Wausau, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Central Wisconsin Storm are back in some very familiar territory.
With a 5-1 win over the Fox Cities Stars on Saturday, the Storm punched their ticket to state for the eighth time in nine years.
It was a nice bit of revenge for the Storm, who lost to the Stars in last year's sectional final to snap a streak of seven straight state appearances.
And while just getting to state is a great accomplishment, the Storm know their work has just begun.
" The teams that have made it to state are all great teams and all have really good players on their teams," said forward Samantha Federici. "Our work is not done yet. Just because we made it to state, doesn't mean we can stop working hard in practice and let off, we must keep working hard in practice, and really come prepared for the next game on Wednesday. It's not going to be an easy game, we know it's not going to be an easy game, so it's just do what we did against Fox cities and come out even harder, and show them we're a team to be reckoned with, we want to be the best team in the state."
For the first time in this nine year stretch, the Storm won't be travelling to Madison to play in the tournament.
Instead, they'll host Chippewa Falls Wednesday night at 7, due to COVID-19 protocols enacted this season.
If they were to win, they'll play in the state championship game Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids.
So while having a home game might seem like a big advantage during the state tournament, the Storm aren't making too big of a deal out of it.
" We practice there a lot so we're more used to the ice than maybe our opponent will be, so I maybe think that will give us a little of an advantage, but I don't think that really gives us the advantage, because both teams are good," said Dru Sabatke.
Head Coach Jacques DuVair added, "We've been really successful at Greenheck this year, played some really really good games there. I think there is an advantage there. but Dru is right, Chippewa Falls is a good team, so you can take all the advantages you have there, but you still have to go out and play, and they'll definitely be ready."
News 9 will have full coverage of the Storm's semifinal game Wednesday night, and will be airing all three state hockey championship games on Saturday.