Long, tough weekend ahead for Ducks

A busy weekend got even busier for the Dells Ducks as they will play four times in four days beginning Friday at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.

The 0-9 will be hard pressed this weekend against the defending division champion Hudson Havoc Friday and Saturday followed on Sunday and Monday by the Minnesota Moose who captured three straight Division titles before the Havoc ended their streak last season.

Sunday and Monday’s games were originally scheduled for earlier this month but were postponed as the Ducks team went under quarantine for two weeks.

Without a chance to play, or practice for two weeks, the Ducks had to shake off some rust but despite dropping all four games at the USPHL Midwest-West Showcase last weekend, there were some positive signs, including more discipline and some more offensive. The team is still facing an uphill battle and has relied heavily on overworked goaltenders to this point.

Collin Driscoll playing some defense against the Steele County Blades earlier this season. Driscoll is used to putting up the points and the Warwick, Rhode Island forward finally collected his first, second and third junior goals at last weekend’s showcase.,

Of course, like any season, there are some injuries, and a few players will either be questionable or out for the weekend.

Saturday night will see the Ducks playing on Halloween and there are some special events planned for the night. Any kids who enter the game in costume will get treats as well as free admission and the Skate with the Ducks Saturday night event will return following the game. The Ducks some ‘Zombie Duck’ T-shirts and a team signed version of a special jersey the team is wearing for the game will be available in an auction.

The Havoc enters the weekend undefeated in regulation through eight games and a record of 6-0-1-1. Due to playing fewer games, the Havoc sits fourth in the division with 14 points. The Moose, who also play on the road against the Steele County Blades on Friday, enter the weekend tied for top spot in the division with 16 points and an 8-1-0-0 record overall including five straight wins.

U-14 Badger Lightning ready to roll into 2020-21 season

The Badger Lighting U-14 roster have been filled out as they look to build on the success of the 2019-20 season which ended unfortunately just before the U-12 squad had a chance to play for a state championship.

A full roster of 16 are currently included on the Lightning’s U-14 squad which could include a few double rostered U-12 players.

Following are the players who will weather the Lightning Bolt for the 2020-21 season in alphabetical order:

Ryleigh Bychinski; Jenna Garbacz; Kayla Garbacz; Elizabeth Haag; Addison Lee; Kyran Merrell; Reese Olson; Paige Othmer; Cassidy Putz; Cadence Putz; Olivia Renneberg; Peyton Stelzer; Molly Stokes; Brianna Sullivan; Tamia Thompson; Dayana Wade.

Watch this space for more on the U-14 Lightning including schedule and game wraps this season.

Oakes leads Bantam RWD into new season

By Jim den Hollander



RWD Youth Hockey will see its first faceoff of the season this weekend with the senior squad, the Baraboo Cheavers, hitting the ice for a pair at RACA on Sunday.

The RWD bantams will once again be coached by Billy Oakes with Glenn Hughes coaching as well.

The bantams will play host to the Washington County Ice twice on Sunday, facing off at 11 a.m. and then again at 1:30.

RWD bantams team members include include in numberical order:


Number                                  Player

1                                              Alexander Griebe

2                                              Kaden Uminski

4                                              Kayla Garbacz

6                                              Ryleigh Bychinski

10                                            Alec Breunig

11                                            Carter Renneberg

16                                            Bryton Clark

18                                            Nolan Pope

19                                            Gus Defosse

20                                            Tye Barney

30                                            Tristan Edgerton

TBA                                         Jaxon Hess

TBA                                         Devin Hughes

TBA                                         Bryan Mammos

TBA                                         Nicholas McPherson

Ducks realize success not gauged in wins and losses

By Jim den Hollander



There are steep learning curves and then there is the Dells Ducks trying to make their way up the Everest-like curve this season.

Making things a little more difficult was the recent health issue that forced the team to the sidelines from practice and/or games for two weeks.

In their latest tests at the USPHL Premier Midwest-West Showcase played at Fogerty Ice Arena October 22-25, the Ducks suffered another four defeats, but found some small consolations.

After facing the Minnesota Blue Ox and dropping a lopsided decision on Thursday, the Ducks turned in its best offensive efforts of the season on Friday. After scoring just six times in its first seven games, the Ducks collected seven goals in a pair of games Friday but ultimately fell 8-4 to the Rochester Vipers and 5-3 to the Minnesota Mullets.

The Ducks headed home after another rough outing falling by a lopsided score again to the Minnesota Moose.

The losses drop the Ducks to 0-9-0-0 on the season so far with a tough assignment against the Hudson Havoc set for the Halloween weekend.

Listed below are some of the positive points from a rough weekend.

  • Collin Driscoll playing some defense against the Steele County Blades earlier this season. Driscoll is used to putting up the points and the Warwick, Rhode Island forward finally collected his first, second and third junior goals at last weekend’s showcase.,
    As stated above, the Ducks were able to find the net in a couple games and they were competitive in both. Against the Vipers, the Dells were even at 1-1 after the first 17-minute period and still very much in it despite trailing 4-2 with a period to play. Against the Mullets, the Ducks scored first and entered the second period even at 1-1. Trailing 2-1 after two, the Mullets scored early and both teams fired a pair in the game’s final two minutes.

  • Despite some lopsided scores, the goaltending is showing signs of brilliance. There are certainly some down times for the goaltenders, but the Ducks continue to be grossly outshot. In the four weekend games, the margin was 191-59 in favor of the four opponents for an average of 48-15 per game. In the game against the Mullets, the Ducks – thanks to some solid work in the blue paint from Anthony Falzone, were in the game from start to finish despite being outshot 35-14. The three goals on 14 shots in not too shabby either.

  • The scoring is getting little more spread out and some players – Liam Hogan, Logan Potts, and Aaron Sherlock, who seemed a little snake bit on their chances earlier this season all hit the game sheet. It was a breakthrough weekend for Collin Driscoll, the ’02 from Warwick, R.I. hitting the game sheet three times.
  • The players seem to have addressed the discipline issue that plagued its recent defeats. The team sat a total of 38 minutes over the weekend – an average of about four minors per game and there were no majors or misconducts. In the first three games, the Ducks were either even with its opponent in penalty minutes or served less than their opponent.

Make no mistake – there are still miles to cover, but for the young Ducks, looking for positives wherever they can find them, these are all promising signs.

The month of November was already a light one for the Ducks and the postponement of the East Coast Showcase, scheduled for the month gives the team plenty of time to work on their game and prepare themselves for the heart of the season in December and January.

Discipline issues hurt Ducks in loss to Vipers

By Jim den Hollander



After two weeks of quarantine, the Dells Ducks found it difficult to stay with the Rochester Vipers and fell to 0-5 in USPHL Premier League play on Sunday night at Lake Delton Ice Arena.

The Vipers took advantage of rebound opportunities and some discipline issues on the Ducks’ side rolling to a 9-1 win, one of the biggest victories in the team’s three-season history.

The team appeared to hit stride about halfway through the middle period, but by then the visiting Vipers, who celebrated its first victory of the season the previous evening, had already racked up five goals.

The Vipers opened the scoring in the game’s third minute and never looked back, running to a 4-0 first period cushion. The toughest goal for the Ducks was the fourth, scored with 64 seconds to play in the period.

The Ducks showed its first signs of real offensive power firing three of it’s seven first period shots in a span of about 90 seconds. Not only was the team unsuccessful in finding the mesh, when the Vipers did finally clear the zone it resulted in an odd man rush the other way and ultimately, a goal by Vince Palade.

The Ducks did appear more engaged in the contest from the start of the middle segment and despite going down by another goal in the sixth minute, the team responded just 35 seconds later, Jayden Tkaczuk gathering in the rebound of a shot by Adam Brown and backhanding it into a wide open side of the goal. Dillon Collings also collected an assist on the goal.

That was the end of the offense for the Ducks though and after a tame first period that saw just two minor penalties called, the Ducks went off the rails in terms of discipline collecting two majors and a couple 10-minute misconducts for unsportsmanlike conduct in the second half of the game.

