Four former Yellowjackets named to WIAC all-time hockey teamForwards Mas Fukushima (1972-75) and Glen Lang (1991-93), defenseman Gary Fritch (1973-76) and goaltender David Graichen (1993-97) were the four Yellowjackets named to the 17-person team.
Four former University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s hockey standouts have been named to the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Time Team as part of the conference’s centennial celebration.
The 2012-13 season will be the 100th for the conference and each sport that the WIAC has or had sponsored as a championship sport will have an all-time team named as part of the celebration.
Forwards Mas Fukushima (1972-75) and Glen Lang (1991-93), defenseman Gary Fritch (1973-76) and goaltender David Graichen (1993-97) were the four Yellowjackets named to the 17-person team. UW-River Falls landed a conference-best eight players on the team, while the Yellowjackets and UW-Stevens Point had four apiece. UW-Eau Claire had one player make the squad.
“I had the opportunity to coach two of the players on the team and I coached against many of the other ones. This is a good representation of some of the best players to ever compete in this conference,” said UWS athletics director and former head hockey coach Steve Nelson. “I’m proud of our four guys. They definitely deserve this and are four of the best to ever come through our program.”
Fukushima, who hailed from Geraldton, Ontario, was arguably the first superstar to don the Yellowjacket uniform. A diminutive forward, Fukushima still resides in the top-10 of the UWS all-time point and assist charts. His 152 points and 90 assists are both good for eighth on their respective lists. Fukushima was a three-time NAIA All-American, bringing home the honor in 1972, 1974 and 1975. He went on to play professionally after his career at UWS.
Fukushima was inducted into the UWS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
Lang is the all-time leading scorer in UWS history, having accumulated 188 points in just three seasons. The Columbia Heights, Minn., native is a two-time AHCA First-Team All-American, claiming the honor in 1992 and 1993. He was named First Team All-WIAC and First-Team All-NCHA three times, in 1991, 1992 and 1993.
The 1991-92 season was especially great for Lang, as he scored 33 goals and 71 points, both school records, en route to NCHA Player of the Year honors, the first Yellowjacket to ever receive the award. Lang was also a team captain on the first Yellowjacket team to ever reach the NCAA Division III Men’s Hockey Championships in 1992. Lang was inducted into the UWS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
Duluth native Fritch was a two-sport star at UWS, excelling in baseball in addition to hockey. Fritch was a captain on the 1975-76 Yellowjacket team, which claimed the NAIA national championship, the first national title in school history.
Over four years Fritch scored 88 points, which ranks him fourth all-time among defensemen at UWS. Fritch was a three-time NAIA All-American, as he was honored 1974, 1975 and 1976. Fritch was inducted into the UWS Hall of Fame in 2003.
After a red-shirt season in his first year at UWS, Graichen only played two games as a freshman. He took off after that, however, and became one of the greatest goaltenders in school history.
A three-time AHCA All-American (First-Team in 1995 and 1997, Second-Team in 1996), the Salem, N.H. native holds the school record for games played in a career (96) and a season (33) as well as having the school record for saves (2,482). A member of four teams that played in the NCAA Division III Men’s Hockey Championship, Graichen held the record for saves in an NCAA game until the record was broken in the 2010 national championship game.
Graichen was inducted into the UWS Hall of Fame in 2007.
For more information about the WIAC and its centennial celebration, visit the conference online at www.wiacsports.com.