The Badger Lightning varsity hockey team turned in two solid periods of hockey – perhaps their best of the season so far Monday night (Jan. 4) at Pierce Park Pavilion but it wasn’t enough to overcome a dismal opening period in a 5-2 loss to the Fond du Lac Warbirds.
The visitors scored on their first two shots and led 3-0 by the end of the third minute on its way to an overwhelming 5-0 first period cushion despite the closest margin of the night on shots – the Warbirds holding a 14-9 edge.
Freshman goaltender Alyssa Gada didn’t have the angle right on the first Warbirds’ goal and was frustrated early on, but made up for it in a huge way, denying the visitors on every one of their 25 chances in the final two periods and giving her teammates a chance to get closer.
At the opposite end, another freshman, Kristi Binder looked unbeatable in the first period, making one stop on a rebound that had the Lightning wondering what it would take.
The only penalty of the night assessed to the Lightning came in the second period and the momentum built from killing that infraction led to the first goal for the home team as sophomore Mallory Ruhland made moves around three Warbids defenders making them look like Maroon colored pylons then snapped a shot to the top left corner from the slot for, easily the sweetest goal of the contest.
The Lightning were outshot 12-7 and 13-5 in the final two periods, but the play seemed more even, and the Lightning made Binder work for the win.
The second goal came 33 seconds from the final buzzer as Lani Selje jammed a rebound home after Binder stopped a shot by junior Lightning defender Carson Blosesnski but left the puck on top of the crease for Selje.
The game was the first of two in 24 hours for the Lightning who host Beaver Dam Golden Beavers Tuesday (Jan. 5).
The Warbirds will be back in two Jan. 19, giving the Lightning a chance at redemption…if they mentally arrive on time for the game.
The loss dropped the Lightning to 1-6 on the season so far with nine games remaining on their schedule which wraps up on Groundhog Day.
The RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers set up a Sunday afternoon clash with Regional rival, the Sauk Prairie Flyers with a pair of lead in games last weekend.
After collecting a 9-2 win Saturday against another Regional foe, the Monroe Avalanche Saturday afternoon, the Cheavers were back on the ice Sunday morning, grabbing a 2-0 shutout against Waunakee C1 Red in a defensive battle.
On Saturday, the Landen Uminski-Hailey Dietl-Elizabeth Haag line always seemed to be near the net, combining for 11 points in the contest, but the scoring was spread out between a couple lines.
Uminski and Dietl both scored twice, Uminski adding two assists while Dietl helped set up one and Haag chipped in three assists and a goal.
Best offensive game though belonged to Ethan Wilcox who notched the hat trick while Tyler Krieski added a goal and three assists. Paige Othmer also had a helper and goaltender Jordan Kowalski picked up the win with 21 saves in the match.
The Cheavers scored four times in the first, adding three more in the middle period and another pair down the stretch.
Against the Wildcats, Wilcox’s first period goal was all the Cheavers needed, but to be sure, Kowalski – skating out for the match – added some insurance early in the third. Both goals came with assists for Dietl and Uminski.
The wins boosted the Cheavers’ overall record to 18-8 on the season with the weekend finale against Sauk Prairie ahead.
The RWD Peewee ‘B’ Cheavers found themselves on both sides of blowout contests on the weekend.
After absorbing a lopsided 9-2 defeat at the hands of the Waunakee C1 Peewee Wildcats on Saturday, the Cheavers took its frustrations out on the West Madison Polar Caps with a 9-3 win on Sunday. Both games were played at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA).
On Saturday, the Wildcats scored a pair before Caydence Putz converted a pass from Cassidy Putz late in the first period for the Cheavers. The Wildcats added two more in the final 75 seconds though and carried a 4-1 cushion into the middle period.
Jenna Garbacz collected the other RWD tally 5:40 into the second, but the visitors widened the gap to 7-2 by the start of the final period.
On Sunday teams traded early goals and the Polar Caps were up 2-1 before the home side moved in front to stay with two in the final 3:08 of the opening period.
By the end of the middle frame, the Cheavers owned a 6-3 lead and piled on another three down the stretch.
Dayne Wagner enjoyed a huge game for the Cheavers, scoring five goals and setting up another. Two of his goals came in the opening period with Aiden Knull scoring the other and adding an assist.
Andrew Stando also scored twice, and the other goal came from Cassidy Putz. Vladimir Barabash picked up a third period assist.
Mason Matteson was in goal for both games, stopping a dozen on Saturday and kicking out 19 on Sunday.
The weekend split leaves the Peewee ‘B’ Cheavers at 8-9-3 on the season so far and they will once again look to reach the .500 plateau with another two-game weekend coming up. On Saturday, the Cheavers will once again host the Polar Caps followed by a Sunday game against the Sauk Prairie Flyers Peewee ‘B’ squad. Cheavers have played the Flyers twice earlier this season, dropping an 8-5 season at Sauk Prairie Area Community Arena (SPARC) in their second game of the season, Nov. 28, then turning in a closer match, before succumbing 6-5 at RACA Dec. 20.
The RWD Squirt ‘A’ Cheavers collected an overwhelming win against the Monroe Avalanche Saturday (Jan. 2) that literally involved the entire roster.
The Cheavers continued their winning ways the following day, collecting a 7-0 win against the West Madison Polar Caps, extending its current winning streak to four games.
Nine players skated in the contest along with goaltender Jesse Arnold who picked up a shutout win between the pipes. All nine skaters hit the scoresheet in the contest.
Leading the charge with three goals and three assists apiece were Noah Backeberg and Joseph Patton while Aaron Belk chipped in a goal and four assists. Bryce Horkan recorded a four-goal game while Kason Messer hit the net three times. Shirlie DeFosse and Teaghan Geffert both collected a goal and two assists in the contest, other goals added by Kate Brandt and Evelyn Gurney.
The following day against the Polar Caps, Jesse Arnold stopped every shot he faced to post his fifth shutout and third consecutive goose egg for the Squirt Cheavers.
The home side went up 3-0 in the opening period, adding another in the second and three more down the stretch.
Leading the charge was Backeberg who racked up his second straight hat trick along with an assist while Patton notched two goals and a helper.
DeFosse and Horkan both had goals and Gurney added another assist.
The wins boosted the Cheavers’ overall record to 9-7-2 and the team is unbeaten in its past six games.
Next up for the locals will be a contest against Tomah Timberwolves at 3 p.m. Saturday and two games Sunday against Sun Prairie ‘B’ Cardinals.
The Cheavers played Timberwolves back on Nov. 29, playing to a 1-1 draw and the last meeting with the Cardinals was a 4-3 edge by the Cheavers, also at RACA.