Only appearing in six games last year, Nick D’Avolio has made an impact this year playing center for the men’s hockey team.
D’Avolio has been playing hockey since he was 3 years-old and has spent three years playing junior hockey in Canada, Chicago, and Minnesota before coming to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
This year as a sophomore, D’Avolio has tallied 15 points on ten goals and five assists in 22 games.
Head coach Chris Brooks credits D’Avolio’s offseason training as a big step forward for the center.
“Big development for him was offseason training and developing. He is bigger, faster, stronger,” Brooks said.
Brooks believes D’Avolio’s physical development has helped him in other parts of his game.
“His physical side has helped his mental game,” Brooks said.
D’Avolio said his first year was a learning curve and gave a perspective where he was at in his game. Playing in only six games gave him the motivation to strive to be better.
“I had a whole new mindset. Anything that it takes to be where I need to be,” D’Avolio said.
He spent the offseason training on the ice everyday of the week, and off-ice three to four days a week. Feeling confident coming into the beginning of the year, D’Avolio knew his training had already helped him improve.
Early injuries to the team provided D’Avolio opportunities to play and he took advantage of them.
“Early injuries got him in the line-up. He earned his way to get playing time,” Brooks said.
D’Avolio has not taken the playing opportunities for granted this year.
“Makes you appreciate what you got. You have to take advantage of opportunities,” D’Avolio said.
D’Avolio describes himself as a power forward and his work ethic is the best characteristic of his game. Coach Brooks agrees that D’Avolio’s work ethic is one of his strengths.
“I’m not going to accomplish anything without working hard,” D’Avolio said.
“He works hard and he loves the game. Nick’s just another piece of the puzzle,” Brooks said. “He chips in offensively and he wins draws on face-offs.”
Happy for his success this season, Brooks hopes to see D’Avolio build his game, and grow as a player. D’Avolio when asked about his expectations for the future for himself took the focus off himself and focused more about the team succeeding.
“Keep doing what we are doing everyday and to be successful as a team and win,” D’Avolio said.
The Pointers are coming off a weekend that saw them sweep a two game series against last seasons D-III National Champions UW-Eau Claire.
The Pointers currently stand third in the D-III national rankings with an overall record of 18-3-2.