Alpena Hockey Prepares for Regional Tournament
ALPENA, MI- After a 22-3 season that saw the Alpena Wildcats capture the Big North Conference title and go 10-0 in the conference for the first time in school history, the team now prepares for the post season.
The Wildcats prepare to take on Traverse City Central for the third time this season. The Wildcats defeated the Trojans 4-1 in the first matchup and defeated them again on Senior night as they hung on for a 3-2 victory. The Wildcats held off a surge at the end of the game to clinch the conference title.
Now the teams square off again in what is really the only game that matters. The winner will take on Marquette in the regional final and the loser sees their season come to an end. Alpena Head Coach Ben Henry was faced with the task of getting his squad into playoff mode and said the celebrating of the conference title was brief. ” 24 hours of enjoying it. We were off Saturday and on Sunday we were back to work. It is a whole new season now, it is going to be faster, it is going to be faster.”
With the locals filling Northern Lights Arena to capacity night in and night out, the arena has added extra bleachers. The players and coaches have appreciated the support. ” I think it has been a really big deal” said Sophomore forward Harrison Kaszubowski. ” They have really propelled us through some of the home games. “Having all those people come cheer you on, it is a great feeling” said Senior Brody Thompson.
The Wildcats are five wins from a state championship, but it all starts with game one. A win over Central and they square off against Marquette in the regional final, a loss and arguably the greatest regular season in Wildcat history comes to an end much sooner than expected.
Puck drop of the regional semi final is at 6 PM sharp on Saturday. Even with the extra seating, NLA is expecting full bleachers. If you want your seat, arriving 30-45 minutes early is a necessity.