Season Preview: Men’s Hockey

The UW-Superior Yel­low­jacket men’s hockey team had a less than ideal sec­ond half of their sea­son a year ago after a hot start that had them ranked in the top ten nation­ally. This sea­son, the Jack­ets will try to get back to that top ten once again . The Yellowjacket’s fin­ished last sea­son 11–14-2 after start­ing 9–3-2. They ended 2012–13 on a three game los­ing streak.

Return­ing to the team this were their top two scor­ers from a sea­son ago, seniors Pat Dal­bec and Joey Mass­ing­ham. Dal­bec, a 2013 All-WIAC First Team selec­tion and a two time recip­i­ent of the award, tal­lied 27 points a year ago with 15 goals and 12 assists. Mass­ing­ham had 24 points for the Yel­low­jack­ets with 10 goals and 14 assists. Mass­ing­ham has been named All-WIAC hon­or­able men­tion the past two sea­sons. Also return­ing is senior defense­man Jeff Forsythe, also a three time All-WIAC First Team selec­tion as he was selected again in 2013. Forsythe was UWS’s third lead­ing scorer a sea­son ago as he put up 18 points with six goals and 12 assists.

In net the Yel­low­jack­ets return senior Drew Strand­berg. Strand­berg started 21 games for the Yel­low­jack­ets last year and posted a 2.88 goals against aver­age and with a record of 8–10-2 in net. Strand­berg also posted at .869 save per­cent­age last sea­son. Junior trans­fer Dayn Belfour, who is the son of Hockey Hall of Fame mem­ber Ed Belfour, is new to the Yel­low­jacket ros­ter for the 2013–14 sea­sons. Belfour spent the last two sea­sons with the Uni­ver­sity of Nebraska-Omaha, a D-I program.

This sea­son UWS will make the tran­si­tion from the NCHA to the WIAC con­fer­ence. The WIAC will con­sist of five UW sys­tem schools, all famil­iar oppo­nents to the Yel­low­jack­ets. They open up WIAC play on Decem­ber 6 as they visit UW-River Falls. The Jack­ets will host six WIAC con­fer­ence games at home in the 2013–14 sea­son the first of those being against the defend­ing national cham­pion UW-Eau Claire Blu­golds on Decem­ber 7. From there, the Jack­ets will host week­end series’ against UW-Stout Decem­ber 17 and 18, UW-River Falls on Jan­u­ary 31 and Feb­ru­ary 2, and will close out their home con­fer­ence sched­ule on Feb­ru­ary 22 against UW-Stevens Point.

The Yel­low­jack­ets are picked to fin­ished fourth in the new WIAC conference

UWS will still see a for­mer NCHA oppo­nent and rival St. Scholas­tica when they make the trip to play the Saints on Novem­ber 23 in Duluth.

Yet another high­light of the sea­son for the Yel­low­jack­ets will be the 2013 PrimeLink Great North­ern Shootout. The week­end tour­na­ment will be held over Thanks­giv­ing week­end in Platts­burgh, N.Y. The tour­na­ment will fea­ture two cur­rent top five nation­ally ranked teams, No. 3 Nor­wich and No. 4 Platts­burgh State who will host the tour­na­ment. It will mark the first time the Yel­low­jack­ets have par­tic­i­pated in the hol­i­day tour­na­ment. The fourth team par­tic­i­pat­ing in the tour­na­ment will be Mid­dle­bury Col­lege who received votes in the lat­est national poll but failed recieve a rank. Mid­dle­bury has eight national titles includ­ing a run of five straight from 1995–99. The four schools have a com­bined 14 national cham­pi­onships with UW-Superior’s com­ing in 2002, a 3–2 over­time vic­tory against Norwich.

Dan Stauber will return to helm the Yel­low­jack­ets in 2013–14. Stauber is in his 14th sea­son and has com­piled a record of 229–100-51

The Yel­low­jack­ets will open their 2013–14 sea­son at home against St. Johns Fri­day at Wess­man Arena. The game is part of the many events of the First Annual Jacket Racket which will take place on cam­pus Thurs­day through Saturday.

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