The RiverWolves Junior Hockey Team practice in anticipation of their first-ever home game Friday at Marathon Park.
Semi-professional hockey makes its debut in Wausau this weekend as the new RiverWolves team begins their inaugural season Friday night at Marathon Park. As part of the North American Tier III Hockey League, the RiverWolves will bring junior level hockey to the Wausau area for the first time ever.
RiverWolves’ Business Manager Zach Serwe says there’s been a buzz surrounding the team as it prepares for its opener against the Rochester Ice Hawks. “Normally you find these different areas across the country that have some type of junior hockey history, and Wausau doesn’t really have that,” Serwe says. “We’ve had a good response from sponsors and different partners that want to be involved.”
The RiverWolves were formerly located in Chicago, but owner Steve Black moved the franchise to Wausau this year to drum up more interest in the team. In Chicago, the team had to compete for fans with professional and semi-professional squads. The closest semi-pro team to Wausau are the Green Bay Gamblers, a Tier I junior level club.
The RiverWolves team features players from across the US including as far away as Wyoming, but also local talents such as Austin Bugener and Ben Brown, both from Merrill. All players are ages 17-20 and looking to advance their hockey skills in order to attain a college scholarship.
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