Thunderbirds can’t hold on to early lead

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds dropped a tough 4-2 decision to the host Brookfield Stars in the opening match of the Brookfield Quad held at the Howard G. Mullett Ice Center in Hartland on Tuesday (Dec. 29).

Up by a goal after a period and 2-0 just past the halfway mark of the middle period, the Thunderbirds still owned a 2-1 cushion heading to the third.

Momentum built for the home side though through the final period as they scored the tying goal 63 seconds in, then grabbed the lead at the 4:50 mark. Another goal with 7:35 to play boosted the margin and Brookfield went on to carry the lead to the finish line.

Unfortunately, scoring details were unavailable as this was put together and will be added later.

The other two teams involved also played to a 4-2 score, Arrowhead Warhawks doubling up on the Marquette Hilltoppers.

Thunderbirds will try to regroup in time for a game Wednesday (Dec. 30) at 5 p.m. against Marquette with the Warhawks and Stars facing off in the finale at 7 p.m.

The loss dropped the Baraboo/Portage squad to 3-5 on the season. Next up for the Thunderbirds will be a meeting with the Tomah/Sparta hockey club on Saturday (Jan. 2) at Pierce Park Pavilion.

Dietl sinks game winner for Peewee Cheavers

The RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers hosted the Onalaska/Holmen Tornado and earn a split Sunday (Dec. 27) at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA).

The Cheavers used a pair of unanswered third period goals to snag a 3-2 win in in the opening contest Sunday morning but the visitors turned the tables later rallying from a 2-1 deficit for a 4-3 edge with three third period goals.

In the first game, Tornado opened the scoring early and carried a 1-0 cushion into the middle period.

Wyatt Arnold pulled one back for the Peewee Cheavers, but the Tornado responded to recapture the lead heading to the third.

The lead held up until Elizabeth Haag fired the tying goal with 2:24 to play in the contest. Seven seconds later, Hailey Dietl pounced on the rebound of a shot by Arnold to put the Cheavers in front for the first and last time.

Shown below is Hailey Dietl’s game winner

Jordan Kowalski turned in a stellar effort between the pipes, helping his team to the win despite being outshot 34-29. Kowalski kicked out all but one of the 17 shots he faced in the opening period.

In the return match it was the Cheavers carrying the slim lead into the final frame as goals from Tyler Krieski and Dietl about five minutes apart had the Cheavers up 2-1 with 17-minutes to play. Assists on the goals went to RJ Manley and Paige Othmer.

Tornado hit the board with four seconds to play in the second, then tied it early in the third and scored two goals in 21 seconds to take control in the middle part of the period.

Krieski notched one more in the dying seconds but it wasn’t enough to avoid the split.

Sunday’s games boost the Cheavers’ overall record to 16-7 and the Tornado edge in the second game snapped the latest Cheavers’ winning streak at four games.

The team will keep home ice advantage with another three games coming up this weekend. The first will pit the Cheavers against Regional rival, Monroe Avalanche in a 2 p.m. test on Saturday (Jan. 2). On Sunday, the Cheavers will prepare for another big Regional match with a 9:15 a.m. game against Waunakee Wildcats before the Sauk Prairie Flyers hit the ice for a 12:30 p.m. meeting.

The Cheavers have yet to face Monroe this season but dropped a tough 8-2 decision to the Flyers at SPARC in Prairie du Sac on Nov. 28. In another previous meeting on Nov. 7, also at RACA, the locals collected a 3-0 goose egg against the Wildcats.

Stando racks up 10 points in big Peewee ‘B’ Cheavers weekend

A three-game weekend homestand saw the RWD Peewee ‘B’ Cheavers tearing into a pair of Beaver Dam/Sun Prairie Cardinals and exploding for 23 goals in three games.

The Cardinals C2 team paid a visit Saturday (Dec. 26) for a pair of games, won by RWD 9-4 and 11-6. On Sunday, the C2 Cards put up a tougher fight, but the Cheavers found a way to way to win again, rallying in the final period for a 3-2 edge.

