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Lakeland boys hockey making history, energizing community

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Wausau, Wis. (WAOW) -- The Lakeland Union boys hockey team is certainly jazzed up about bringing their school to the state tournament for the first time in history.

"A lot of good energy going on right now, it's a great feeling. First time in school history. I'm just blessed to be part of this group," said sophomore Max Masayesva.

It's a great turnaround from a program that is just a couple of years removed from a 7-15-1 season.

"It's amazing. I've been waiting for this for four years now. It's a great feeling to finally achieve that. Definitely a big step up from where we were my freshman year to where we are now," said senior Victor Masayesva.

Wins over Marshfield, Mosinee and Rhinelander have put them in uncharted waters. And now they'll travel to Spooner where they'll face Superior on Thursday night in their state semifinal game.

"Oh, it's crazy. I've gone to state a few times as a younger player, peewees, Bantam, but there's nothing like going to state at the high school level. It's crazy," said freshman Jack Rubo.

Not only does the opportunity to play in the state tournament mean a lot to the team and its coaches, but it's also meant a lot to the Minocqua community.

"One thing that's changed this year from past year's in high school hockey, with the coronavirus situation, games are being streamed anywhere now, so anyone can watch just about any game they want at home in their living room, on their computer, phone, iPad. That has allowed so many more people to be exposed to our team and what we've gone through this year and it's high school sports, we're a small town, high school sports are a big deal, and these kids represent their community well, and they're a group the community should be proud of," said head coach Jake Suter.

The puck drops at 7:00 p.m. Thursday. You can catch highlights and reaction on News 9 at 10 Thursday night.

News 9 will also be broadcasting all three championship games on Saturday, starting with the Division 2 championship at 9:30.

Brad Hanson

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