Over the past decade, the Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic has created some awesome local hockey history.
The format, identical since its inception sees eight teams at the event playing three games in three days at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena in Lake Delton.
The only knowledge anyone has coming into the event is a first round opponent. After the first game, wins and losses dictate the path followed with the third day ultimately ranking the teams and finally, crowning that year’s Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic Champion.
There are several holiday tournaments during the stretch between Christmas and New Years but this tournament has carved out a niche in South Central Wisconsin.
The first event, in the first season of the RWD Co-Op merger was won by the host RWD team thanks to an overtime game winner for Alex Yacko against a team for Pleasant Prairie, IL. Five years ago, the
RWD has reached the state championship quarter-finals twice in the past decade. The first was after winning the Cheeseburger Classic trophy a decade ago.
The other time came five seasons ago as RWD entered the tournament with a so-so 4-3-1 start to the season but swept the tournament on its was to a stretch of 19 games without a loss, carrying it all the way back to the state championship quarterfinals again.
It’s safe to say, this tournament means a lot to the RWD program.
The RWD Cheavers enter the tournament with a 6-2-1 record, 3-0-0 in the Badger North and riding a three-game winning streak. They will wrap up the opening night of the tournament taking on the Stoughton Vikings (4-6-0, 2-2 Badger South) at 7:30 p.m.
Other games at the Poppy Waterman today:
– 12 p.m. Greendale Ice Force vs. Deforest Norskies – Someone is snapping a season opening losing streak here as the Ice Force (0-10, 0-3 Classic Eight) squares off against the Norskies (0-7, 0-3 Badger North).
– 2:30 p.m. Tomah/Sparta vs. Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders – Tomah/Sparta (4-3-1, 0-1 Mississippi Valley) is in the first season of a new cooperative effort and the merger is paying off as both teams finished well under .500 in the past few seasons. Overall, the combo has a winning record, but they enter the Classic riding a two-game losing streak while the Red Raiders (4-4-0, 1-3 Wisconsin Valley) is off to a slow win one, lose one type start to the season.
– 5 p.m. The Avalanche from Aquinas will square off against the McFarland Spartans. The Avs (7-3-0, 0-1 Mississippi Valley) are a team of streaks. After winning its first four to start the season, the Avs dropped three straight. But entering this event, the Avs are back on the winning path, taking three in a row. The Spartans (5-3-0, 1-3-0 Badger South) lost its most recent test and have dropped three of its past five after a 3-0 start to the season.
Start times for Day two depend on performance in the opening round.