Teams started slow in the first game Saturday, Cardinals carrying a 1-0 cushion into the second period and it was just 2-2 heading to a crazy third period.

The Cheavers counted seven third period goal, including three in the final two minutes to make a close game seem a little more lopsided.

Andrew Stando scored the first two for the Cheavers on his way to a four goal, five-point game, Dayne Wagner and Cassidy Putz both adding two goals and an assist. Noah Mortimer set up a pair before sinking the game’s final goal with 29 seconds to play. Matthew Stando and Aiden Knull both collected assists as well.

Olivia Renneberg picked up the win in goal, stopping 22 shots.

Andrew Stando wrapped up a hat trick in the first game against Sun Prairie/Beaver Dam with this goal.

In the rematch, Cheavers went to work quicker, carrying a 3-2 lead out of the first and up 8-4 by the start of the third.

Andrew Stando wrapped up another three-goal, four-point game for an amazing nine-point day and Noah Backeberg enjoyed a huge game as well with four goals and five points. Wagner added another two goals and four points with other goals scored by Knull and Jenna Garbacz. Putz added another assist and Mason Matteson collected the win with 14 saves.

On Sunday, teams started slow again, playing through a scoreless first period and the Cardinals up 2-1 heading to the third.

Landen Uminski fired the second period goal for the Cheavers and notched the tying goal early in the third, setting the stage for Andrew Stando who ripped the game winner home with 10:25 to play. Lone assist in the game went to Garbacz on the tying goal.

The successful weekend boosted the Cheavers’ overall record to 7-8-3 and they have a shot at getting back to .500 for the first time since the season opener when they host a couple more home games this weekend. The Waunakee ‘C1’ White Wildcats will be in town Saturday and the West Madison Polar Caps will pay a visit on Sunday. Both games have a 4:45 p.m. scheduled puck drop.

Two game winners for Renneberg lead surging Squirt ‘B’ Cheavers

Clearly, the RWD Squirt ‘B’ Cheavers have discovered a love of winning.

After hitting the win column for the first time the previous weekend, the Squirt Cheavers posted three more ‘W’s this past weekend (Dec. 26-27) to carry a four-game winning streak into the New Year.

After posting a 1-0 shutout against the Sun Prairie C2 Cardinals Saturday afternoon, the Cheavers were back on the ice a couple hours late against the Madison Patriots ‘C’ squad, posting a 2-1 win. All three games were played at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA)

On Sunday, the Cheavers gave the Cardinals a chance to redeem themselves and posted a second shutout, this time by a 2-0 margin.

In the first game, Jase Uminski collected the team’s first goose egg of the season and both teams were scoreless through the first two periods. The only goal of the contest came from Rainier Scott in the final period with an assist for Briar Messer.

Rainier Scott fired the only goal in a 1-0 win Saturday

The second game saw teams even after the first two periods again, scoreless after the first and even at 1-1 heading to the third.

Messer fired the second period goal for the Cheavers, and the game winner came off the stick of Cole Renneberg. Aria Gada collected the win in goal beaten just once on 13 shots.

Gada came within seconds of a shutout the previous weekend and on Sunday, she collected the donut with a dozen saves to blank the Cards.

Renneberg fired another game winner with only goal of the first period, unassisted and Caleb Backeberg added some insurance in the middle frame with a set up for Messer.

The suddenly hot Cheavers will put its streak on the line with a pair of contests at RACA. The first will be against Regional rival, the Monroe Avalanche ‘B’ squad at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 2) and t he other will be against Waunakee C2 Black Wildcats Sunday at 8 a.m.

Conroy sinks game winner for JV Cheavers

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Dylan Conroy’s powerplay goal early in the final period lifted the RWD junior varsity Cheavers to a 3-2 edge in its first of two regular season meetings with the Madison Edgewood Crusaders Tuesday (Dec. 22) at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA).

Abe Thompson’s goal had the Crusaders on the board just past the five-minute mark of the opening period but The Cheavers owned a 2-1 lead by the end of the period with goals from sophomores Conner Putz and Caleb Eastman.

Freshman Mark Othmer, sophomore Spencer Garbacz and Conroy, a junior, picked up assists for RWD.

