Wisconsin just met the press.
Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves on whom his sons are rooting for and how Jerry York was bummed when he chose to play at Wisconsin:
“Well I’m going to use Patrick’s response, which I think is brilliant. He said in this situation they’re kind of in a win-win situation because they are going to win no matter what happens. Either their alma mater is going to win or their dad is going to win. I think that’s a great answer but it’s tough to remember back that far. I was 17 years old and I remember that my last two choices were between Michigan and Wisconsin. And I came to Wisconsin in the springtime and didn’t have a chance to see a game in the rink but I just fell in love with the campus and that’s where I felt the most comfortable in my heart. I went with that feeling."
Junior defenseman Brendan Smith on where he was during the Wisconsin championship game in 2006:
“I was already committed and I remember Earl’s goal but the one that really sticks in my mind was Tom Gilbert’s goal and all I said was ‘I want to be like that guy’ so Tommy Gilbert is a guy that I have always wanted to imitate. You watch him playing in the pros now, but after scoring that goal he was the guy I wanted to be. That’s what I remember.”
Junior goaltender Scott Gudmandson on handling pressure of playing goaltender throughout the season to get the national championship:
“I think I have handled it pretty well. I have been satisfied with how my season has gone so far. Obviously, my goal is to win a national championship and I’ll have that chance tomorrow night. I think I have played well and shown my ability throughout the year. I also have to give a lot of credit to the guys in front of me. We have a great defensive core, great forwards and I think that takes a lot of pressure off of me and leaves me a little room for error.”
Sophomore forward Derek Stepan on key moments throughout the season that helped get the team to this point:
“There were a bunch of turning points throughout the year. Some teams can get into a slump, but we had the Camp Randall Classic and the holiday tournament to get us amped back up again. Those were good turning points, but there were a bunch of them that helped us and got us going again.”
Stepan on what he can give to his team about defending Chris Kreider after playing with him at the New York Rangers camp and on the U.S. World Junior team:
“I was talking to Ryan Gardiner and Jake McDonagh about that today. If you give him a little space, you better turn around and skate hard because he can boogie. Chris is a strong forward. He can skate and shoots the puck well. The key is to get him before he gets going. We’re going to need great back pressure so that the defense can have good gaps and we’re going to have to try to shut him down as fast as we can.”
Eaves on the growth of the program back to where Wisconsin wants it to be:
“Well this is its eighth year. We came in and if you had a plan, you would hope that by the fourth year you would be competing for a national championship and that happened the first time around. I like the teams that we had but the only problem we had was that we were perpetually young. Now we have grown and we are an upperclassmen team since that championship team. There’s no college coach that would tell you different that that is a big, big factor. So we have a good group of young men, upperclassmen team talent, maturity, good goal-tending and when those things come together, they give you a chance to compete for a national championship. There’s not a magic formula. There really isn’t. We have been able to work this thought process we’ve had as a coaching staff and its brought us back here.”