UWEC women’s hockey team returns to the ice feeling stronger and faster
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Finally, UW- Eau Claire winter athletics are starting up practice and they’re doing so in waves. The Blugold women’s hockey team was one of the first teams to reunite.
Days before the UWEC women’s hockey team was set to leave it all on the ice in the NCAA quarterfinals. The pandemic forced their impressive season, to a heartbreaking end.
“It’s still very fresh in our minds and to be brutally honest, It hurts,” said head coach Erik Strand.
That disappointment wouldn’t be for nothing.
“Everyone is on the same page that this is an amazing opportunity that we even get to play because so many teams aren’t playing right now so it’s like cool that we get to be here’” said junior Bree Osborne.
Any normal year, the Blugolds would be nearing the halfway point of their season. Monday marked their first practice since March. In their time off, they focused in on getting stronger.
“Because we haven’t been playing games we have been able to a little bit of harder workouts because we didn’t have to worry about about oh our legs need to be fresh for a game,” Osborne said.
Stronger, but still young. Coach Strand considers that an advantage.
“You have that young attitude that young kind of intensity like they’re not afraid of anything yet because they haven’t been in battle.”
“This is one of the fastest teams we have ever had and I don’t think anyone is missing a beat on the ice either,” Osborne said.
While games are expected to begin in February, this team recognizes how fragile this opportunity is.
“I’m watching that clock I’m trying to take in any second because for our group with our seniors some of them won’t be back so it could be their last time on the ice you never know,” said Strand.
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