STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) – Just days before the Central Wisconsin Saints hockey team is set to host a playoff game, the team needs a new sheet of ice to play on.
Stevens Point city leaders say the team needs to pay off its debts over ice costs from this season and last season before it can return to K.B. Willett Arena. The team owes the city about $11,000 Stevens Point Media reported Monday.
The Saints owed $23,000 from unpaid ice time last season and was making payments on the balance under its previous owners. After making payments toward that debt and going 22-1-2 during the regular season this year, the team must pay or find a neutral site for its playoff game against the Wisconsin Dells Ducks.
Team leaders say the city got more aggressive in debt collections after the team started looking to move to a new city. The team has also incurred new debt from ice time this season.
“The bottom line is, the only people being punished are the young men who moved here to have a chance to play college hockey,” team coach and general manager Marty Quarters said.
The Saints is a junior hockey team for players after high school but before college. College scouts often find talented players in the competitive junior leagues.