The Ducks collected 43 minutes in penalties in the contest, all but four minutes coming after the Ducks’ lone goal. The Vipers were assessed just one minor penalty along with a major and game misconduct that saw ’01 forward Reider Stelzl and ’02 Rochester forward Gus Hughes getting the gate for the game’s lone fight in the second period.

The Vipers carried a 6-1  lead into the third period then added three more unanswered markers to wrap up a big weekend.

Anthony Falzone turned aside 26 first period shots for the Ducks, Brendan Williamson adding another 34 saves in the final 40 minutes. The Vipers also swapped goalies near the halfway mark of the game, starter Patrick Kristo turning aside all but one of the 13 shots he faced and Sean Bolduc unbeaten with 12 saves.

The Ducks will attend its first of three Showcase tournaments beginning Thursday as all nine of the league’s Midwest-West Division teams will take part in an event at Fogerty Ice Arena in Blaine.

The Ducks will faceoff at 12:20 p.m. on Thursday against the Minnesota Blue Ox, then return for two on Friday – 9:20 a.m. against the Rochester Vipers once again and then returning at 5:40 against the Minnesota Mullets. The Ducks will wrap up on Saturday night with a 6:20 p.m. game against the Minnesota Moose.

Varsity hockey season in question as Badger cancels winter involvement

By Jim den Hollander



All four local varsity hockey teams have been affected by a Badger Conference that it would not operate during the 2020-21 Winter Sports season.

The Conference released a statement Friday afternoon that is would not be playing an official conference winter sports season.

RWD, Baraboo/Portage and Sauk Prairie all participate in the Badger North hockey Conference while the Badger Lightning is in the Badger Girls hockey Conference.

The Conference left it up to the individual schools to set up their own non-conference schedules for the season. It appears could still keep their own Badger North games scheduled, but they would not be playing for a Conference title (at least, not a recognized one) and the Conference will not participate in all-Conference honors.

Of the representative schools, it appears Portage is the only one to make its own plans known. Portage does plan to participate in winter sports this season, of course with safety protocols and precautions in place.

Other Sauk County Schools will likely make their own announcements in the hours or days ahead.

If Sauk County school do hold some sort of season this winter, Saukhockey.info will announce all-Sauk County teams in the spring.

Aeschlimann stops 22 at home helping Davos to first win

Sandro Aeschlimann

Sandro Aeschlimann, 25, turned aside 22 of 24 shots, helping HC Davos break into the win column in its first home game of the Swiss National League regular season with a 9-2 whipping of SC-Rapperswil-Jona Lakers Saturday.

Aeschlimann, a native of Zaziwil, Switzerland led the Dells Ducks to the Bush Cup championship in 2014-15.

The win came in the fourth game of the season as Davos dropped a pair of league games on the road at Geneve-Servette and Lausanne in its first pair, then collected a 7-1 win in Swiss Cup, Round of 16 play earlier this week at EHC Seewen.

The team’s newest addition, NHL legend Joe Thornton, fired one of the Davos goals while Andres Ambuhl fired three while setting up another.

Davos will hit the road again for two more games this coming week, playing at HC Lugano next Friday, then at ZSC Lions a week later.

Next home game will be Nov. 1 again with the Lakers as the opposition.

Slaght, Jets enter NAPHL Fall Championship weekend

Trevor Slaght, 17, from Wisconsin Dells will join his Janesville Jets teammates at the NAPHL Tier 1 West Conference championship.

Slaght, a junior at Wisconsin Dells High School entering his third season with the RWD varsity club will wrap up the ‘Before’ portion of the Before and After schedule with the AAA Jets team looking to claim a conference title at the event that will be part of several NAPHL events at Schwan Super Rinks in Blaine, Minnesota.

The Jets enter the event tied for third in the NAPHL Fall League with a solid shot of moving up over the weekend.

