By Jim den Hollander
If this were a ‘normal’ season, the Dells Ducks would be crossing the halfway mark on a tough campaign, but with the way things have been in recent weeks, this season’s team could benefit from some extra contests.
The Ducks hit the 20-game mark this past weekend with two more tough road defeats, both in Hudson. They Ducks and Havoc were the lone teams from the USPHL Premier Midwest-West Division over the holiday weekend. The host Havoc rallied from an early deficit and rolled to a 10-2-win Friday night, then added a 9-2 margin on Saturday.
A bright spot for the team has been the play of its newest players.
Bryce Jacobson was planning on playing his senior year with the DeForest Norskies varsity team this season but with the cancellation of the regular season for that squad, he instead joined the Dells Ducks. The ’02 forward collected his first junior goal 79 seconds into Friday’s game to give the team a short-lived 1-0 lead. Trent Bachman, also from DeForest graduated a few years ago but also recently signed with the Ducks. He set up the Jacobson goal and had an assist on the other Dells’ marker, scored by Jerame Kennedy.
Another newcomer from the area, McCarthy Reed, an ’03 from Madison collected an assist on another goal by Jacobsen Saturday with the Ducks again on the board first, this time with Liam Donovan pulling the trigger.
The tough education for a young inexperienced squad. The Ducks are still searching for a win 20-games in and have allowed 183 goals against. While the Ducks have played 20, the next highest total in the division is three teams at 16 and the Steele County Blades who will be in town for a rare Thursday morning contest (9 a.m.) will be playing just their 13th.
Each state has reacted to the current health crisis in different ways. Wisconsin has been somewhat liberal compared to other states, including Minnesota. At this point, teams are setting their own schedules and the Ducks – who already had a home-heavy opening to the season – continue to pile up home games.
The Blades will be in town for the Thursday game followed up by a pair of weekend matches – the first ever meetings for the Ducks with the Northern Colorado Eagles from the league’s new Mountain Division.
The Eagles who will also visit the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings Friday and Saturday night, will be at the Lake Delton Ice Arena for a 5:30 p.m. match on Sunday followed by a getaway game scheduled to faceoff at 12:30 p.m. Monday.
The mid-day schedule will continue for the Ducks with another visit from the Riverkings Thursday Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. and on Tuesday, Dec. 15, the Minnesota Mullets will be in town for a 10:30 a.m. meeting.