Men’s Hockey Heating up the Ice
Will Rossmiller - Twitter @willrossmiller

It may be early in the season, buAfter starting the season with a lackluster 3-4-0 record, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point men’s hockey team has found their groove.

The Pointers now hold a record of 7-5-1. UWSP has been a tough team to beat at home as well, posting a respectable 4-1-1 record at K.B. Willett Arena so far this season.

“So far, the year has been up and down. We have to strive for consistency night in, night out,” said Head Coach Chris Brooks. “Our schedule has been pretty difficult, as we have played top fifteen-ranked teams in seven of our first ten games.” 

​Andrew Kolb scores the winning goal in overtime.
Photo by Jack McLaughlin.

Stevens Point’s greatest accomplishment of the young season has to be their 4-3 overtime victory over the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, currently the fifth-ranked hockey team in Division III.

“It was a big win for our team. We made a few adjustments after Friday’s game, and we executed them on Saturday night,” Brooks said. “I thought we went into their building and played with an edge.”

The Pointers followed up their impressive showing in Eau Claire with an 8-0 blowout and 4-3 overtime wins against the University of Wisconsin-Stout, now the eleventh-ranked team in Division III.

“The season started off a little slow, but the past couple of weeks the team has been playing a lot better,” said Kyle Heck, a junior forward for the Pointers.

Last season, Heck was the leading scorer by a large margin. This season is a different story, as UWSP has a more spread-out scoring output.

“For me, personally, I haven’t done as well so far compared to last year, but I feel good, and the team is starting to get on a roll. As long as we win, that is all that matters,” Heck said.

The Pointers have six players with at least three goals and nine players with five points or more. Leading the team in scoring is Johnny Meo, a senior forward, with seven goals on the seaso, and a .412 shot accuracy percentage.

“I think one of our strongest assets of our team lately is all playing together as a team,” Heck said.

Coach Brooks also explained that the team’s goaltending, and some of the new talent, has had a solid start to the season.

“Our goaltending has been very good, and our young players are adjusting as expected,” Brooks said.

The Pointers still have some aspects of the game that need work, according to both Heck and Brooks. “One thing the team hasn’t done the best at is our power play,” Heck said.

“To be honest, I thought our power play would be a lot more efficient at this point,” Brooks said.

At this point in the season, the team has had its ups and downs. They have had a lot of positives and some big things to work on, but Coach Brooks still believes this team can be better.

“I don’t think our team has played up to their expectation. We are still growing as a group,” Brooks said. “We have to learn to trust each other within the system and bring a contagious energy to the rink every day.”

If this team can improve in the right areas, how good could they potentially be? Heck thinks they could contend with the best.

“This year’s team can be the best team in the country. We just have to play as a team and work hard. If we do this, we will be able to achieve our team goals and have a great season.”