Pointers preparing for NCAA Tournament stage
UWSP clinched a berth with their WIAC Championship win over UW-Eau Claire Saturday
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - The UW-Stevens Point men’s hockey is gearing up for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 109, as they prepare to face Augsburg Saturday.
The Pointer punched their ticket by topping UW-Eau Claire 5-1 in the WIAC Championship last weekend in Stevens Point. The Pointers were in their ninth straight appearance in the WIAC Championship, snagging their fourth win in the stretch. However, the win did break a string of three straight losses in the final. The team feels like this year team just started clicking at the right time.
“We’re kind of gelling,” said senior captain Jordan Fader. “Guys are kinda finding their roles down the stretch of the season which is so important, which is why we’ve been playing our best hockey at the end of the year and that’s what we need.”
The win is an important step for the Pointers as it automatically qualified for an NCAA Tournament appearance, their first since 2019. However, they’re not content with just making it this far.
“We know that that’s not our end goal,” said head coach Tyler Krueger. “That’s not our goal at the beginning of the season to win our conference tournament. It is an avenue. It is a step. We’re not happy that we’re here. We’re not satisfied. We’re happy that we’re here, but we’re not satisfied.”
The Pointers will host Augsburg in the first round of the tournament Saturday at K.B. Willett Arena with puck drop 7:00 p.m.
“We have the best fans in all of D3 hockey and I would argue one of the best atmospheres in all of college hockey,” said Fader. “Getting that home ice advantage is huge for us not just from a comfortability standpoint, but when our fans get really into it, it can be a really tough place to play.”
The Pointers are 11-1-3 at home this season.
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