Set your calenders for WIAA playoff matches

The Sauk Prairie Eagles and Badger Lightning still have a little regular season business to look after, but the focus is shifting to the WIAA post season which begins on Tuesday night.

All three Sauk County varsity boys teams will get the honor of opening the post season on home ice while the Badger Lightning will make the trek to Madison to play a tough foe.


Sauk Prairie Eagles – 4th Seed

All three Sauk teams are included in the new WIAA ‘Division One’ playoffs this season after a split last season carried some substantial foes, including perennial state champion Superior and local foe, Waunakee, to Division 2

There are 11 teams total in Section Three (of four) in Division one, the top three teams drawing byes into Sectional quarter-finals, or as some prefer, Regonal Finals.

Sauk Prairie Eagles (13-3-1 as of Wednesday, February 12) just missed a bye, drawing the number four seed. They will open the post season on home ice at the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) Tuesday with a 7 p.m. faceoff against the Madison LaFollette/Madison East Lakers (2-19-1; 1-12-0 Big Eight). If the Eagles win, they will keep home ice advantage and play against either the fifth seeded Madison West Regents or #9 Deforest Norskies in quarter-finals either Friday or Saturday.

The Eagles have not played the Lakers this season


RWD Cheavers – 7th Seed

The Cheavers earned the Section’s seventh seed and will play host on Tuesday night as well, entertaining the #10 Monroe Co-op Cheesemakers.

The Cheavers wrapped up the season at 10-13-1 and 4-6-0, good enough for fourth in the Badger North Conference. The Cheesemakers finished at 14-7-2 and 5-5-2, also fourth in the Badger South. The two teams have not met this season and may have never met in WIAA action.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. Tuesday with the winner advancing to play the Section’s #2 seed and Badger South champion Madison Edgewood Crusaders. (19-4-0; 12-0-0 Badger South).


Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds – 8th seed

The 11-12-1 (3-6-1 Badger North) Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds wrapped up the final home ice spot for the first round as the eighth seed and they will play host to #9 Madison Memorial Spartans (8-14-1, 6-8-0 Big Eight).

Thunderbirds have not played Madison Memorial this season. Winner of this game will draw the tough quarter-final assignment, traveling to Verona Friday night to play the Section’s top seeded Verona Wildcats (20-4-0, 14-0-0 Big Eight).


Badger Lightning – 7th Seed

The Lightning was seeded seventh in the seven-team Section Three playoffs. They will face Badger Conference rival Cap City Cougars in the Sectional Quarter finals Thursday at the Sun Prairie Ice Arena with a 7 p.m. puck drop

The Lightning were heading into its regular season finale at Ozaukee Friday night with a 5-14-0 regular season record, 3-9-0 in Badger Conference play.

The Cougars still have a couple conference matches to play will win the conference title if they can win them both. The Cougars are 18-3 overall and 9-1 in conference play.

In two meetings this season, the Lightning dropped a 7-1 decision to the Cougars at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena Dec. 19 and fell 9-2 at the Ice Pond in Waunakee Jan. 23.

Winner of this game will move on to play in the Sectional semis on Feb. 25 against either the Onalaska Hilltoppers or the Icebergs (Stoughton).


Eagles wrap up conference with win over Norskies

The Sauk Prairie Eagles varsity hockey team started a little late, but got the job done Tuesday night, wrapping up a 5-1 win against the Deforest Norskies in its final Badger North Conference test of the season.

The Norskies notched the lone first period goal despite a 16-5 margin for the host Eagles on the shot clock. Four unanswered second period goals put the Eagles in charge through and one more down the stretch clinched the win.

Seniors Camden Desroches and Riley Jelinek scored twice each for the Eagles, Jelinek adding a couple assists which brings him to 35 goals and 82 points on the season – the latter total best by 13 points.

Freshman Luke Mast scored the other Eagles’ goal and added an assist while sophomore Nick Mast set up a pair, sliding into 10th in state with 59 points.

Senior Willy Hanson also picked up an assist.

Senior Jordan O’Connor collected her 18th win in goal for the Eagles who outshot the Norskies 52-13. The Eagles finished a 7-3 conference season, finishing as Badger North runners up and they carry a 13-3-1 record into its final two games of the regular season, wrapping up a five-game season ending homestand against the Stoughton Vikings Thursday night at the Middleton Cardinals Saturday afternoon.

Golden Beavers down Thunderbirds 6-3

Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds scored the first and last goals at Beaver Dam Family Center on Tuesday night, but in between were six straight for the host Golden Beavers who snagged third place in the Badger North Conference with the win.

After a 14-7 edge in shots for the hosts in the opening period, the Thunderbirds kept it mostly even with a 28-26 margin the rest of the way, but on the score sheet it was all Beavers.

