Both the men’s and women’s hockey teams at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point are set to begin their season next week.
The men open the season Tuesday, October 23rd, at home against Lake Forest College. The women play on Friday, October 26th, against St. Olaf College.
The Pointer men will look to build off last season, when they finished with a record of 14-11-4 and made it to the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association final, losing to St. Norbert College.
The Pointer women finished with a 13-12-2 record last season and ended the season winning four of their last six games.
The men come into the new season ready to play after a vigorous off-season training schedule.
“The team has worked hard physically to reach their off-season goals. Our players have a workout routine that is hockey-specific that helps prepare them for this upcoming season,” said the men’s head coach, Chris Brooks
Coach Brooks’ expectations for this season are simple enough. “I expect our team to compete hard every night, whether at home or on the road,” Brooks said.
This season, the team wants to focus on a high-paced, high-intensity, high-discipline game with structure to everything they do, Brooks said.
“We need to do everything with a purpose,” said Brooks. “It will be important for each player of our team to push each other to be their best each day.”
The men will look to new team captain, senior forward Jerry Freismuth, who finished 4th in total points last season with 15. Junior Forward Kyle Heck, who racked up a team high of 27 points last season, will also be pivotal to the Pointers’ success.
Even with Heck and Freismuth in the fold, Brooks will be looking to the whole team to play a big role this season.
“We have expectations for everyone on our team, and every player will play a part in our success,” Brooks said. “No one player is more important than the next, and everyone will play a critical role on our team.”
The women’s team has also put in plenty of work to prepare for a successful season.
“Our coaching staff did a lot of reevaluating in the offseason of our systems, training, team composition and every other aspect of the game,” said head coach Ann Ninnemann.
“Our team put a lot of time in off on the ice so that we can come in prepared for our season,” Ninnemann said. “We don’t have much time between the first day of practice and our first game.”
The expectations for the women’s team are very high this season. “We expect to do very well this year,” Ninnemann said.
“We’ve just barely missed out on hosting playoffs the last couple years by one point, so that is one major goal that we would like to accomplish this year,” Ninnemann said.
The team also hopes to peak late in the season and bring home the O’Brien Cup in their last season in the NCHA.
Coach Ninnemann expects a lot of players to step up their game this season.
“Senior forwards Michelle Lunneborg and Brooke Hanso, have a lot on the line to make their last year their best year and will make the step,” Ninnemann said. “They all put in their time in the off-season and know what it takes to get to the top and will step up and lead the way.”
For more information, schedules, and rosters for both men’s and women’s teams, check out athletics. uwsp.edu.