By Jim den Hollander
The regular season is almost six months away, but its safe to say both the Sauk Prairie Eagles and RWD Cheavers will have the bar set high when the new Badger West Division kicks off its 2021-22 season.
Both teams took advantage of a mid-summer opportunity to hit the ice, taking part in the 10th Annual Red Line Summer Shootout at Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton.
The eight-taem event is a low key bonding opportunity hosted by the Middleton Cardinals. The Cheavers and Eagles were two of three single-entry teams taking part, the other being the Beloit Memorial Purple Knights. Meanwhile, the host Cardinals have three teams taking part and the other two represent the Brookfield Stars.
The tournament opener Friday (June 18) afternoon featured the Eagles against the Middleton High School ‘Cardinal’ team with the Eagles rolling to a 9-3 win in their Cardinal Division match. The other Cardinal Division contest saw Brookfield ‘Blue’ getting the Purple Knights 6-2.
The Cheavers rounded out the opening day of action with an 8-3 win against Brookfield ‘White’, following an earlier game that saw MHS ‘Red’ capturing a 5-3 win against MHS ‘White’.
Eagles 9 MHS ‘Cardinal’ 3
Eagles fired a pair of unanswered first period goals and both team notched a pair in the middle frame. After the second period flood, the Eagles returned with some fire, posting a 5-1 margin through the final 15-minutes.
Seniors Hakon Peterson and Nick Mast both scored twice, Peterson adding three assists to lead the Eagles. Sophomore Karsyn Banta added a goal and assist with other goals fired by sophomore Samson Begalske, junior Luke Mast, senior Micah Hanson and sophomore Steven Romaker.
Senior Brody Wolfe, sophomore Thor Peterson and freshman Connor Grant collected an assist each. Goaltending chores were shared by juniors Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInenerny who combined to stop 15 of 18 Middleton shots.
Sophomore Carter Walby scored twice for Middleton, Alex Moreau, also a sophomore, fired the other. Senior Connor Faucher and freshman Heuer Stutz shared the work in goal for Middleton, handling 30 of 39 Eagles’ chances.
Cheavers 8 Brookfield ‘White’ 3
RWD all but settled this game in the opening four minutes, jumping into a 3-0 lead and up 4-0 by the end of the first period. Cheavers added two more before the Stars finally hit the board in the second half of the middle period.
Sophomore Brady Baldwin paced the Cheavers with a three-goal game and sophomore defenseman Izak Elder added two goals and an assist. Juniors John Scott and Yevgeny Dedun and freshman Bryan Mammos fired the other RWD goals.
Junior Caden Brandt and sophomore Trey Lariden both collected a pair of assists with singles for junior defender Nate Stando and freshman Kaden Uminski.
Freshman goaltender Alexander Griebe made a solid debut with 27 saves and the win while RWD fired 36 shots the other way.
The Tournament continues on Saturday with the Eagles on the ice early, a 7:50 a.m. start against Beloit and a 4:30 p.m. match against Brookfield ‘Blue.’
The Cheavers will take on MHS ‘White’ in a 9:30 a.m. contest and MHS ‘Red’ at 2:50 p.m.
Pool results will decide opponents for four final games on Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. and wrapping up with the final at 11:20 a.m.