MHC spoils Christmas for Ducks

By Jim den Hollander


Dells Ducks luck of late expired as the team headed into the Christmas Break looking to comfort itself following a 4-1 loss at the hands of the newly formed MHC team in its final game at the USPHL Chicago Showcase on Sunday (Dec. 20).

After a pair of wins and a valiant effort the day before against the Pittsburgh Vengeance the ultimately ended in an overtime defeat, the Ducks had trouble finding the mesh on Sunday.

That’s nothing new for the Ducks who entered the Showcase tournament riding a stretch of dropping four straight shutout losses and scoring just four goals in six previous December contests. But the team turned a corner in Chicago, collecting 14 goals in the previous three games before running into a hot goaltender in the finale.

The 41 shots for the Ducks is easily its highest total of the season, but the only one to elude Tate Potteiger in the MHC goal came from Aaron Sherlock (‘02/Warwick, R.I.) late in the second period with a set up for Liam Hogan (‘02/West Greenwich, R.I.).

The Ducks took a well-deserved Christmas Break following the contest. The 30-games played for the Ducks is the second highest total in the league so far as the only break from the game the team has had since the Labor Day weekend was a quarantine session in October.

The Ducks are currently scheduled to return to play Jan. 10-11 with a visit from the Minnesota Mullets.


Vengeance ends Ducks streak with overtime loss

By Jim den Hollander


After collecting its first two wins of the season against a pair of United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) Midwest-East opponents, the Dells Ducks continued to look strong against a top-notch Great Lakes Division opponent Saturday (Dec. 19) at the USPHL Chicago Showcase.

Smedley turned in another brilliant effort between the pipes and the other players were clearly inspired, turning in the best 200-foot effort of the season despite dropping a 4-3 overtime decision to the Pittsburgh Vengeance

Playing a team locked into an intense battle for top spot in its own division, the Ducks were outshot by a margin of 34-29 in the overtime contest. But, for a team routinely outshot be 40, these numbers – both the 34 against and the 29 for, are remarkable and testament of a team that appears to have chosen the pre-Christmas tournament as its turning point on the season.

Teams were even at 1-1 after a period and the Ducks actually led early in the middle frame but needed a late goal from Trent Bachman (‘00/DeForest, Wis.) to send this one to overtime.

The other Ducks’ goals came from Andrew Wilkinson (‘03/Crystal Lake, Ill.) and Justin Ely (‘01/Fayetteville, N.C.) and assists were added by Luke Marks (‘00/Andover, Minn.); Adam Brown (‘02/Westmont, Ill.) with a pair; Liam Hogan (‘02/West Greenwich, R.I.) and Liam Donovan (‘03/Commack, N.Y.).

Nick Tessier ended it for the Vengeance 1:48 into the extra period so, while the Ducks’ first winning streak of the season ended at two games, the Ducks entered the final game of the weekend against MHC, another Great Lakes Division team the following day, it was unbeaten in regulation through three games.

Ducks roll over Motor City at Showcase

By Jim den Hollander


Having hit the win column the previous day for the first time, Ducks continued to play like winners in a 5-1 decision against Motor City Hockey Club in its second game at the USPHL Chicago Showcase on Friday (Dec. 18).Preview post

Alex Smedley (‘02/Woodbury, N.J.) returned to the blue paint for the Ducks and backstopped the win, but for the first time this season, Ducks outshot its opponent, wrapping up with a 31-23 margin on the shot counter.

A three-goal opening period sent the Ducks on its way in a game of two teams, both with one win.

Trent Bachman (‘00/DeForest, Wis.); Jayden Tkaczuk (‘02/Channahon, Ill.) and Kanyn Rogers (‘00/Lumsden, Sask.) collected the goals, the lone Motor City scored amongst that group as well.

Tkaczuk, Brandon Thiesenhusen (‘00/Verona, Wis.); Adam Brown (‘02/Westmont, Ill.) and team captain Luke Marks (‘00/Andover, Minn.) picked up first period assists.

The other two Ducks goals both came in the middle period, a second for Tkaczuk and the other scored by Bryce Jacobsen (‘02/DeForest, Wis.) with help from Rogers, Liam Donovan (‘03/Commack, N.Y.) and Trent Bachman (‘00/DeForest, Wis.).

The win boosted the team’s Chicago record to 0-2 while the Motor City squad was playing its first game of the weekend. Overall, the Ducks sit at 2-26-0-0. The road gets a little tougher tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 19) as the Ducks play the Pittsburgh Vengeance.

Smedley backstops Ducks to first win

By Jim den Hollander


The Dells Ducks finally celebrated victory in their opening game at the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) Chicago Showcase tournament.

