Turn Back the Clock: '98-'99 UWS Men's Hockey

By KBJR News 1

Turn Back the Clock: '98-'99 UWS Men's Hockey

August 1, 2011 Updated Aug 1, 2011 at 9:04 PM CDT

Superior, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The 1998-99 UWS men's hockey team finished second in the nation. Now, in 2011, the team will be inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Yellowjackets posted a (22-8-3) overall record that season, going (9-6-1) in the NCHA.

That was good enough for only fifth place in the conference, but UWS advanced to the Division III Frozen Four, where they had placed second just two years earlier.

Once there, the Yellowjackets dispensed of Norwich in the semifinals, winning 4-2. Then, they lost to Middlebury in the title game, 5-0, to once again finish as national runners-up.

That team's head coach was Steve Nelson, who is now the athletic director at UWS.

"My biggest memory is that semifinal game against Norwich," Nelson said. "We weren't favored to win that game, and our captain, Steve Wiggins, scored a hat trick that game to get us into the finals."

In October, that entire 1998-99 men's hockey team will be inducted into the UWS Athletic Hall of Fame, the fifth men's hockey team to have that honor.

Nelson said he's happy to be inducted into the Hall as part of a team.

"To me, it's everything," Nelson said. "To me, it's the most important thing because that's why we play the games and that's why we coach the teams. You have a special group of guys that do a lot together for a year and go through a process of setting goals, trying to get to the final destination of playing for a national championship."

Posted by Zach Schneider
zschneider@northlandsnewscenter.com