Team Wisconsin U15 advanced to the USA Hockey Nationals this week in Plymouth, Michigan with an at-large bid after falling just short at Central Districts, earning six points with a 2-1 record.
The team got the at-large bid on the basis of their performance during the season, which concluded with a record of 26-5-1 and a #10 ranking on MyHockeyRankings.com.
TW had some high points during the pre-season, which included a 3-3 tie in October with top-ranked Minnesota Blades, and a championship in the U15 level at the Chicago Nike tournament in early November, culminating with a 3-2 win over Osseo Maple Grove in the title game.
The field of 16 includes six of the top eight teams in the US at the U15 level, so TW will have their work cut out for them.
Coach Mike Schwengler believes in a team concept.
"We are a team built with depth, which is our biggest strength," noted Schwengler. "We will need all 18 skaters and two goalies to play hard the whole way to give us a chance to win."
The former Eau Claire Memorial coach would prefer to be on the power play, but can live with his team playing short-handed.
"Special teams have been a bright spot for us this spring and that needs to continue moving forward."
The team also includes assistant coaches Josh Engel and Brent Whiteside, along with team manager Monte Conrad.