Ultimate Tournaments took over three Sauk County arena for much of the past weekend, running its second four-day event of 2020 with the Annual Presidents Day Weekend tourney.
The tournament which included Mite, Squirt, Peewee and Bantam divisions was run as usual as a combination of two different three-day tournaments.
The Peewee and Bantam Divisions both started play on Friday evening, wrapping with championship and consolation finals Sunday. The younger divisions both started Saturday afternoon and wrapped up on Monday.
The Lake Delton Ice Arena once again was the tournament headquarters with a full slate of games on all four days, including a bulk of the championship games while Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) and Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) hosted several games as well.
Hodags, Riverdogs claim top honors
The Rhinelander Hodags bantams will host the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA) 3A bantam state championship March 7-8, playing host to the Sauk Prairie bantam Flyers in the final game of the opening round
Friday night, some of the Flyers’ coaching staff got a chance to see the Hodags in action and they know now the opener will be a tough game as the visiting Hodags grabbed their first of four straight weekend wins with a 6-1 decision against the Meramec Sharks from the St. Louis area.
After round robin wins against the Sun Prairie Cardinals (4-1) and Northbrook Bluehawks (7-2) from the Chicago area, the Hodags need an overtime goal in its rematch with the Cardinals to claim the Bantam B Red Division crown 4-3. The Consolation final saw Northbrook avenging a 4-1 round robin play loss to the Sharks with a 4-2 victory.
The Bantam B White Division matched two Chicago Riverdogs teams and two from the Pleasant Prairie Patriots.
Parity was evident in this area as the Riverdogs (Gilner) squad earned a spot in the championship game against Patriots (Walls) having tied each other 5-5 in their round robin contest. Walls’ team actually had two ties in its three round robin games but the final belonged to Riverdogs (Gilner) who dominated with a 6-0 win.
The Consolation match saw Patriots (Melnick) grabbing a 5-2 win against the Riverdogs (Lynch).
Final an all-Riverdogs match
The five-team Peewee House Division including two Chicago Riverdogs teams and they ended up going head-to-head in the championship game. Each team played four round robin games with only the top two moving on to a fifth game.
Both Riverdogs (Clark) and Riverdogs (Seestadt) collected round robin wins against the Pleasant Prairie (Wis.) Patriots and the St. Peter’s Spirit (Mo.) The Kirkwood Stars, a St. Louis area squad battled Seestadt’s peewees to a 2-2 draw and Clark’s team to a 2-2 tie but missed its shot at the final with a rough start, dropping its first game of the weekend 5-1 to the Patriots.
The Riverdogs played to a draw in their head-to-head match but it was Seestadt’s team hoisting the hardware following a 4-0 shutout win in the championship game.
Panthers, Stars and Riverdogs take home Squirt hardware
There were three divisions of Squirts all together – four teams in a Squirt B/House Division and six others divided into two three-team Squirt B pools.
In the House Division, Franklin Park Panthers from the Chicago area wrapped up four straight wins to take home top honors.
After 6-1 wins against both Meramec Sharks and Kirkwood Stars from the St. Louis area and a 5-1 decision against the Sabres from Bolingbrook (near Chicago), the Panthers met the Sabres again in the championship game, collecting a 5-0 win.
Sharks and Stars battled to a 5-5 draw in the all-St. Louis area Consolation final.
The Squirt B Division divided six teams into two divisions crowing a ‘White’ and ‘Red’ Champion.
In the Red Division, the Elmhurst Chiefs wrapped up three straight round robin wins to earn a spot in the championship match, but the Kirkwood Stars avenged a narrow 4-3 loss to the Chiefs in their first game of the weekend, claiming the win in a wild championship game with a 7-6 margin.
The White Division crown matched the Chicago Riverdogs (Burke) and Franklin Park Panthers in the championship game, also pitting a pair of teams that met in their respective first games, a 7-4 win for the Riverdogs. The Riverdogs also claimed the title, but the 3-2 edge showed a closer and tighter contest with goaltenders counted on heavily.
Closest of the three finals might have been the Consolation game, the Affton Americans from the St. Louis area holding on for a 1-0 victory against Riverdogs (Wilkoff).
Coyotes and Phantoms wrap up trophies
The Mite B Division featured four Chicago area teams and it was the Darien Phantoms dominating with a four-win run to the championship trophy.
The Phantoms opened the tournament with a 5-0 win against the Elmhurst Chiefs Saturday, then rolled to a 6-1 margin against the Glacier Avs from Vernon Hill Sunday and a 6-1 decision against the Stallions early Monday.
The Phantoms matched its 5-0 win in the championship game against the Chiefs while the Avs outlasted the Stallions 5-4 in the Consolation match.
The five-team Mite B/House division saw the Arctic Fury from Orland Park roll through its four round-robin games, beginning with 7-2 wins against both the Chicago Riverdogs and Kankakee Coyotes on Saturday followed by a 4-2 doubling of the Bensenville Chiefs Sunday and a 5-0 goose egg against the Pleasant Prairie (Wis.) Patriots early Monday morning.
The Coyotes nailed down the other championship game spot scoring six in each of its three games after dropping its opener to the Fury. The six was good enough for a 6-1 win against the Patriots and a 6-4 decision against the Riverdogs while settling for a 6-6 draw against the Chiefs.
The Coyotes turned the tables on the Fury in the championship game through, sinking an overtime game winner for a 5-4 edge.