By Jim den Hollander
By Jim den Hollander
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