EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - Experience is the key for this year's UW-Eau Claire men's hockey team as it gets ready to start their season at conference rival UW-Stout on Friday.
The Blugolds return 21 letterwinners as they only lost three players to graduation last year.
Among the players returning for the Blugolds is NCHA top returning scorer Jordan Singer (Jr.-Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial). Singer was a multiple category leader for the Blugolds last season. He had a team-high 13 goal and 16 assists for a total of 29 points.
Kurt Weston (Jr.-Roseau, Minn.) is also back after having a career high season. He finished the 2010-11 season with 22 points. He was able to reach the back of the net 10 times and assisted 12 times.
The last returning Blugold to finish with twenty or more points on the season is senior co-captain Tyler Romasco (Sr.-Perry, Ohio). Romasco put up 20 points coming from 10 goals on the season and 10 assists.
Other returning letterwinners are as follows:
Brian Nehring (So.-Hopedale, Mass./Milford)
Jared Williams (So.-West Chicago, Ill./Bartlett)
Travis Peckskamp (Jr.-Sauk Rapids, Minn.)
Jimmy McCusker (So.-Novi, Mich.)
Eric OHearn (Jr.-Traverse City, Mich./Central)
Jon Waggoner (So.-Fairbanks, Alaska/Lathrop)
Robbie Anderegg (So.-Urbandale, Iowa/Dowling Catholic)
Andrew Wilcox (Sr.-Rochester, Minn./Century)
Isaiah Bennis (Jr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial)
Co-Captain Andrew McCabe (Jr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial)
Senior Co-Captain Tyler Jundt (Williston, N.D.)
Alex Olson (So.-Devils Lake, N.D.)
Tom Stachiw (So.-Calgary, Alberta/Edge School)
Bryce Wilcox (Jr.-Rochester, Minn./Century)
Chris Heineman (So.-New Boston, Mich./Traverse City Central)
Brandon Stephenson (Jr.-Saline, Mich.)
Stephenson was the main goal tender last season as he appeared and started in 20 of the 27 games for the Blugolds. In goal he averaged 2.46 goals against and had a .913 save percentage.
Head Coach Loen has also done a great job this off season, bringing in more talent for the Blugolds. He has six transfers coming in with four of them having Division I playing experience.
With all the experience the Blugolds have, they are hoping to use it to be at the top of the NCHA this year. In the annual NCHA Coaches Poll, they were picked to finish third, but did receive a first-place vote. The Blugolds tied for fourth place last season while playing ten teams that were ranked at the time of their contest.
Next weekend the Blugolds will host their home opener at Hobbs Ice Center Nov. 4-5. The faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. both nights. The Blugolds will follow with home games the next two weekends.