Badgers men's hockey counting on youthful enthusiasm - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers men's hockey counting on youthful enthusiasm

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MADISON (WKOW) -

Each season brings a new challenge for Mike Eaves. The Badgers men's hockey coach has a unique task in front of him this year with 11 freshmen newcomers. The last time the Badgers had that many incoming freshmen was 1974-75. Eaves was actually a member of that freshmen class. So, he can relate to what his young players are going through.

"Every day we're giving the kids another thing to think about and giving them feedback. With 11 freshmen, we have to keep assuring them, 'This is going to slow down for you.' They're doing a good job."

The Badgers may be young, but they're also talented. In fact, Wisconsin is ranked as high as No. 10 in the preseason polls. So, veterans, such as Grant Besse, refuse to lower expectations due to this youth movement.

"Wisconsin's always a perennial college powerhouse. Even though we've got some new guys, some young guys, there's a lot of skill in those young guys. So, I think with them coming in they'll be able to replace what we lost."

The freshmen will find out about the college game soon enough. The Badgers open the season Friday in the Kendall Hockey Classic in Anchorage, Alaska.

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