Wisconsin-Stevens Point earned the right to claim Division III hockey’s first dynasty by winning four national titles in five seasons between 1989 and 1993. The Pointers passed the D3 dynasty torch to Middlebury in the 1998 championship and sunk into a frustrating stretch of mediocrity.

With shrewd recruiting and an unwavering mission that drew top Midwest talent, coach Chris Brooks guided Wisconsin-Stevens Point back to national prominence in just his third season. After building a solid foundation in the first two years (29-22-5), a 13-1-1 start this season confirmed Brooks had built something special.

Playing in the newly formed Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the Pointers (21-5-2) couldn’t count on any nights off. Yet they haven’t budged from the top five of both the USCHO and D3.com polls since Dec. 2, and head into the Frozen Four as just one of three teams in the country ranked in the top 10 in both team offense (4.64 goals per game) and defense (1.93 goals per game).

Junior forward Garrett Ladd,  the WIAC’s inaugural player of the year, finished fourth in the nation in scoring with 41 points (19 goals, 22 assists). Freshman forward Kyle Sharkey followed a prolific NAHL career by tying sophomore forward Joe Kalisz for second on the team with 14 goals. Kyle Brodie led all WIAC defensemen in scoring (8 goals, 17 assists), while blue line partner and fellow junior Kevin Gibson posted the second-best plus/minus in the WIAC (+21).

The defense, also led by senior Tyler Krueger, has allowed five goals in the past four games. Junior netminder Brandon Jaeger (four shutouts) is an exceptional big-game performer as his 25-save stoning of No. 2-ranked St. Thomas in the Pointers’ 3-0 quarterfinal win demonstrated.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: