Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared in December’s issue of Buckshot the Magazine. The January issue can be found Thursday on newsstands throughout the area. For the first time in over a decade, Chris Tok and his wife, Melissa — along with young son Easton, were making a move not centered around hockey. A coach ever since his playing days ended, Tok had just departed Austin, Minn., after four years as the head coach with the NAHL’s Austin Bruins, with whom
Like many young hockey players, Kaden Kohlhepp’s winter pilgrimage was just beyond his backdoor into a man-made rink created as soon as the temps consistently dipped below freezing. There, the future first-pairing defenseman for state-ranked Eau Claire Memoiral would hone his skillset, moving with the puck and firing the rubber on a makeshift net. His personal goalie growing up? That’d be brother Tanner, older by 22 months. The same Tanner who is a starting guard on the Old
Eau Claire Memorial needed a big boost off the bench. And it got it. Getting key points at critical times down the stretch from Nathan Hau and Bryce Burlingame, the Old Abes were able to hold off La Crosse Logan 65-62 in a non-conference game Tuesday night at the Eagles Nest. Hau grabbed a rebound and put it back in and added a free throw after being fouled with 1:08 to play to break up a tie game and Memorial led 63-60, never to trail again. “I was down low and happened to be there
Forget scoring. Eau Claire Memorial made it tough for Eau Claire North to even get a clean shot on goal Tuesday night. Old Abes goalie Trevor Hudecek enjoyed his view from the crease as his Memorial teammates put up a relentless attack and blitzed the Huskies out of the building. After splitting a pair of overtime games a season ago, the second-ranked and undefeated Old Abes left little doubt against their cross-town rivals, cruising to a 6-1 win in Big Rivers action at Hobbs Ice Center.
A minute went by before a single shot went up to begin the game. A 35-second shot clock would have sounded early and often if the rules were such. Eau Claire Memorial certainly had a lot to do with that. The Old Abes threw an active trapping zone at Chippewa Falls, making it tough to get inside touches. But a big part of it was because of the patience the Cardinals offense displayed all night. They waited until the right shot and — led by senior sharpshooter Thomas Robarge
Sometime in the span of the last seven days, Hutson Collins had a purple “C” stitched onto his white sweater, signifying his captainship of the Eau Claire Memorial boys hockey team. The scrappy hybrid forward took it to heart on Tuesday night, his first game in his newly minted leadership position. Collins scored 59 seconds into the game and never stopped, finding the back of the net directly or indirectly in a variety of ways as he notched a hat trick plus an assist in the second-
Cadott’s Brady Spaeth and James Pfeiffer both took home individual titles on Saturday at the Eau Claire North Husky wrestling invitational Spaeth, a sophomore, won at 152 pounds and picked up a 6-2 decision over Eagle River’s Marcus McGinley for the title. Spaeth had a second-round pin in his first match and won two decisions after. Pfeiffer, a junior who finished as a state runner-up at 152 pounds in Division 3 last year, dominated the 160-pound bracket on Saturday. He
You can be off one night offensively and still win thanks to a stout defense. It’s much harder to do so the other way around. Fortunately it was the former for the Eau Claire Memorial boys hockey team on Tuesday night, a 5-0 victory for the Old Abes against Wisconsin Rapids at Hobbs Ice Arena. “That’s a big part of our game, and we work on it all the time in practice,” senior defenseman Josh Berg said. “You have to have a good defense to build a good offense.
One winter ago, Trevor Hudecek spent most nights in his perch between the pipes knowing a lot rode on him. It was evident early on the Eau Claire Memorial boys hockey team needed its then-junior goaltender to make game-saving stops on a nightly basis in order to win. And the Old Abes did more often than not, advancing to their eighth-straight state tournament. Hudecek had nearly 700 saves on the year, by far and away the most in his career as a starting goaltender, which extends to his