Though picked for third, the Pointers’ early-season form suggests they are league-championship material.
The team’s roiling 4-1 start (2-0 in NCHA play) has featured a balanced scoring attack, conscientious defensive play and stellar goaltending by sophomore Nick Graves. UW-Stevens Point’s start could make a mockery out of the preseason coaches poll, which had the Pointers finishing behind St. Norbert and University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
“I think if you went back and looked at those preseason polls and looked at where those teams (eventually) finished, they are probably not that real accurate,” coach Wil Nichol says. “I think we have a team that can definitely compete in this league, but
I also think there are six other teams that can compete.
“I think any team can win this league. It’s a tough league; it’s a very balanced league.”
The Pointers offense could not be calibrated much better. After five games, 20 players factored in scoring. Sophomore forward Alex Handy was the pied piper, with a team-leading three goals and three assists.
Five defensemen also registered at least a point, with senior rearguard Garrett Suter carting a goal and two assists.
In goal, sophomore Nick Graves is building on an impressive sophomore season when he went 9-7-1 with a 2.93 GAA. Graves was 4-0, which included a 2-0 shutout over Bethel on Nov. 5.
Goalie Randy Wilcott, who started in the team’s lone loss this season, is one of seven freshmen who’s seen action this season.
Frosh forwards Max Bobrow (1 goal, 4 assists), Kyle Politz (1 goal, 1 assists) and Kyle Heck (1 goal) have made an immediate impact, which fits in with the Pointers’ team-first mantra.
“I think we have some balance,” Nichol says. “We’re getting contributions from a lot of different guys and not just on the scoresheet, but in all facets of the game.”