When Trent Frederic told Tony Granato last week how much he was looking forward to playing for the University of Wisconsin men's hockey team last Saturday, the coach tried to temper the center's expectations with a "we'll wait and see."
Granato said he didn't plan to play Frederic at all at Penn State on Saturday, one day after the sophomore finished the World Junior Championship with a four-goal outing against the Czech Republic in the United States' bronze-medal game victory.
After a 5-1 Badgers loss at Penn State on Friday, however, Granato said his team needed Frederic in the lineup for whatever he could give.
"Twenty-five minutes isn't rest?" Granato joked on Monday, referring to Frederic's estimated ice time in the 65-minute game.
"Going into the game, I was thinking we'd play him 17, 18 minutes," Granato said. "But as the game went on and as we saw the energy that he had and the factor that he was having in the game, it was important that we played him a lot.
"I think it says a lot about him. It says a lot about how much pride he has and how bad he wants to be here and help for him to drive from Buffalo to meet us at Penn State. To give an effort like he did on Saturday night, I think it was what we needed. He stepped up and acted the way we want all our players to act."
The heavy workload was different than what Frederic experienced at the World Juniors, where he had the second-lowest average ice time of any U.S. player, 10:04.
Frederic, who's tied for third in points on the Badgers' roster, had two shots on goal and was minus-1 on Saturday. He was the recipient of a blow to the head 17 seconds into the game that drew a major penalty and game misconduct to Penn State's Trevor Hamilton.
Frederic had a chance for a dream finish, but an overtime shot hit the post before the teams ended in a 3-3 tie. Penn State won the shootout for the extra Big Ten point.
"I thought I had good jump, had good legs," Frederic said after Saturday's game. "I wish I could have popped one there, but it is what it is."
UW didn't practice on Sunday or Monday, and Frederic is being given Tuesday off, Granato said, to help him recover from playing eight games in 12 days.
The Badgers fell three spots to 18th in Monday's USCHO.com Division I men's poll after a loss and tie at Penn State. UW hosts unranked Michigan State on Friday and Saturday. ... Three Badgers recruits — forward Sampo Ranta and twin defensemen Christian and Cole Krygier — are due to play for Team West at the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Kearney, Nebraska, on Tuesday.