Last spring the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point men’s hockey team won the NCAA Division III National Championship, ending its season on a high note.
Chris Brooks, head men’s hockey coach, found winning the national championship to be extremely rewarding, especially because the team had lost the national championship the two previous seasons. To the team, Brooks emphasizes the importance of focusing on the present and will continue to emphasize it this coming season.
“We focus on what we need to do today and not really worry about tomorrow. We want to do our best to prepare for our first game of the season, in doing so we are going to enjoy the year and enjoy every game,” Brooks said.
On Sept. 30 the team had their annual golf outing at Sentry World.
According to Brooks, the event brought together former players, community members and local businesses. The goal of the event was to build relationships and raise money for the team. There were more than 100 people that took part in the event.
“It’s an opportunity for us to continue to celebrate the national championship win and it’s an annual event that’s a big part of our success,” Brooks said.
Tyler Krueger, assistant men’s hockey coach, played hockey at UWSP for four years and graduated from the university in 2014. Krueger admitted the team has lost some of its key players from last season, but there are nine new players being integrated into the team.
Krueger wants the community to continue to celebrate the team’s successes this season.
“We want to be part of this community. We love the student fan base already and we want that to grow even more,” Krueger said.
Brad Duffin, sophomore forward, believes having a cohesive team will help catapult the players to the championship again.
“We are big believers that as soon as you come to the program you are just as big a part of it as the seniors are. Everybody has their roles and everyone respects those roles,” Duffin said.
Duffin cited St. Norbert’s College and Adrian College as two of the more competitive teams the Pointers will be up against this season. Duffin feels the excitement and support from the fans will continue to create a positive atmosphere for the team.
“It’s always awesome to see the student support. It gives us something to play for and gets us excited to play for every game. As a team we are really excited for the upcoming season, we know we have something special,” Duffin said.
The first game of the season will be on Oct. 28 against Aurora University.