Senior Will Gunnell opened the scoring in the game’s seventh minute for the T-Birds with help from sophomores Oliver Scanlan and Gabe Fitzwilliams.

By the time junior Campbell Koseor counted the second Thunderbird goal with 2:04 to play in the contest on a feed from Scanlan, the home side had racked up a half dozen.

With the win, the Golden Eagles finished with a 6-3-1 conference record and 13-7-2 overall while the Thunderbirds wrapped up fifth in the conference at 3-6-1 and finished right at .500 overall 11-11-1.

Cheavers last obstacle for Badger champion Warriors

The Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells (RWD) Cheavers varsity hockey wrapped up both its conference and regular season Tuesday with a tough road test against the Badger North Conference champion Waunakee Warriors.

The title was clinched on the previous Thursday when the Warriors downed the Sauk Prairie Eagles, but they stayed hot and doubled the visiting Cheavers 6-3, with an identical 2-1 edge in each period.

Senior Thomas Pfaff put the Cheavers on the board just 28 seconds into the match, converting a feed from sophomore Trevor Slaght, but the lead lasted just 14 seconds before the hosts tied it up with its first for four straight goals.

The next RWD goal came from junior Danny Ely in the sixth minute of the middle period from sophomore Clayton Pfaff, cutting into a 4-1 deficit and Ely picked up another goal, grabbing an assist along with junior Connor Schyvinck on the game’s final goal, scored by freshman Caden Brandt with 6:26 to play.

Warriors held a 36-31 edge in shots.

While the home team wrapped up a 9-1 Badger North Conference record –it’s only defeat coming at Pierce Park against the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds, the young RWD team settled for fourth in the conference at 4-6 and it’s overall record wrapped up at 10-13-1.

Six point night for Ely helps Cheavers crush Vikings

The Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells (RWD) Cheavers varsity hockey team hit the road on the weekend, returning with a massive 12-1 against the host Stoughton Vikings at Mandt Ice Arena Saturday.

The locals blasted off with four unanswered first period goals and added four more before the Vikes fired the only shot of 22 that eluded RWD sophomore goaltender Cooper Oakes near the halfway mark of the final period.

RWD junior Danny Ely enjoyed a huge offensive night with four goals and two assists and freshman Caden Brandt collected two goal and two helpers.

Sophomore John Thrasher collected four assists, junior Connor Schyvinck notching two goals and a set up and sophomore Grant Marsich also scoring a pair. Sophomore Clayton Pfaff picked up a goal and assist, senior Nick Horzewski firing the other goal and single assists  for freshmen John Scott and Carsen Brandt along with sophomore Trevor Slaght.

RWD pounded the Stoughton goaltender with 44 shots in the contest and improved its overall record to 10-12-1 win the win.

Engel looks forward to next chapter in hockey career

After the emotions of ‘Senior Night’ the previous week, Kaylee Engal and the five other

Kaylee Engel, shown here in Tuesday’s home game, will be heading to Northland College in Ashland this fall.

Badger Lightning varsity seniors seemed able to relax and enjoy their final home game Tuesday at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena.

It was nice for them to wrap up the home schedule with a win – their fifth of the season. For Engal its not the end, just the end of a chapter as her hockey career will continue in the fall when she attends Northland College in Ashland.

The move to college hockey helps Engal accomplish a goal she set for herself as a youngster, playing youth hockey with the Reedsburg Polars.

“Yeah, I started with the Polars,” said Engel. “That’s kind of when I really wanted to play (at college), because I watched the Badgers all the time, so I wanted to play college hockey when I was super young. I played Polars, played with the boys as much as I could. The boys I think pushed me the most to be the player I could be because I was the only female on the team a lot of years.

“Then I played with the girls, my eighth grade year (bantam) and continued on with them.”

Engel said she found some extra curricular hockey in the off season to help her raise her game a bit too.

“I played Wisconsin Junior Stars last year on a AAA team, so I went to a lot of Showcases and stuff. I started touring colleges and Northland was the one that stuck out the most.” Engel said she liked the small size of the Ashland school and the fact it offered the majors she was looking for as she hopes to one day to return to school as a physical education instructor.

The Northland Jills moved conferences this season, playing in the WIAC which means local friends and family won’t have too far to travel to see Engel in action.

With the college stuff behind her, Engel can now focus on wrapping up her final varsity season. The close-knit squad knows their chances are slim after a five-win season, but Engel said they will give it all they have.

“Coming off a big win and another game Friday that we should win, we’ll really have some good momentum going into the playoffs.”

An article on the post season matchups for all of the area varsity teams will be coming shortly on this website.