After a scoreless middle period, the Crusaders rallied back to tie it on a Nick Hartman goal, setting the stage for Conroy who took a feed from junior Carter Scully.

In goal, the work was split evenly, senior Brendan Karas and junior Gary Wiles splitting the work evenly and both beaten just once on 10 shots.

The Cheavers made the Crusaders pay for their penalties. The visitors took just a pair and the Cheavers scored on both powerplay opportunities.

The same two teams will go at it again when the Crusaders step into the RACA chill once again on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Junior varsity contest generally faces off about 5 p.m.

Conroy’s game winning goal is below.

Cheavers learn from loss to Crusaders

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Before heading into the Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic, the RWD varsity hockey team got some schooling from a familiar foe, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Madison Edgewood Crusaders on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

It was the Crusaders that sent the Cheavers to the sidelines last season despite a hard-fought battle, a last-minute goal lifting the home team to a 2-1 edge.

It was more of the same in their first of two regular season meetings this season as the high-octane offense of the Cheavers spent much of its time backchecking as the Crusaders doubled the home team 40-20 in shots and made RWD goaltender Cooper Oakes the busiest man in the contest.

Both goaltenders kept the blue paint clear through a period, Oakes kicking out 13 shots while Zach Walker turned out eight in his busiest period.

Crusaders finally found a way past Oakes 6:20 into the middle frame, adding the game winner a little over a minute later in another 13-shot frame.

Junior Clayton Pfaff cut the lead in half 20 seconds into the third with his unassisted goal, but the Crusaders restored the two-goal cushion about five minutes later and carried that to the finish line.

Koseor leads Thunderbirds past Warriors

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Baraboo-Portage varsity Thunderbirds topped the 40-shot barrier and grabbed its third win of the season with a 4-1 decision against the Waupun Warriors at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo Tuesday (Dec. 22).

Thunderbirds buried its opponent with a 23-4 advantage in shots in the opening period and jumped into a 2-0 lead with a pair of Campbell Koseor goals, his third and fourth of the season. The first was unassisted, Gabe Fitzwilliams and Kyle Poole chipping in on the other.

The second period was scoreless and the Warriors cut the gap to a goal with Quinn Bailey’s marker early in the final period but Thunderbirds put this one away with another pair in the second half of the period.

Fitzwilliams and Poole pulled the trigger and Koseor wrapped up a four-point game with assists on both. Other help came from Carson Zick and Fitzwilliams.

Andrew Schaetzl collected his third win of the season, stopping all but one of the 22 shots he faced in goal for the Thunderbirds, who peppered Tyler Fromolz with 44 shots at the opposite end.

The win boosted Thunderbirds’ overall record to 3-4 and squad will look to climb to the .500 mark on Tuesday (Dec. 29) with a trip to the Howard G. Mullett Ice Center in Hartland to take on the 5-3 Brookfield Stars with a 5 p.m. faceoff.

 

Varsity Cheavers looking to make a little more history

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The RWD varsity Cheavers took a giant step in what could be a memorable season – at least if history means anything.

The Cheavers collected their fourth Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic at Lake Delton Ice Arena in the 11th year of the tournament.

Of the three previous titles, two have gone to RWD varsity teams that have gone on to claim a Sectional championship and earn a berth at State quarterfinals.

This season’s team is considered young and that is setting the bar perhaps a little too high, but that box, which is part of the previous two title runs, has now been checked. The first ‘Classic’ was held in the inaugural season of the RWD Co-operative effort between Reedsburg, Wisconsin Dells and Mauston High Schools.

The first event was also the only one to see a team from outside of Wisconsin involved and the most exciting championship game of the tournament so far saw the Cheavers winning in overtime against Prairie Ridge from Illinois. The Cheavers won its first six games at the tournament, capturing the second title as well with a 5-2 win against Kenosha, the same team that handed RWD its first tournament defeat in the opening round a year later.

