The Spooner Civic Center has had the privilege of hosting many high school hockey games this season. High schools in Wisconsin have continued to offer hockey while the neighboring states took a pause due to COVID-19. In Wisconsin, masks were mandated for players to wear on the ice, and fans were allowed in some facilities with masks and social distancing. High school and WIAA guidelines were followed and some facilities decided to not allow fans. The Spooner Civic Center worked with the Northwest Iceman Co-op and Superior High School Hockey teams this season to allow fans.
The Northwest Icemen, the High School Co-op of Spooner, Shell Lake, Cumberland, Barron, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser, and Cameron use all of the rinks in its' co-op towns. The rinks at Barron, Cumberland, and Spooner were all hosts to high school games this year. Home team visitors were allowed if they had tickets from a skater and the school. Varsity and Junior Varsity games were played at the Spooner Civic Center and on January 26th senior recognition took place after the game at the Spooner Civic Center with seniors retiring their jerseys. Unfortunately, some players were quarantined and not able to participate, but like their Northwest Icemen senior photo announces "2020-21 will not define me... it made me stronger, faster and more resilient."
Senior Photos: Carter Bickle, Brady Johannes (Spooner), Connor Linsmeyer, Celeb Peterson, Trent Zenzen, Jace Burch (Spooner), Lucas Anderson, Matt Vosberg (Spooner), Grace Bever, Mason Bohn, and Ben Shatley.
On February 18th the Superior High School will play their semi-final at the Spooner Civic Center after enjoying two other playoff games at the Spooner Civic Center. Coach Jason Kalin of Superior states "Entering the school year, I didn't think we'd be here with what was going on in the world, but I'm super happy that we're here with an opportunity to do something that we haven't done in a few years." Superior is seconded-seeded and will face Lakeland Union (13-4) in Division 2 play. The winner of this game will go onto the state final in Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday.
Superior's athletic director reached out to Spooner's athletic director and then to the Spooner Civic Center due to the fact that Wessman Arena in Superior was not allowing fans due to COVID-19 protocols and WIAA required fans for these playoff games.
Powell, a player on Superior's team states "It's a challenge driving an hour to a home game, but other than that it's a really cool rink. I've never played here in my life, but others (on the team) have and they liked it. It's super cool, and my favorite part was finally getting people to come out and watch us."
Coach Kalin continues, "I love it. It's a great arena. I really appreciate Spooner stepping up and helping us out because we needed a place to stay. To be honest, this has been talked about within the section, about making this the sectional final venue from here on out, and that's totally cool. I love coming down here. It's a great atmosphere."
Fans from Superior and Lakeland Union will be allowed into the Spooner Civic Center with tickets that have been distributed to them. If you would like to watch the game, check out www.WIAA.tv or the game will be on the big screen at Jerseys Sportsbar and Grille.
[photo credit: Geri Moore]