By Craig Marx, Editor
ANTIGO – Monday, June 20 marks the beginning of the Joe Piskula Hockey Camp 2016, an event that the talented Antigo native has held in his hometown ever since competing at the professional level.
Piskula played defenseman for Coach Bill Thoreson and the Antigo Red Robins before going to play juniors throughout the Midwest, graduating from AHS in 2002. Recruited by the Wisconsin Badgers in 2004, Piskula won an NCAA National Championship against Boston College in 2006 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.
One year after winning the collegiate national title, shared with accomplished Badger teammates such as Stevens Points’ Joe Pavelski, Piskula entered the semi-professional scene, first playing for the affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings – the Manchester Monarchs. After spending nine years between both NHL and AHL clubs, Piskula is currently the captain of the San Diego Gulls, a semi-pro affiliate for the Anaheim Ducks.
Also helping Piskula instruct the future of Antigo hockey is Mike Hanke, a 2001 AHS graduate that played at Saint John’s University in Minnesota and is currently coaching hockey at D.C. Everest in Wausau.
Andy Brandt and Josh Engel, both Badger hockey alumni, will also join the camp’s coaching staff. The five-day long event, mixed with on-ice drills, dry land practice, and scrimmages, including a 4-on-4 tournament, begins with player check-ins and a social cookout on Sunday evening beginning at 5 p.m.