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Spotlight on Jake McCabe

By Matt Trevor -, 12/27/12, 11:30PM EST


Check in with captain Jake McCabe before Team USA takes on Russia.

Height: 6-1
Weight: 207
NHL: BUF (2012, 2nd rd., 44th)
Current Team: University of Wisconsin
Hometown: Eau Claire, Wis.
(between Madison, Wis. and Minneapolis, Minn.)

On playing Russia tonight …
"I bet this is maybe the fourth or fifth time I've played them and each time is a little different ... The biggest thing we have to focus on is to stay out of the box. They have a lot of high powered forwards and they'll make you pay."

"Those fans are pretty crazy (in European soccer) so I'm assuming the Russians won't be any different with lots of chants going on. We can feed off that energy too."

On his family’s hockey involvement …
“My dad (David) had a rink in the backyard, so I started playing at around two or three years old. He was my coach growing up. My older brother, Andrew (25), also still plays hockey for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, an NCAA Division III school. My brother has always been my biggest role model. He’s a forward and I’m defenseman. I’m the player I am because of my dad and my brother.”
On his favorite college and pro players …
“I was always a Ryan Suter fan because he’s a Wisconsin boy and I liked his style of play. Another favorite player of mine is Jake Dowell. He’s from Eau Claire, my hometown, played for the U.S. National Team Development Program, played at Wisconsin and also played for the U.S. National Junior Team (note: Dowell played for Team USA in 2004 and 2005, winning a gold medal in 2004). He contacted me on Twitter recently. He told me, ‘congratulations, it’s going to fly by, keep doing what you’re doing. If they named you captain it means you’re doing something right, so don’t change that.’ I thought it was pretty cool that he took time to do that.”
On the best moment of his hockey career so far…
“Winning the (2011 IIHF Men’s World U18 World Championship) for sure. I remember winning the semifinal and final in overtime. Tyler Biggs scored the game-winner in the semi and Connor Murphy did it in the gold medal game (note: Murphy is McCabe’s current defensive partner on Team USA). Being with those guys for two years, there was no better way to end it than by winning gold. It was awesome.”
On the defensemen he has been paired with at the University of Wisconsin…
“Last year I played with Justin Schultz and John Ramage (captain of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team). This year I’ve been playing with Frankie Simonelli.”