JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoHis team is 0-5-1 through its first six games, but University of Wisconsin men’s hockey coach Mike Eaves saw some signs of life in his team after the weekend series at home against Minnesota.“We did not go quietly in the night, and I think that says where the kids are at,” Eaves said Monday at his weekly press conference. “I think in talking to them, there were some positive feelings from the fact that the fans stood up and applauded their efforts. They did not quit. … And I think because of the way the people, the fans, gave them applause, that’s very much a positive and something to build on.”Eaves also mentioned a meeting he had with team captain Blake Geoffrion. The junior was left as the lone captain of the Badgers after senior Ben Street suffered an injury against Denver. According to Eaves, Geoffrion and the rest of the team know it’s just a matter of time before they reap the benefits of their on-ice efforts.“I think Blake indicated for a moment there’s a ‘woe is me’ feeling in terms of, ‘Hey, we’re playing hard, we’re not getting rewarded.’ But that’s life,” Eaves said. “And the word that came on the table was perseverance. We have to persevere through this, and it’ll turn it around. … If we have the right attitude and we get the right things out of these tough times, we’re going to be way far ahead at the end.”Eaves has been in a similar situation before, when his team started the 2006-07 campaign slowly but ended up with a winning record, something he said he draws on with his current squad.“We use the past all the time. You learn from the past,” Eaves said. “The lessons that can come from the past can help you in the present and the future. So yeah, we look at those things all the time and pass those on to our kids.”Defense continues struggles, but freshmen improveThe Wisconsin defense is last in the WCHA, allowing five goals per game through six contests. Part of the high goal totals early on has been attributed to a young defensive corps — three freshmen have been seeing time on the blue line.But after the Minnesota series, Eaves noted he was impressed with the play of newcomers Eric Springer and Ryan Little, who each played in one game of the Gophers series. Neither factored into the weekend scoring but seemed to be adjusting to WCHA play, according to their coach.“You know, they’re very similar in the results in their game,” Eaves said. “I thought they both did some real good things. … I thought Mr. Little did a lot of good things in the game [Saturday]. His feet were moving. He made simple plays. He was aggressive when he needed to be. I think both of their games are rising as they get a little bit more [experience].”Friday night’s 2-2 tie was the only game this season in which UW’s defense limited its opponent to under five goals. While it was a step in the right direction, Eaves would still like to see things tighten up on the defensive side of the puck.“We’re at the point now when we watch video, we’re there but we’re not there. At least we’re getting there now, now we got to shut them down,” Eaves said. “The perfect example was John Mitchell was back-checking, and he was there with [Minnesota forward Tony] Lucia physically, but didn’t tie up his stick, and the young Lucia boy was able to knock in the puck. So we’re there, we’re in the right spots; now we got to take care of business once we’re there.”From the infirmaryForward Aaron Bendickson has missed four games with a wrist injury and will not be able to play in Wisconsin’s series this weekend against North Dakota.“He’s getting better, but not available,” Eaves said.The junior from Thief River Falls, Minn., tallied an assist in two games before getting injured.A timetable on the return of senior co-captain Ben Street is still unknown, and Eaves said he’s still waiting on word from the doctors to determine a likely scenario for Street.“The procedure I guess right now is they want to see the swelling get down, and then they’ll do what they need to do,” Eaves said.