Lightning snaps five-game skid with 9-1 win against Golden Beavers

By Jim den Hollander


For some events, it is considered cool to be fashionably late. The Badger Lightning varsity girls’ hockey team has learned in recent games, that does not hold up in a rink.

It may not be completely accurate to say the team showed up on time Tuesday (Jan. 5) at Pierce Park Pavilion as they did find themselves looking up at a deficit once again four minutes into the contest.

But they certainly made their presence felt much earlier, pounding the Golden Beavers’ goal with 26-first period shots on their way to a 2-1 lead which they grew to a 9-1 cushion by the time the final buzzer sounded.

This was a breakthrough night for the entire team as seven of the team’s 10 skaters hit the score sheet.

Leading the charge once again was the sophomore duo of Kayla Capener and Bella Bowden who combined on eight points, one more added with an assist from fellow sophomore linemate Mallory Ruhland who collected an assist.

The D-Corps chipped in big as well, led by junior Carson Blosenski who returned to the lineup just a game ago, collecting two goals and a helper in this one for a total of four points in two games since her return. Sophomore Eryn Benson also added a goal and an assist while Signe Begalske who has spent time at both forward and defense this season, also had a goal and a set up.

Freshman defender Madchen Ewig and freshman goaltender Alyssa Gada both collected assists as well.

The win snapped a five-game skid and boosted the team’s overall record to 2-6.

Capener’s five-point night lifted her points total to 15, sixth best in the state. Her 11 assists is also ranked sixth and Bella Bowden added two more goals, lifting her season total to eight, which has her tied for fifth-most in Wisconsin.

Gada has also shown up on the state rankings, despite the team’s record, her .891 Save Percentage is ranked ninth.

The Lightning has a tough assignment ahead as they look to improve on a tough outing in its season opener when they dropped an 11-3 decision to the Viroqua Blackhawks as they travel to Viroqua Community Arena for a 7:30 p.m. game on Monday.

Next home game will be next Thursday (Jan. 14) when they play host to the Onalaska Hilltoppers at Pierce Park Pavilion.


Thunderbirds drop 4-2 decision to Golden Beavers

By Jim den Hollander


Coming off a huge emotional come from behind win on home ice on the weekend, the Baraboo/Portage varsity Thunderbirds were unable to match the comeback Tuesday night dropping a 4-2 decision to the Beaver Dam Golden Beavers Tuesday (Jan. 5).

Playing at Beaver Dam Family Center, the Thunderbirds fell behind 1-0 in the opening period and trailed 3-1 heading to the third.

The second period goal for the Thunderbirds came from sophomore Peyton Sloan, his fifth of the season on a set up from Luke Schweda.

The home team added another before senior Campbell Koseor fired his team-leading seventh of the season on a powerplay, from Carson Zick, getting Thunderbirds back to within a pair with 5:01 to play.

Thunderbirds could get no closer, despite a 10-8 edge in shots through the final period.

Junior Andrew Schaetzl turned aside 27 shots in the game as the Golden Beavers outshot the Thunderbirds 31-25.

The loss dropped Baraboo/Portage to 4-6 on the season so far and they will stay on the road for a Thursday (Jan. 7) night game at the Omni Center in Onalaska against the La Crosse Aquinas/Holmen Avalanche.

Next home game for the Thunderbirds will be Saturday, a 6 p.m. contest against the Waupaca Comets at Pierce Park Pavilion.

Crusaders take back and forth game 4-3 against JV Cheavers

By Jim den Hollander


The RWD junior varsity Cheavers traded the lead four times with the visiting Madison Edgewood Crusaders through the first two periods, but the last changed left the Crusaders up and they held on for a 4-3 margin at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) on Tuesday (Jan. 5) night.

The Cheavers hit the board first with an unassisted goal from Mark Othmer 52 seconds into the contest and that held up until two goals in just over two minutes late in the period gave the Crusaders a 2-1 margin heading to the second.

Caleb Eastman evened the score 4:23 into the middle period from Othmer and the Cheavers grabbed another lead with Eastman’s second, from Izak Elder and Carter Scully less than three minutes later.

Crusaders scored twice in 13 seconds late in the period and once again carried the single-goal cushion into what turned out to be a scoreless third period.

Gary Wiles started in goal for the Cheavers, turning aside eight shots in the first half of the game before Brendan Karas took over, stopping 15 shots through the second half.

Off night for Cheavers produces 8-2 loss to Crusaders

By Jim den Hollander


For the first time this season, the RWD varsity hockey team suffered something every team goes through, absorbing an 8-2 loss to the Madison Edgewood Crusaders at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) on Tuesday (Jan. 5).

Off night, coming up flat, tough day at the office, stinker – there are several descriptions for a game like this and over a season, every team suffers through at least one or two. Analysts and Coaches are at a loss to figure out how to change the course and it seems inevitable for every team.

The best – really the only – cure is to get through it, accept it and move on.

The last two meetings against the Crusaders have produced a couple of RWD’s best efforts in the past year, at last season’s Regional championship match where a last-minute goal finally lifted the heavily favored Crusaders to a 2-1 edge against the locals and earlier this season when the same Cheavers battled the always strong Crusaders for 51 minutes, ultimately conceding a 3-1 decision on Dec. 22 at RACA.

This game saw a Cheavers team that wanted to match the intensity level of the earlier contests but saw the game slip away primarily from some tough calls.

The locals were assessed three penalties, including a major in the opening period and the Crusaders made them pay a heavy price, scoring on two of them while outshooting the home team 14-6 and building a 3-1 lead it would never relinquish.

Overall, the Cheavers were assessed a total of 30 minutes in penalties while the referees noticed just two minors against the Crusaders.

The first goal came 2:23 into the contest, but Danny Ely converted a feed from Caden Brandt a short time pull his team even.

Crusaders pulled ahead with an even strength goal 7:12 into the period then added another with 1:50 to play in the frame.

Two goals in the first six minutes of the middle session had the Crusaders comfortably in front. Caden Brandt  sank his team’s second, from Carsen Brandt and Danny Ely with 1:39 to go but the locals were denied momentum when Edgewood responded with one more 15 seconds from the second period buzzer.

Junior Aidan Lenz doubled his season output with a four-goal game for the Crusaders. He has now scored seven goal in his past two games and junior Parker Murn had five assists in the contest.

Cooper Oakes and Gary Wiles shared the work in goal for the Cheavers.

The loss dropped the Cheavers overall record to 7-3 as they head into a series of five straight road contests, beginning with a Friday/Saturday northern swing that will see the team traveling up the I94 to near the Minnesota border. On Friday, the Cheavers will visit the 7-5 Somerset Spartans with a 7 p.m. faceoff before moving on to a meeting against the 6-6 Baldwin-Woodville Hawks Saturday at 2 p.m.

RWD’s next home game will be on Jan. 19 when the SPASH (Stevens Point) Panthers pay a visit to RACA.