After 26-straight defeats to open the season, the Ducks scored a season high six goals and were backed up by the same goaltender that shut them out just a week prior in a 6-2 win against the Detroit Fighting Irish at the Arctic Ice Center in Orland, Park, Ill on Thursday (Dec. 17).

Alex Smedley (‘02/Woodbury, N.J.) played the second half of a lopsided shutout defeat for the Wisconsin Rapid Riverkings at Lake Delton Ice Arena on Dec. 10. Shortly after, Head Coach Shaun Falzone who has worked tirelessly to improve and add to the Ducks roster since opening day, pulled the trigger on a trade that brought Smedley to Wisconsin Dells.

Fast forward to Dec. 18 and Smedley, who faced a dozen shots to secure the second half of his team’s shutout a week prior, kicked out all but two of 45 shots to lead his new team to the win.

Teams were even at 1-1 after a period, Jayden Tkaczuk from nearby Chanahon, Ill. Responding to the opener from the Irish late in the first period, from Liam Donovan (‘03/Commack, N.Y.) and Adam Brown (‘02/Westmost, Ill.).

DeForest’s Bryce Jacobsen gave the Ducks its first lead unassisted 4:10 into the middle period and Captain Luke Marks (‘00/Andover, Minn.) scored the team’s first game winner of the season from Jerame Kennedy (‘01/Overland, Kan.) a short time later.

The Irish pulled one back before the end of the period but third period goals from Andrew Wilkinson (‘03/Crystal Lake, Ill.), Cole Rodriguez (‘00/St. Louis, Mo.) and Aaron Sherlock (‘02/Warwick, R.I.) distanced the Ducks from its competitor despite being outshot 17-13 in the frame.

Jacobsen, Rodriguez, Liam Hogan (‘02/West Grenwich, R.I.) and Kanyn Rogers (‘00/Lumsden, Sask.) collected assists on the third period goal.

The Ducks celebrated the win, but quickly began mentally prepping for its second of four weekend games against Motor City Hockey Club the following day.

Below, the Ducks celebrate an end to the longest losing streak in team history.

Cheavers collect another goose egg

By Jim den Hollander


Two goals each from Connor Schyvinck, Caden Brandt and Clayton Pfaff led the RWD Cheavers to its second straight shutout with a 9-0 win Saturday (Dec. 19) at Viroqua Community Arena againt the host Viroqua Blackhawks.

The Cheavers all but put this one away in the opening period, connecting on five of its 10 shots to pile up a big 5-0 cushion.

The game winner came from sophomore Caden Brandt, the team’s top shooter early in the season, before the end of the first period.

After Brandt’s unassisted goal, others came from: freshman, Brady Baldwin, senior Connor Schyvinck, a second for Brandt and finally, junior Clayton Pfaff.

Schyvinck, Pfaff and Brandt each added an assist in the period, senior Danny Ely setting up a pair and junior Trevor Slaght also adding a helper.

Four more in the second wrapped up the scoring, for the Cheavers beginning with a goal for Slaght, from Pfaff in the third minute.

Pfaff, Schyvinck and Ely collected the other goals, Slaght adding two more assists and others for Schyvinck, Ely and junior Grant Marsich.

The shutout was the second in a row for the team and the first for sophomore Trace Wiles, the third RWD goaltender to collect a varsity win this season.


Third period flurry lifts Eagles past Panthers

By Jim den Hollander


Three goals in 2:18 helped the Sauk Prairie Eagles take control for good on its way to a 5-4 edge against the visiting Oregon Panthers at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Friday (December 19).

The Eagles scored a pair of first period goals to grab early control, but teams were even at 2-2 heading for the third.

Panthers grabbed its first lead with 5:13 to play in the contest but that triggered the Eagles’ barrage starting a little over a minute later.

The Panthers pulled one back to get within a shot but left themselves just 10 seconds to notch a tying goal which they couldn’t do.

Junior Landon Clary scored the opening goal with 7:25 to go in the first from junior Nick Mast and sophomore Luke Mast. 1:50 later the Masts hooked up another goal, Nick pulling the trigger from Luke and senior Brodie Trollop.

Trailing 3-2 with little time to play, Clary notched his second, from Luke Mast and junior Micah Hanson.

After three assists, Luke Mast pulled the trigger on the goal that put the Eagles in front to stay. Junior Erik Peterson set up the Mast goal before firing the eventual game winner from sophomore Ethan Tranel.

Peterson’s game winning goal is shown below.

The Eagles held a heavy advantage in shots in the game, 41-21 and dominated in particular the final two periods by a 32-13 margin.

The Eagles boosted its record to 3-0 with the win and head into the Christmas Break with the perfect start. The Eagles are not scheduled to play until January 5 when the DeForest Norskies pay a visit.

The Panthers were scheduled to play again Wednesday (Dec. 23) against the Middleton Cardinals.