The Eau Claire Memorial boys hockey team captured their second state championship last weekend in Madison and while it was a collective team effort from the Old Abes, Jake Bresser did stand out among the rest.
Brady Bollinger, Old Abes Team Captain says, "Jake played outstanding down there, we needed a kid to execute on his opportunities, and five goals in the state tournament is practically unheard of, especially on a state championship team but obviously it was a team effort, Jake played great but he had Graaskamp helping him... obviously a great performance from Jake.:"
Jake Bresser's five goals and six-point performance during last week's state hockey tournament earned him the Wisconsin prep hockey state tournament MVP. The Old Abes junior found the back of the net a school-record 44 times this season, the goal-scoring machine says credit goes to his teammates, most notably his linemate, Charley Graaskamp. Says Bresser, "Charley has some unreal vision, he has a great set of hands and he always seems to find me when he's on the ice, he's always calm and composed and finds the opening to get me the puck and I try to put it in."
Graaskamp talked about his long-time friendship with Jake, "We've grown up playing together, my first soccer team he was on the team, I mean it's been fun all the way up, I think our chemistry on the ice is one of the best in the state, I know where he is, he knows where I am and I think that helps so much playing together all the way up."
Coach Mike Schwengler nicknamed the trio, chip, zip, and rip with Bollinger doing much of the dirty work, Graaskamp getting the puck to the stick of Bresser, putting him in position to score. A game plan that worked wonders at state. Says Schwengler, "Some kids when they see the net, they see the goalie and true scorers/shooters see the net behind the goalie and all three of these guys have that ability... to have someone to get you the puck, he'll be the first one to admit that he can't do it himself, he has to get that open space and whether it's Brady feeding him, or Charley feeding him or whoever else he's playing with, you have to open space, he's got a second gear and it's unselfish hockey."
That unselfishness was on display during Saturday's championship game when Bresser scored a critical shorthanded goal on what was an amazing effort from his senior captain.
Says Bresser, "Bollinger's pass was maybe my favorite because he worked his butt off to get it up the left side and we were streaking on the pk and it was just perfect timing when that momentum shift came, and then we looked at each other and said to each other, we can do this."
And do it they did as the Old Abes brought home their second gold trophy back to Eau Claire.