Jack Wandmacher just joined the St. Cloud Norsemen back in January but he’s not new to the NAHL, in fact he’s on schedule to celebrate his 100th NAHL game this Saturday when the Norsemen host the North Iowa Bulls.
St. Cloud Norsemen Assistant Coach Brock Kautz knows that it’s a big accolade. “That’s a good milestone to have for sure and just a testament to himself. To be able to put himself in the lineup that many times is first and foremost. It obviously says a lot about who he is,” acknowledges Kautz. “Anytime you have that experience, you have a lot of value to a hockey team. That’s good for him, but I’m sure there’s nothing more that he wants than a couple wins, so I don’t think he’s too worried about that but I think he’s happy about it.”
The Norsemen actually have an opportunity for three wins on the weekend as they’re on the road in Mason City, IA Friday night, play at home Saturday night and then have a makeup game Sunday afternoon from a game missed back on December 16th due to poor travelling conditions.
“It’s been pretty special to stay in the league, to keep having a spot. It’s pretty important to me,” Wandmacher admits on approaching 100 NAHL games. “I think my effort shows that I have a spot on these teams and I think it’s pretty great.”
A St. Louis Park, MN native, Wandmacher spent last season and the first half of this season playing for the Corpus Christi IceRays. He enjoys being back closer to home and while leaving a team he’d played with for 83 games was tough, he feels he’s where he’s supposed to be now. “It was definitely hard at the time but I’m glad I came. The boys are great, the coaching staff is great and my billets are great,” beams Wandmacher. “I couldn’t ask for any better.”
Wandmacher is a left wing, a left-handed shot and at 5’10 and 175 pounds he’s a grinder. His style of hockey fits perfectly with the Norsemen in Kautz’s eyes. “He moves his feet and he works very, very hard. I think we may have been struggling with getting left shot forwards into the lineup earlier but I think for him, he has some experience and plays the game the right way,” Kautz compliments. “He kinda gives us a little more depth but also gives us another guy that can skate super well and is willing to bump people off the puck and get in on the forecheck and disrupt other teams. We’ve been pleased with how he’s handled himself coming back to Minnesota and I’m sure the weather’s a little different but I think he’s happy to be here and he’s enjoying his time.”
The former Oriole scored 46 goals and 113 points over 85 regular season games in his four seasons for St. Louis Park High School and has a stat line of 12-21-33 in 98 games in the NAHL. When asked what style he plays, Wandmacher doesn’t hesitate in how to describe his game. “I’m definitely a workhorse out there,” answers Wandmacher. He then clarifies, “I try to be. I’ll definitely give 100% at all times.”
Wandmacher and the Norsemen travel to Mason City, IA to take on the North Iowa Bulls with the puck dropping at 7:10 and it can be seen on hockeytv.com. Saturday’s game is back in St. Cloud at the MAC at 7:00 and Sunday’s afternoon game will get underway at 3:00. You can get tickets for either or both games at tickets.stcloudnorsemen.com and don’t forget your skates on Sunday, there will be a post game skate after the game.