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UWS men picked fourth in WIAC

The University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s hockey team practices under the new scoreboard at Wessman Arena on Thursday morning. The Yellowjackets open the season tonight at Northland College in Ashland. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) 1 / 3
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There’s nowhere to go but up for the University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s hockey team.

The Yellowjackets are coming off a season with an overall record of 9-18-1 and a WIAC mark of 1-11, good for last place in the five-team league.

In a preseason poll of WIAC head coaches and sports information directors, UWS was picked to finish fourth this season.

UW-Stevens Point (23-7-1, 10-2) has been picked to win its second straight WIAC title.

UWS begins its 60th season of varsity men’s ice hockey with 14 returning letter winners, including junior forward Anton Svensson, who led the team in scoring with 19 points (8 goals, 11 assists).

Jordan Neduzak, a junior from Morden, Manitoba, was third in scoring last year with 15 points (9 goals, 6 assists) and Ian Ecklund a sophomore from Twig, Minn., tied for fourth with 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists).

Other returning forwards include juniors Cal Miska (Stacy, Minn.) and Jordan Shockley (Duluth Marshall) and sophomore Brandon Anderson (St. Cloud).

The remaining 11 forwards are freshmen, including former Superior Spartans’ Daniel Litchke and Tyler Nystrom.

Litchke last played with the Spartans in 2011-12. He is unofficially No. 14 on the Spartans’ all-time scoring list with 110 points (59 goals, 51 assists).

Litchke didn’t play for Superior his senior season, electing to play junior hockey. He played for the Janesville Jets during the 2012-13 season then the last two with the Minnesota Wilderness in Cloquet. Last year was his best season in scoring with 12 goals and 12 assists.

Nystrom was a member of Superior’s state championship team last season. The captain led the Spartans in scoring with 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists).

He is unofficially No. 21 on Superior’s all-time scoring list with 88 points (43 goals, 45 assists). His best season with the Spartans came in 2012-13 when he finished with 45 points (24 goals, 21 assists).

Goalies Bryce Fink, a sophomore from Tacoma, Wash., and Cory Simons, a junior from Crystal Lake, Ill., are back after starting 11 games each last year. New to the group is freshman Ethan Wood, Jasper, Alberta.

Superior’s defense will be anchored by Eric Shand, a junior from San Dimas, Calif. The first-team all-conference selection the past two seasons had four goals and seven assists last year.

Returning blue-liners include senior Wes Judnick (Virginia, Minn.), juniors Matt Audette and Owen Stauber (Hermantown), and sophomores Dan Kovar and Dylan Nelson.

The remaining defensemen are freshmen Nik Kosman, T.J. Theodosopoulos, Brad Swampy and Beau Browing.

UWS head coach Dan Stauber became the program’s all-time wins leader with his final win of the 2014-15 season, passing Steve Nelson (1987-2000) with his 249th victory.

Stauber’s assistant coach is Rodney Graham, a native of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Graham was an assistant coach with the UWS women’s hockey team before joining the men’s team in 2007. He played hockey for the ’Jackets from 1993-97 and helped the team reach the NCAA Final Four each season while serving as assistant captain.

Graham is currently second all-time in games played (129) and sixth in penalties (101). Randy Barker is No. 1 in games played (130) and Kris Wilson has the most penalties (150).

When he graduated, Graham was tied for No. 10 in assists (83) and 22nd with 116 points (33 goals, 83 assists).

The Yellowjackets will play 14 of their 25 regular-season games on home ice during the 2015-16 campaign.

UWS opens the season at 7:05 p.m. today at Northland College in Ashland and at 3 p.m. Saturday at Finlandia University in Hancock, Mich.

TheYellowjackets’ first home game is Nov. 6 against Augsburg.

All UWS games will be carried live on the radio on KUWS 91.3 FM.

’JACKET JOTTINGS: Stauber has an overall record of 249-133-55 in 16 seasons at UWS. … The Yellowjackets lost 10 letter winners from last year’s team and return 14. … After playing at Duluth Denfeld High School, Stauber played four years at UWS. He appeared in 99 games, scoring 47 goals and 71 assists for 118 points. He was also a team captain during his final two years and led his team in scoring twice. … River Falls’ roster includes Mitch Kontny of Superior and Ryan Gotelaere of Lake Nebagamon. Kontny, a junior forward, totaled 18 goals and 16 assists in two seasons with the Falcons. Gotelaere, who played high school hockey at Duluth Marshall, last played for the Wenatchee Wild in the BCHL. … Connor Faupel, who had five assists in 19 games last season for UWS, has transferred to St. Scholastica.