The 5-3 Jets will start out play Friday night at the multi-rink complex against the 1-6 Austin Bruins. The Jets met the Bruins previously on Sept. 6 at a Duluth event and collected a 4-2 win.

On Saturday morning, the Jets will return to play the Magicians at Schwan. The Magicians from the Guest Division met up with the Jets on Sept. 20, also in Blaine, the Jets grabbing a 3-2 edge in overtime.

Perhaps the biggest game of the weekend for the Jets will come Saturday night when they play the Michigan Hockey Advancement Mudbugs in an 8 p.m. faceoff. The Mudbugs enter the final weekend of the season ranked first in the Fall League with a 7-1 overall record. That defeat was a 6-3 decision suffered at the hands of the Jets on Sept. 18.

Playoff matches will take place on Sunday.

So far this season, Slaght has collected a goal and three assists for the Jets.

NAPHL U-18 Fall League

Standings as of Oct. 15, 2020



Team                                                     W           L              OTL        SOL        F-A                         Pt

MHA Mudbugs                                      7              1              0              0              39-16                     21

Fairbanks Ice Dogs                                 6              2              0              0              36-21                     17

Janesville Jets                                       5              3              0              0              23-21                    14

Minnesota Wilderness                            5              3              0              0              24-23                     14

Minnesota Magicians Elite                      1              6              0              1              15-37                     4

Chippewa Falls Steel                                1              6              0              0              10-31                     3

Austin Bruins                                            1              6              0              0              14-26                     3


Ducks – Vipers to square off Sunday in USPHL contest

Forced to postpone games in recent weeks, the Ducks have scheduled a game for Sunday at the Lake Delton Ice Arena against the Rochester Vipers.

This promises to be an interesting battle as both clubs head into the weekend still searching for their first USPHL Premier League win.

The Ducks have dropped two each against the Chicago Cougars and Steele County Blades and have struggled at both ends of the ice, outscored so far 33-3. The Vipers meanwhile have had a little more success offensively, but still find themselves at 0-5 and outscored by a margin of 55-15. While the Sunday night tilt will be the lone game of the weekend for the Ducks, the Vipers are scheduled to play host to the Minnesota Mullets on Saturday evening.

Last season the Ducks finished eighth in the nine-team Midwest-West Divisoin, ahead of only the Vipers who missed the post season. Both teams are looking to make strides forward this season despite their respective slow starts.

Game time at the Lake Delton Ice Arena Sunday will be 6:30 p.m. The following weekend will see all nine USPHL teams in action at the Midwest-West Division Showcase event at Fogerty Ice Arena in Blaine, Minnesota.


NHL legend, Thornton to join Aeschlimann on HC Davos

Sandro Aeschlimann, 25, the goaltender that led the Dells Ducks to its only Bush Cup Championship in 2014 has entered his fifth season playing professional hockey in his home country of Switzerland.

Beginning last season, Aeschlimann has suited up for HC Davos, in the small but vibrant tourist community at the base of the Swiss Alps.

Sandro Aeschlimann

Davos is likely most known by hockey enthusiasts on this side of the Atlantic as the annual site of the Spengler Cup Tournament a Christmas season event that matches pro club teams from across Europe, usually including teams made up of Canadian and American pros from European teams.

This season, Aeschlimann, the Davos team has struggled a bit out of the gate, sticking with Aeschlimann in its first two games, a 5-2 loss against Geneve-Servette, a team out of Geneva that includes former NHLers Eric Fehr, Daniel Winnick and Linus Omark on Oct. 2 and a 4-3 defeat against Lausanne HC on home ice.

Aeschlimann went between the pipes in the second  league matches, stopping 30 of 34 shots faced.

hile the team is off to an 0-2 start in league matches, it did get a big win in Swiss Cup play Wednesday, defeating EHC Seewen by a 7-1 count.

The team got a huge boost with a headline Thursday announcing Joe Thornton, a prolific NHL player currently unsigned for the 2020-21 NHL campaign has signed on with Davos.

The team will be back in action Saturday traveling to play the 1-3 SC Rapperswil-Jona Lakers.