Wausau RiverWolves prepare for home opener - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau RiverWolves prepare for home opener

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

The Wausau RiverWolves have been preparing for their season opener for over a month now and they're finally starting to see some improvements in the way the team gels.

"Right now for being where we are and starting a lot later, I think we're making pretty good pace right now," RiverWolves defenseman Santana Pinkert said. "We have a lot of potential for the upcoming season. Anything less than the playoffs is a disappointment in our eyes." 

Since this is a younger team with more rookies than veterans, there is still a lot of work to be done, especially in the defensive zone. Exhibition games against teams like St. Norbert are pivotal because it gives the guys a chance to play in a live environment outside of practice. 

"These scrimmages and exhibition games are huge," head coach Tim Brownell said.  "They give our guys a chance to see another opponent other than themselves and it's awesome. They're playing against 21, 22 , 23-year-olds, where we have 17 and 18 year olds." 

Junior hockey is a different animal and the RiverWolves are having minor difficulties when it comes to the fundamentals -- like tape to tape passes, but the team doesn't seem to be worried, saying they are all easy fixes. 

 "I really like our odds -- I really do," Brownell said. "I like where we're at and what we have. I think a lot of teams are going to overlook us, but I like the fact that we have a little bit of a later start."

Now it's all about getting ready for the fast-paced, high-tempo atmosphere that comes with the NA3HL and that all begins on October 13th in the home opener against the Rochester Ice Hawks. 

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