2015-16 WIAC Men’s Hockey Poll

1. UW-Stevens Point (23-7-1)....................... 10-2

2. UW-Eau Claire (18-7-2)............................ 9-3

3. UW-River Falls (20-7-1)............................ 7-5

4. UW-Superior (9-18-1).............................. 1-11

5. UW-Stout (8-17-1).................................. 3-9

UWS Men’s Hockey Schedule

Fri., Oct. 30.......... at Northland College, 7 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 31........ at Finlandia, 3 p.m.

Fri., Nov. 6........... vs. Augsburg, 7:05 p.m.

Sat., Nov. 7.......... vs. St. Thomas, 5 p.m.

Fri., Nov. 13.......... at St. Olaf, 7 p.m.

Sat., Nov. 14........ at Hamline, 7 p.m.

Fri., Nov. 2........... vs. St. Norbert, 7:05 p.m.

Sat., Nov. 21........ vs. Marian, 7:05 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 25...... vs. Hamline, 7:05 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 4........... at UW-Stout, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 5.......... at UW-Stevens Point, 7 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 11.......... vs. MSOE, 7:05 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 12........ vs. MSOE, 5 p.m.

Tue., Jan. 5.......... vs. Finlandia, 7:05 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 8............ vs. Concordia (Minn.), 7 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 9.......... vs. Saint John’s, 5 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 15.......... at Gust. Adolphus, 7 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 16......... at Bethel, 7 p.m.

Thur., Jan. 21........ at UW-Stout, 7:30 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 29.......... vs. UW-Stout, 7:05 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 30......... vs. UW-Eau Claire, 7:05 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 5........... at UW-River Falls, 7 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 6.......... vs. UW-Stevens Pt., 7 p.m.

Tue., Feb. 9.......... vs. UW-River Falls, 7:05 p.m.

Fri. Feb. 12........... at UW-Eau Claire, 7 p.m.

UW-Superior

2015-16 Men’s Hockey Roster

1  Bryce Fink............................. G        5-8       165       So.  Tacoma, Wash.

3  Matt Audette........................ D       5-10      190        Jr.  Thief River Falls, Minn.

4  Ian Ecklund............................ F        6-3       185       So.  Twig, Minn. / Proctor

5  Eric Shand............................. D        6-1       190        Jr.  San Dimas, Calif.

6  Nik Kosman.......................... D       5-11      180        Fr.  Calgary, Alberta

7  T.J. Theodosopoulos.......... F        5-7       170        Fr.  Brookings, S.D.

8  Wes Judnick.......................... D        6-3       200        Sr.  Virginia, Minn.

9  Jordan Neduzak................... F       5-11      185        Jr.  Morden, Manitoba

10 Daniel Litchke....................... F        5-9       170        Fr.  Superior

11 Anton Svensson................... F        5-8       180        Jr.  Sodertalje, Sweden

12 Brad Swampy...................... D       5-10      180        Fr.  Opaskwayak, Manitoba

13 Dan Kovar............................ D        5-9       165       So.  Bismarck, N.D.

14 Olle Sedelius........................ F        5-9       180        Fr.  Gothenburg, Sweden

15 Lukas Denk........................... F        6-3       205        Fr.  Brno, Czech Republic

16 Beau Browning.................... D       5-10      180        Fr.  Queen Creek, Ariz.

17 Jordan Shockley.................. F        5-8       170        Jr.  Duluth Marshall

18 Dylan Nelson....................... D       5-11      185       So.  Clearwater, Minn.

19 Jared Dedenbach................ F       5-10      185        Fr.  Warren, Mich.

20 David Kenney....................... F       5-11      180        Fr.  St. Cloud, Minn.

21 Viktor Sallhag...................... F        6-0       185        Fr.  Vasteras, Sweden

22 Owen Stauber...................... D        6-0       185        Jr.  Hermantown

23 Brandon Anderson.............. F        6-4       210       So.  St. Cloud, Minn.

24 Jimmy Hughes..................... F        5-8       175        Jr.  Circle Pines, Minn.

25 Reed Murray......................... F       5-10      195        Fr.  Calgary, Alberta

26 Kajon McKay........................ F       5-10      185        Fr.  Warbowden, Manitoba

27 Tyler Nystrom..................... F       5-10      180        Fr.  Superior

28 Cal Miska.............................. F        6-1       195       So.  Stacy, Minn.

30 Cory Simons....................... G       5-10      175        Jr.  Crystal Lake, Ill.

35 Ethan Wood......................... G        6-1       185        Fr.  Jasper, Alberta

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