Athlete of the Week: UW-Eau Claire Men's Hockey

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) Great team chemistry and players challenging each on the ice has been a major factor to their early success for head coach Matt Loen's team.

"Competition in practice breeds competition in the games which makes for a tough team to handle."

Senior forward Jake Bresser likes the way the team has come together this year.

" I think we all have committed to each other. We are a very tight knit group. Everybody loves everybody on our team. It's just fun to be in the locker room, at one of the boys houses and at an airport for four hours on Thanksgiving Day. I think we are all committed to each other and the way we want to play together and it has really been working out."

The Blugolds have a blue collar approach to the game which can be seen in their team slogan of "Earn it".

"It means working hard every day", says goalie Zach Dyment. "Don't take anything for granted and don't pay too much attention to what other teams are doing, just put your head down and grind."

"We want to have a good work ethic", says Matt Loen. "That is what we have preached since I got here is work ethic. If you work hard and surround yourself with good people you will have a lot of success in life."

Eau Claire has four conference games to be played before their holiday break and Jake Bresser hopes that they can keep the momentum rolling in this tough stretch and in the second half.

"We have a tough week this weekend with River Falls and Northland and next weekend even bigger with a home and home with Stevens Point and it is always fun with them. We just want to close out this first half really well and not have any let downs and keep it rolling into the second half."

"We have had teams that have done well the first half and not so well the second half", says Matt Loen. "So our expectations are taking it one by one. Without the automatic bid we need to stack some wins and go from there."