RiverKings start unbeaten, set home opener attendance record
FOR CITY TIMES
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — The Wisconsin Rapids RiverKings Junior hockey team opened its new season Sept. 30 with a 5-2 win over the Dells Ducks at Poppy Waterman Ice Arena in Wisconsin Dells. The RiverKings outshot the Ducks 61 to 23.
The following night, the RiverKings opened their home season at South Wood County Recreation Center against the Minnesota Moose, in front of a record 589 fans. In a great contest – and in front of a record home opener crowd – the home team did not disappoint, coming away with a hard-fought 3-2 win. The Moose unloaded a fury of shots late in the third period, but goaltender Lucas Brine was up to the challenge and shut down the Moose offensive push to come out with a great home opener win.
John Schwarz, CEO and majority owner who sold 49 percent of the USPHL Premier team to a new ownership group, said, “I am so happy for the Wisconsin Rapids community, the team, and our amazing sponsors and volunteers. I am absolutely thrilled with our new ownership group. New GM and head coach, Paul Pechmann, brings a wealth of hockey and coaching experience coupled with extreme integrity to his role at the helm of the team. Lane Houk, new operating partner and Chief Marketing Officer, also brings decades of business, marketing, consulting and non-profit experience to the partnership; and John McNeish brings a career in management and project management to the organization.
Schwarz also remarked that the new team Pechmann has recruited this season is a completely new team, with no players returning that were part of the previous team(s). Pechmann is a seasoned veteran in the game of hockey. He played prep school hockey, then progressed to playing for the University of Connecticut in college. He has been coaching junior and college hockey for almost 15 years.
The Wisconsin Rapids RiverKings, a Junior Hockey Team within the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL), began operations on May 1, 2014. The RiverKings call the South Wood County Recreation Center in Wisconsin Rapids home ice.