3 position. She delivered the puck to me and I just whacked at it. It just went in and I barely saw it. I didn't what to do. I didn't even know how to celebrate. I just threw my hand up and skated into the glass. Definitely an exciting moment for our team, and we're just ready to move forward here."


Freshman Alex Rigsby
On progress of her play:
"I think it was just playoff butterflies. We had a great weekend last weekend with our team. It was a big weekend and we just carried that momentum into this weekend. We just look at this game as if was just any other game. Obviously our team really battled out there and competed for the puck."


Minnesota Duluth head coach Shannon Miller
Opening Statement:
"It was an unbelievable hockey game. I thought it was very even, and either team could have won. The coaching staff is extremely proud of our performance tonight. The game meant everything to us, and we gave everything. I think it's pretty clear that we're not the seventh-best team in the country. I think we're right up there with number one. I couldn't be more proud of my players."

On the rivalry with Wisconsin and how it played into the game:
"When we got the draw with Wisconsin, I got a lot of phone calls and e-mails and people saying, 'You shouldn't be playing Wisconsin,' but that's up to the NCAA (to determine) who they want to match you up against - they obviously did it to avoid paying for a flight. But I also kept hearing about how much talent they had, and do I really think we have a shot. It's unbelievable to me, because you don't play the game on paper. Every time we play Wisconsin, we always have very close games. We love playing Wisconsin. Everybody brings their talent, everybody brings their strengths, and it's always a great game. We do match up well against them, and we do have a great deal of success against them because when we do lose, it's 2-1. So I had no problem coming here to play them. Do I think we should have been matched up with them as number seven with number one? No, obviously not. But I knew it would be an unbelievable game, and to be honest with you, I was pretty sure we were going to win tonight."  

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