As a freshman hockey player at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Justin Kaufenberg pumped a goal in one of his first games as a collegiate skater. "Unfortunately, only five more followed in the next four years," Kaufenberg says, able to laugh about his diminutive stats a decade later.
The levity is worthy of note, considering that the boyish 29-year-old is about to take the biggest shot of his young life.
In late summer, Kaufenberg and his TST Media co-founder, Carson Kipfer, acquired the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship from popular tournament founder Fred Haberman. In its five-year history, the tourney has fast become one of the most unusual winter events in the country, garnering attention from a slew of national media outlets and hosting skaters from nearly every state in the union, all vying for the Golden Shovel.