In its inaugural season, the Williston State College Tetons hockey team fell one game short of winning a NJCAA championship.
The Tetons started practice this week, with the hopes of repeating last season’s magic.
“We’ve brought in some better players,” said Tetons head coach Seamus Gregory. “The recruiting class is really strong and looking forward to the level of play we were last year, but we feel we’ve brought in the guys that are going to get us back there and ultimately take us over the hump.
The Tetons opened practice Monday night at the Agri-Sports Complex on the Upper Missouri Valley Fairgrounds. They will be looking to have similar success to what they had in the 2011-12 season.
Williston State made it to the NJCAA championship, where it fell 4-2 to the Monroe Community College Feb. 26 in Rochester, N.Y.
While their run was improbable, Gregory said the support from the Williston community helped them out a lot.
“(The season) was very successful, and a lot of that came from community support,” said Gregory. “The people who work at the Agri-Sport Center, it’s a volunteer facility, so we’re very lucky with the support and that kind of helped us get started, and then we went on a little bit of a run there.”
While the community is still rallying around the new Tetons team, the popularity of the game, especially with the likes of the University of North Dakota, has really helped out the budding program,
“Hockey’s a growing in sport here in Williston,” said Gregory. “Obviously with North Dakota, and all the success that they’ve had, hockey’s big, and having the support in town is huge. We depend on our local support for everything we do at the junior college level, and we’re very excited and happy to have the fans we have.”
The Tetons will play their Black and White scrimmage at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Agri-Sports Complex, before Taking on Minot State in back-to-back games.
The Williston State Tetons will play Minot state at home at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 in Williston, and then head to Minot on Oct. 27.