Chippewa Falls (WQOW) -- For the sixth-straight season, the Eau Claire Memorial boys hockey team is packing their bags for Madison.
It's been a season of growth for the Old Abes. The team features ten underclassmen on the roster, but youth was served Saturday night. Freshman Hutson Collins scored a goal, and fellow freshman Trevor Hudecek had 15 saves in a 5-1 win over Hayward in the sectional final. The team says the development of the young players was a key to their success this season.
"We had a lot of young guys, a lot of inexperienced guys in the first couple weeks of the season. But as the season progressed, we came together as a team. The older guys helped the younger guys, the younger guys helped the older guys. So we have great camaraderie on our team, good chemistry," says senior defenseman Bret Schwengler.
"To be honest, we have 15 kids that weren't in the program, weren't here, or barely played last year. So to be able to roll guys out and be able to play four lines and five defenseman is huge," adds head coach Mike Schwengler. "The winning is secondary, it's the teaching process. To watch these young guys grow and come together as a team, it's the greatest feeling in the world."
The Old Abes will meet Madison Memorial in WIAA state quarterfinals. The game is slated for Thursday at 5:00 p.m.
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