By Jim den Hollander
The first of the two highly anticipated matches between the RWD and Baraboo/Portage varsity hockey teams took place on Thursday (Dec. 18) at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) with the host RWD Cheavers earning a 4-0 shutout.
Both teams entered the game on hot spells, the Cheavers with a 3-1 record to open the season and the Baraboo/Thunderbirds at 2-3 but winners of their past two.
Cooper Oakes turned aside all 15 shots he faced to nail down the shutout in goal for the Cheavers
Sophomores looked after the scoring for the Cheavers, Caden Brandt adding three more goals to an already impressive total and John Scott notching the other.
RWD edged away with single goals in the first two periods, then clinched the win with two more in the game’s final seven minutes.
Senior Danny Ely collected three assists with others for senior Connor Schyvinck and sophomore Carsen Brandt.
Andrew Schaetzl stopped 16 shots in goal for the Thunderbirds.
The Cheavers were scheduled to carry the three-game winning streak into a rematch of last season’s Regional Championship game against Madison Edgewood at RACA on Tuesday (Dec. 22) in a final tune-up before the 2020 version of the Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic, a smaller version this season at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.
The Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds will also be in action on Dec. 22 at Pierce Park against the Waupun Warriors. The second round of the RWD vs. Baraboo/Portage will take place at Pierce Park Pavilion on Jan. 16.