Denfeld News

March 2, 2011
Duluth News Tribune

Yellowjackets have strong fan base in Stauber clan
By Kevin Pates

The sports schedule for the extended Stauber family is nearing a peak this weekend:

The Northern Collegiate Hockey Association women’s semifinals and final are Friday and Saturday in River Falls, Wis. No. 9-ranked Wisconsin-Superior plays Adrian (Mich.) College on Friday. Jamie Stauber is a UWS assistant coach.

The NCHA men’s playoff title game is Saturday in Green Bay. No. 15 UWS plays No. 1 St. Norbert College. Dan Stauber is the UWS coach and his nephew, Derek Stauber (Jamie’s son), is a sophomore defenseman.

The Section 5A high school boys hockey title game is Friday in Champlin Park, Minn. Owen Stauber (Dan’s son) is a Hermantown junior defenseman.

“This is what our family has done for so many winters. The game of hockey grabs you and keeps you, and the love of the game is passed to the next generation,” said Jamie Stauber, a Lieutenant Colonel with Duluth’s 148th Fighter Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard, in his second year at UWS after coaching with the Proctor-Hermantown-Marshall program, where his daughter, Emma, was a senior defenseman this season.

Six Stauber brothers played the sport at Denfeld High School, and all have coached at the youth, high school or college level — John, 50; Jamie, 48; Dan, 47; Pete, 45; Robb, 44; and Bill, 42. They get along well enough to have started a business together in 1990, Stauber Brothers Sporting Goods in Duluth.

They probably will be at a rink, and not in the store, Friday and Saturday.
The UWS women (13-7-7) have been to the NCHA title game four of the last five years, and a win Friday would likely put the Yellowjackets against top-ranked Wisconsin-River Falls (23-0-4) in the final.

Almost half of the UWS team is new this season, including two first-year goalies to replace graduated star Melissa Kunzelman. Coach Dan Laughlin says patience was critical in the team’s development with 19 of 27 games decided by two goals or less. The Yellowjackets needed a 1-0 mini-game victory to dispatch Lake Forest College in last weekend’s opening round.

“We’ve grown quite a bit and now we’re seeing the maturity of a full season,” said Laughlin, 149-55-15 in eight years. “There’s a night-and-day difference from the start of the year.”

Freshman Shanley Peters of Gnadenthal, Manitoba, and transfer Amy Togerson of Wentzville, Mo., who played 15 games last season for Division III Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology, have split games in goal. UWS has allowed just one goal in each of the last four games.

River Falls faces Concordia (Wis.) in Friday’s other semifinal game.

The UWS men (16-11-1) are in the NCHA championship game for the first time since 2009. That year, the Yellowjackets beat St. Norbert 3-0 in the semifinals and lost to Wisconsin-Stout 4-3 in the finals.

This season, on Jan. 20-21 at Amsoil Arena, UWS beat St. Norbert 3-0 and lost 5-4, and on Feb. 4 on the road, St. Norbert beat UWS 3-0. They’re the NCHA’s top seeded teams.

“In the league preseason poll we were picked sixth of seven teams, so maybe we’re an underdog, but we’ve played well the last three weeks and have used every bit of energy to extend our season.” said Dan Stauber, 208-74-42 in 11 years at UWS after coaching at Denfeld and assisting at UWS. “We had a stretch of five straight losses (spanning January and February), but four of those were by one goal.”

Of 12 players on the all-NCHA first team, eight were from UWS and St. Norbert, including UWS forwards Talon Berlando and Justin Faryna, and defenseman Jeff Forsythe. Six of the team’s top seven scorers are sophomores or freshmen.

An NCHA title game victory means an automatic berth in the Division III tournament. The NCAA entries, seven for women and 11 for men, will be announced Sunday.

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