Eau Claire native Jake McCabe is back in Madison after helping lead the United States junior hockey team to the gold medal in last week's World Championships in Russia. McCabe, who was captain of Team USA, scored three goals during the tournament including two in the United States semifinal victory over Canada. McCabe says it's a thrill to be part of a gold medal winning squad. McCabe says, "It's pretty awesome, I keep saying it was pretty special, a group of 23 guys coming together at one time to do something special like win a gold medal. We all played our part and it took the whole team, the coaching staff did a great job. We slowly improved throughout the tournament, played our best hockey at the end of the tournament and that was key to our success."
Meanwhile, another Eau Claire native Jake Dowell, a member of the 2004 United States junior hockey team that also won gold was back on the ice Tuesdaymorning, skating with his new NHL team, the Minnesota Wild. While NHL owners are expcted to vote on the tentative labor agreement on Wednesday, and with the players union set to ratify the agreement later in the week, Dowell says it will be good to put the lockout in their rearview mirror, "It's a huge relief, I think everyone has been chomping at the bit to get going, we had to take a stand as players and wait out a little bit. We had to do what we felt was right and now we're ready to go, we feel bad that the lockout took as long as it did, it never should have happened, it's nice to be back and playing and in the locker room with everybody and see some jump in everyone's step and get going here soon."