The other RWD title came in the 2014 version of the tournament and it was the turning point on a season that saw the team start out 5-4 before three wins led to the tournament title, doubling as the first three wins in a 19-game unbeaten string, the final one a 4-0 win against rival Baraboo/Portage in Onalaska for its second Sectional Championship.

Following is a quick look at the first 11 Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic tournaments – how the Cheavers fared and who won the event.

 

2010 – Cheavers defeat Sauk Prairie 8-2, the qualify for the championship game with a 6-0 win against Steven’s Point Pacelli before capturing a thriller in overtime against Prairie Ridge, the only Illinois-based team to ever participate in the event.

 

2011 – Once again RWD led off with a win against Sauk Prairie, this time a 4-1 decision before a 9-1 win against Madison Lafollette sent the team to its second straight championship game, won against Kenosha 5-2.

 

2012 – The string ended in the opening round of this event as Kenosha avenged its championship loss the previous season with a 6-5 overtime win to send RWD to the losers’ side of the bracket for the first time.

The Cheavers rallied with a 3-1 win against Beloit Memorial and a 3-2 win against Beaver Dam to finish fifth overall.

Kenosha Thunder took the Monk’s title home following a 3-2 win against West Salem in the championship game.

 

2013 – After opening with a 3-0 win against West Berlin, the Cheavers were denied a spot in the championship following a 5-1 loss to Fox Cities Stars who went on to hand West Salem its second straight 3-2 defeat in the championship game.

The Cheavers dropped a 5-4 decision to Viroqua Blackhawks in the third-place game.

 

2014 – The Cheavers rebounded from its first losing record the previous season with its third title in five seasons, starting out with a 2-0 win against Stoughton and back-to-back 5-2 wins against Menomonie and, in the championship, Beloit Memorial. Those were the first three games of the 19-game unbeaten string that marched RWD all the way to the State Championship tournament.

 

2015 – After defeating DeForest Norskies in a combination tournament/Conference game, the Cheavers shutout New Berlin to reach the championship game again. For the first and only time, the Cheavers fell in the Championship match 3-1 against the Stoughton Vikings.

 

2016 – Once again the Cheavers opened with DeForest, but this time it was the Norskies moving on to the winners’ side with a 3-2 win. A 4-0 win against Tomah and another win against Stoughton wrapped up fifth place for the Cheavers.

Wisconsin Rapids claimed the tournament title with a 7-3 win against New Berlin.

 

2017 – All three games for RWD went to extra time in 2017. After a hard-fought 6-5 win against McFarland in its first game, the Cheavers fell to Wisconsin Rapids in extra time in the middle round, before earning a 5-4 win in overtime against DeForest in the third-place game.

The Championship game also went to overtime as Fox Cities denied Rapids back-to-back burgers with a 3-2 overtime win, becoming the first team, apart from the Cheavers to win a second Monk’s title.

 

2018 – After a 4-0 win against Stoughton in the opening round, the Cheavers missed on a berth in the championship game, denied by 5-3 loss to McFarland who went on to drop a 3-1 decision to Tomah/Sparta in the championship match.

The Cheavers settled for third place with a 5-2 win against DeForest.

 

2019 – After opening the tournament with a 6-0 win against the Avalanche ( La Crosse), the Cheavers lost to McFarland for a 6-5 decision to McFarland once again, before dropping a 4-2 decision to DeForest in the third-place match.

The McFarland Spartans moved on to claim the Cheeseburgers with a 7-2 decision against Rapids who reached the title match three times in four seasons but won it only once.

 

2020 – The field was cut in half for this season and the Cheavers became the first team to not allow a goal in tournament play, following up a 5-0 win in the opener against Tomah/Sparta with its most lopsided win ever against the Red Raiders, 7-0.

Third place went to Tomah/Sparta following a 5-1 win against Viroqua.

Thanks to Gary Wiles and Aaron Kirby (Championship pic) for photos below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheavers roll over Red Raiders for Monk’s title

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The RWD varsity Cheavers tasted the beef for the first time since 2014, wrapping up its fourth Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic Championship in a big way with a 7-0 win against the Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders at Lake Delton Ice Arena Sunday (December 27).

