For the first time, the new Eagle River team in the North American Hockey League has an identity: the Wisconsin Windigo.
The team, owned by a local consortium of owners as part of Copper Island Hockey Club LLC, announced the new nickname on Tuesday.
Last week, the Windigo announced the hiring of Houghton native and former Michigan Tech hockey player Blake Hietala as the team’s inaugural head coach.
The Windigos were previously the Minnesota Magicians. The team announced it received 153 name suggestions from the public.
The Wisconsin Windigo name was submitted by Jonathon Gould, 13, on March 20. Gould, a goaltender in the Eagle River Hockey Association.
“I came up with the name after remembering about stuff (my teammates and I) would talk about last year in the locker room,” Gould said in a Windigo statement. “I was thinking it goes well because it just rolls off the tongue.”
The Windigo is a mythical creature said to haunt the Great Lakes region and Canada, especially during winter blizzards. The creature is mainly known as an antlered beast reminiscent of reindeer.