By Jim den Hollander
The RWD varsity Cheavers moved to within a win of capturing the annual Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic Championship with a 5-0 win against Tomah/Sparta on Saturday (Dec. 26.)
This season’s abbreviated version of the annual Christmas Holiday tournament sees four teams, the Viroqua Blackhawks and Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders taking part as well.
The second game of the day Saturday saw junior goaltender, Cooper Oakes collecting his second shutout of the season and the Cheavers its third in eight games and the game winner came from junior Trevor Slaght who dove across the crease to knock in a rebound 3:23 into the contest. Junior Clayton Pfaff and sophomore John Scott collected assists on the first period’s only goal.
Senior Danny Ely doubled the margin in the opening minute of the second period from freshman Brady Baldwin and the same two combined on the third goal, this time Baldwin pulling the trigger with help from Ely and sophomore Caden Brandt.
Brandt fired the final two goals, his 11th and 12th of the season, ranking him among the state’s top scorers. The first came in the second with help from Slaght and senior defenseman Connor Schyvinck and the other came with under four minutes to go from Ely and Slaght. Both were powerplay goals, the Cheavers scoring on its only two opportunities in the contest while denying Tomah/Sparta on its two chances.
Brandt is not the only RWD player turning heads this season. The 14 assists collected by Ely is third best in state this season and he is also among the top dozen points with 19.
Defensively, Oakes is in the top dozen in Goals Against Average (2.00); Save Percentage (.927) and wins (4).
In the earlier contest the Red Raiders defeating the Blackhawks 10-2 so the Monk’s Cheesesburger Classic will be decided Sunday (Dec. 27) at 5 p.m. at the Lake Delton Ice Arena between the Cheavers and Red Raiders.
In an earlier meeting, the Cheavers grabbed a 2-1 win against the Red Raiders at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) to move to 2-0 on the season.