The Verona Wildcats play in the first quarterfinal game at the WIAA state boys hockey tournament Thursday at Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
Verona faces Wausau West at noon in the first game of the tournament.
The Wildcats made it to the state semifinals last year, but lost 13 players off the roster this year.
Seven players who played at state last year are on the Wildcats roster this year, but a number of new faces, including a revamped defensive corps has helped get the team back to the state's final eight again in 2013.
Head Coach Joel Marshall says "what our new guys have done that was the big question mark in our D-corps, but being able to compete and do the things they've done this season was a little bit of a surprise from our side for sure-- a pleasant surprise."
Verona brings a 25-2 record into the state tournament and is riding a 10-game winning streak.
The Wildcats are led by senior Zach Jones who's scored 31 goals and junior Charlie Parker who has 25 goals this season.