The team looks better every time it hits the ice and Sunday’s game was a testament to the balanced effort as the same two teams met at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) on December 3 with a much closer (2-1 RWD win) result.

Head Coach Neil Mattson made it a full team victory, starting senior Brendan Karas in goal, and allowing junior Gary Wiles a chance to share the goose egg in goal. The pair combined to turn aside 20 Red Raiders shots, adding to the previous shutout from junior Cooper Oakes who also collected a shutout in a 5-0 win against the Tomah/Sparta Co-op.

The stingy goaltenders have collected donuts in four of the team’s nine games so far while at the other end of the pond, the team is enjoying a solid offensive season with a pair of lines providing the bulk of the work for a team that has scored five or more in five of its first nine games.

In this one, the varsity Cheavers grabbed the lead with a goal from junior Clayton Pfaff as time ran out in the opening period, then blew the game open with four middle period goals and two more down the stretch.

Assists on Pfaff’s goal went to sophomore Caden Brandt and junior Trevor Slaght.

The second period was a ‘Purple’ Haze as Mattson’s Purple line  — Brandt, senior Danny Ely and freshman Brady Baldwin counted all four goals. Brandt fired the first two of a hat-trick, Ely notching the other pair, both with assists for Brandt. Junior Grant Marsich also picked up an assist

Slaght and Brandt fired the third period goals and Pfaff picked up another helper.

The Cheavers outshot their guest 36-20 and boosted its overall record to 7-2 and will carry that mark into 2021.

Both Ely and Brandt have collected 21 points so far this season which as of Monday, has them tied for seventh overall in state.

Brandt’s 15 goals is fifth best and just three off the state-leading pace of Ryan Wegenke from Shawano/Bonduel/Clinton. Ely’s 14 assists is third best. In goal, Cooper Oakes’ 2.00 Goals Against Average ties him for ninth spot and his .927 Save Percentage is fourth best.

The Cheavers will get its longest break of the season now, out of action until Jan. 5 when the Madison Edgewood Crusaders pay a second visit to RACA. The team that knocked the Cheavers out of the WIAA playoffs last season in the Regional Championship game also earned a 3-1 win earlier this season at RACA.

Despite a six-absence from the Championship picture, RWD looked like they had been there and done that after capturing the Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic Sunday night at Lake Delton Ice Arena.

It’s all about the Burgers at the Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic 

Uminski nets winner in bantam Cheavers’ comeback win

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

After a tough loss the previous day, the RWD Bantam Cheavers used a third period rally to snatch a 4-3 win away from the Verona Wildcats ‘B’ squad at Reedsburg Arena Community Arena (RACA) on Sunday (December 20).

The Wildcats scored the only goal of the opening period but Tye Barney evened things up early in the second from Kaden Uminski and Tristan Edgerton.

Wildcats went back in front and padded its lead with two goals in the final four minutes to carry a 3-1 cushion into the final frame.

The Cheavers went to work quick though, erasing the deficit with two goals in the first 2:19 of the period. Alec Breunig started the rally converting a pass from Kayla Garbacz and Nolan Pope tied things up just 59 seconds later from Barney.

That set the stage for Uminski’s powerplay goal from the blueline with 7:29 to play, Pope and Carter Renneberg helping.

Alex Griebe denied every Wildcats chance after that, getting the Cheavers to the finish line with a 19-save win in goal.

RWD boosted its record to 14-3 with the win and after a holiday weekend off, the Cheavers will head back into action with three home games this weekend, the most interesting one an 11:45 a.m. meeting with the Monroe bantams – a possible Regional rival  at 11:45 a.m. Saturday (January 2, 2021) Monroe handed the Cheavers its most lopsided defeat so far this season at a tournament in Black River Falls Dec. 5.

Before that the bantams will take on Viroqua at 9:15 a.m. in their only previous meeting, the Bantam Cheavers doubled Viroqua 4-2, also at RACA. On Sunday, the Cheavers will play its eighth straight home game, entertaining Stevens Point Area Ice Hawks  ‘B’ Bantams in a 10:45 a.m. meeting.

Caden Uminski fired the game winner against the Wildcats