(Courtesy of Newsline 9)
Labor Day weekend marks the beginning of a new era of hockey in town for the Wausau Riverwolves. The 2017-18 season will be the first for the newest member of junior hockey’s North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL).
“Our vision for the Riverwolves is to provide a family focused atmosphere to have people come out on a Friday or Saturday night,” business manager Zach Serwe said. “(We want them to have) fun entertainment, a quality product on the ice and at the end of the night have a smile on their face, something they can be proud of and look forward to coming back to and spending more time with the Riverwolves in Wausau.”
The Riverwolves feature some of the areas top talent. A few weeks ago the team drafted Wausau West product Cale Bowman as well as Austin Burgener from Merril and Seth Jaglinski from D.C. Everest. The local connection was important for the program as they not only took the best available talent but also players that will spark interest in the community.
“It was very important,” Serwe said. “We want that local piece to be tied in because Wausau has a very good hockey community. People in Wausau are really lucky to have such tradition of great successful hockey here in the area. We’re looking to build on that and continue to provide a quality hockey product and family-focused product here in Marathon Park.”
Junior hockey consists of three tiers. Tier I, where the most talented prospects play, has one league called the United States Hockey League (USHL) and Tier II has the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Tier III consists of three leagues, the NA3HL, the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) and the Rocky Mountian Junior Hockey League (RMJHL). The NA3HL has 48 teams from around the country divided into eight divisions. Wausau will compete in the Central Division amongst four other teams from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.