Wausau, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Wausau Riverwolves are back on the ice and ready for their home opener. They say preparing for a season during a pandemic has been a challenge, but now more than ever, they're ready for the puck drop.
Through uncertain times, director of business ops. Zach Serwe says they're carrying on what they know best.
"The one thing that we're going to continue to do that we've always done in the past is provide something the community can be proud of," said Serwe.
As a seasonal staple of Central Wisconsin, they're hoping to provide relief from the day-to-day.
"For the people that have been cooped up all summer, to do something that's safe, socially distant where they can enjoy themselves," continued Serwe.
After a long off season, now seeing efforts come to fruition, no one is more excited than head coach Colin Bailey. Bailey said he did most of the scouting for this years team virtually, and wasn't able to step into a rink until August. He's glad to have a full roster.
Now that the team is here, a main goal is keeping the team safe.
"I don't think their equipment has ever been this clean," said Bailey.
Bailey is a Wausau native himself, now in his second year as head coach, he puts focus on recruiting locally.
"There's a lot of great hockey talent in the Central Wisconsin area, so I would be doing myself a disadvantage to not tap into what we have right here," continued Bailey.
Max Beste, a Mosinee native is a center for the Riverwolves. He's excited to play at the next level and do it right in his own backyard.
"It makes it feel more safe, for sure and it makes it easier obviously on me to not have to go to a different state and not knowing the risk," said Beste.
There's just a few tickets left for Friday nights home opener.
The Riverwolves will be operating under the 25% capacity mandate, and requiring masks in house.