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.