MILWAUKEE -- There are a number of different levels to the wide world of hockey, and one new team in Milwaukee is hoping to give players a new opportunity while providing fans with another winter activity.
“I love the junior mentality, the grind, get the job done you know,” said Brady Rossbach, junior at New Berlin Eisenhower High School.
In their first season as a junior hockey team in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Power is all about the grind.
“It really gets your name out there. If you have a good staff as we do, you really get different opportunities that I don't think you can get in high school,” said Nick Roberts, senior at Whitnall High School.
The USA Hockey sanctioned, tier 3 team, allows hockey players from ages 16 to 21 to play together, working to develop their game and put them on the hockey world’s radar.
"Hearing about it, was kind of from my Dad,” said Roberts. “He just told me that a junior team was coming to Milwaukee and at first I thought wow, I get to go see what junior hockey is all about and go see them play and I heard about them having try outs and it kind of dawned on me this is my next step. Try and progress my game to the next level and see where that can go."
“I’m hoping to get better and just have a great time and see if I can get a few offers from colleges,” said Rossbach.
Milwaukee Power is one of several junior hockey teams in the state, but the only one in southeast Wisconsin. In their first year, they’re aiming to put a competitive product on the ice – giving hockey fans a new kind of experience.
“It’s not till you score a goal or after the game you really hear the fans go wild and it really just kind of gets you in the feel of like, wow, we’re really making an impact on this community and doing something big,” Roberts said.
Even though it isn’t a high school sport, high schoolers are part of the team and learning to balance both has its challenges.
“It’s become a grind,” said Rossbach. “I mean I have to go home and do a lot of schoolwork online and even on the bus every day, on the bus I do homework so it pays off – it really does.”
The age range of players proves valuable.
"You get to see a lot of what older guys do. I know with my older teams with younger guys you don’t really go and hang out as much but with guys out of high school you get to go and spend most of the day with a bunch of the guys,” said Roberts.
Working toward big goals, one shot at a time.