Levi Wunder living out his dream

Rachel Oakley | Mining Journal
Alabama-Huntsville’s Levi Wunder chases after the puck in Northern Michigan’s zone, pursued by NMU’s Adam Roeder Friday night at the Superior Dome in Marquette.

Rachel Oakley | Mining Journal Alabama-Huntsville’s Levi Wunder chases after the puck in Northern Michigan’s zone, pursued by NMU’s Adam Roeder Friday night at the Superior Dome in Marquette.

MARQUETTE — For well more than a decade, Levi Wunder had dreamed about playing college hockey.

The 2015 Escanaba High School graduate has turned that dream into reality as a 5-foot-9, 165-pound freshman left wing for the University of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers.

Wunder had an opportunity to return to the Upper Peninsula with the Chargers last weekend for a pair of games at Northern Michigan University’s Berry Events Center.

He started in Saturday night’s 3-2 victory over the Wildcats and played briefly a few more times during the contest.

“This is unbelievable,” he said. “I watched my first hockey game here when I was eight years old. I just enjoyed the hockey so much. I have a lot of friends on Northern Michigan’s team and got to renew some acquaintances. They’re really cool guys.”

Wunder and his teammates were naturally happy with the split after dropping a 3-1 decision to the Wildcats in Friday night’s game.

“It’s always our goal to get a split on the road,” he said. “The competition is top notch every night. This is a big conference (WCHA) win. Northern usually has good goaltending.”

Wunder, who spent last season playing for the Lone Star Brahmas and Odessa Jackalopes in the South Division of the North American Hockey League, says college hockey is a big jump from high school.

“There’s a lot of older guys,” he added. “Some of them are 24 or 25 years old. The big guys have a lot of weight on you. It’s a man’s game. There’s not as much space out there. You can’t take a shift off, especially in conference games. My transition into the college game has been all right. I’ve been killing penalties. I do whatever the coach (Mike Corbett) asks. I’ve also been able to maintain my grades. We have a lot of long road trips which take up a lot of time.”

The team left Huntsville on Wednesday (Nov. 29) and arrived in Marquette Thursday night (Nov. 30).

“It was about a 16 to 17-hour bus ride up here,” said Wunder. “We had breakfast in Port Washington (Wis.) Thursday morning, then we practiced in Green Bay.

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