Northern Star: Cole Koepke & Jesse Jacques
This week's segment features two former Hermantown teammates who now take the ice for UMD.
DULUTH, Minn. – Seems like it was just yesterday that we saw Cole Koepke and Jesse Jacques bring state titles to Hermantown. Now their mission is to do the same not too far from home with the UMD bulldogs.
“When I saw that he was coming to Duluth, I was excited. And I didn’t even know it was initially this year. Then I found out it was this year and we actually got paired together and we’re roommates right now,” said Koepke.
“Not only me and Cole, but also me and Dylan [Samberg]. We’ve always been good friends. We grew up in Hermantown so it’s just nice to have some close friends here. It helps you feel more welcome,” Jacques said.
And with all that time spent together, both Koepke and Jacques have seen each other’s game evolve from high school to juniors, and now to college.
“He’s always been a good player. This year, he only got that one year of juniors and then he had to make the jump which is difficult for some people to do. But he’s been handling it exceptionally well. You can tell he had to adapt at the beginning, which is just normal for every freshman,” said Koepke.
“He’s obviously a great player. I love Cole. He’s a goal-scorer, I’d call him. I remember in high school I’d always set him up and he’s get all the goals. He’s a good player. He works hard. He knows the game well and systems,” Jacques said.
The Bulldogs go into the break at 10–4–2 and in two weeks will be in Glendale, AZ for the Desert Hockey Classic. And that gives this freshman pair a lot of time to get ready for that tournament and the second half of the season.
“I’m going to make sure to stay in shape. That’s a big thing our team talked about. We all want to go home and enjoy Christmas and see our family and friends which is important. But we also have to know that we have a job to do when we get back from break,” said Kopeke.
“Over break, I’m going to push myself. I’m going to keep working on my game, on and off the ice. I’m going to keep getting better. I want a really good second half, personally and for the team. We’re going to want to win every, single game from here on out and we’re just going to keep battling and do the best we can,” Jacques said.