EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - One of the most under appreciated positions in sports today is the goalie. They’re revered when they make a save, but blamed when they allow a shot to find the back of the net. Fortunately for Eau Claire Memorial hockey’s Trevor Hudecek, he’s got a save percentage of 93-percent this season - the best of the senior’s prep career. He knew the scrutiny that came with the position when he first hit the ice and embraces the pressures of defending the goal.
“I like to think that if I make this save or if I make this play right here, this could change the game and I can have the most impact on the outcome of our team,” said Trevor Hudecek. “I think that if we like as a goalie if you get it done, your team should be able to get it done too.”
The Old Abes have been getting the job done this season. As it stands right now, they’re the third-ranked team in the state. While it takes points on the board to win, Hudecek’s 1.77 goals against average is a big reason why Memorial has performed so well.
“He’s the backbone of our team,” described Old Abes head coach Chris Tok. “We play aggressive on the penalty kill and he’s a big part of why we can do that. He’s huge. It’s hard to say in words what he does. Like our guys know they can go out and play their game and be aggressive and create turnovers and if we make a mistake, we know that we have him back there to bail us out. Not that we want to have to rely on him too much, but guys have that confidence knowing he’s there.”
Trevor Hudecek is a finalist for Mr. Hockey in Wisconsin. Only two Old Abes players have ever won the state’s Player of the Year honor. Hudecek is excited to be in the running, but it should come as no surprise for the guy who is Memorial’s all-time leader in wins (57) and saves (1,731).
“He’s a rock for the team and he allows us to play a style of hockey because he’s back there,” added Tok. “When a goalie can change a game like that, they deserve to be up there for the best in the state.”
“Every single one of those players that I see that I’m up against, I played all against them since my U14 hockey and I’ve been playing a lot of fall hockey with all these guys,” explained Hudecek. “It’s so weird to see me and all these other guys just playing against each other for something. It’s super cool and it’s obviously an honor, but I couldn’t do it without my team.”
With Hudecek manning the net, he’ll look to lead the Old Abes to their 9th straight state appearance this postseason. Memorial opens regional play on Thursday with a second round matchup against RAM hockey.