By Jim den Hollander
The Dells Ducks wrapped up week two of the pre-season training camp and head into the team’s first game week of the season with a weekend road trip to Detroit on the near horizon.
The team enjoyed a light weekend with a four-team three-on-three tournament Saturday that including Assistant Coach Mario Lachica.
The winning team was ‘Kopfstein’s Ketchup’ which including captain Jack Kopfstein, Adam Chaudhri, Jake Cartland, Mason Loughlin, and goaltender Jadon Mammon.
After a day off Sunday, the team returned to practice today (Sept. 6) to begin preparation for this weekend’s games. More on that will appear in this space tomorrow.
Team members have spent time familiarizing with the local communities and several were in attendance at the Wisconsin Dells High School Chiefs’ varsity football game on Friday.
Hopefully, the success of the Chiefs, who have opened the season at 3-0, — for sure its best start in probably a decade — will rub off on the Ducks players when their own regular season opens on home ice Sept. 17.
High School and youth teams on the ice
Local varsity hockey teams are taking advantage with the early ice at Lake Delton Ice Arena with captain’s practices and workouts beginning as early as Tuesday (Sept. 7).
The RWD Cheavers have scheduled ice at the local rink for Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. It’s unclear how many will be in attendance as Head Coach Neil Mattson has made it clear to his players any fall sports they are taking part in should take precedence. Baraboo Thunderbirds and the Badger Lightning generally are on the ice early as well and the ice is scheduled to be in at the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) later this month.
Local youth hockey organizations are also expected to fill up the schedule with some pre-season on ice sessions in Lake Delton in the days ahead.
Youth Hockey Registration
All three area youth organizations have online registration underway. Listed below are a few details on each organization along with some online information.
Sauk Prairie – All of this is taken from the organization’s website and could be subject to change. Full details and contact information is available at www.saukprairiehockey.com.
Players must be registered online with USA hockey at https://membership.usahockey.com before registering with the Flyers. The organization also has online registration available and will have a walk-in registration at SPARC on Sept. 14 from 6-8 p.m.
Sept. 14 will also be the night for equipment fitting and distribution for both 6U (6-7 p.m.) and 8U (7-8 p.m.) skaters.
Fees for registration will go up on Oct. 4 and the team has Pre-Season clinics beginning on Sept. 27.
Baraboo – Baraboo Youth Hockey has had online registration open since Aug. 16 at www.thunderbirdyouthhockey.com. First year skaters will have ice fees waived and equipment provided. Gear handouts for the youth players will take place on Friday (Sept. 10) from 5:30-8 p.m. and again Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Sept. 15 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Baraboo is planning to have all registration done online this season and the website has some email contacts for anyone with questions.
RWD – The Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells organization also has online registration on already and anyone who registers by Wednesday (Sept. 8) will get a discount. More information and online registration is available at www.rwdhockey.com.
In person registration will be available on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at Lake Delton Ice Arena and Saturday from Noon until 2 p.m. at RACA in Reedsburg.
Happy Belated Birthday Jo-Jo
Currently the first and only Austrian player to play for the Dells Ducks, Johannes (Jo-Jo) Leitner helped patrol the Ducks’ blue line in 2013-14. A rugged blue liner, Leitner played 14 games as an 18-year-old with the Ducks collecting a goal and assist. He returned the USA to play with the Wilkes-Barre Miners in the NA3HL the following season and played his aging out season with the Ogden Mustangs in the Western States Hockey League in 2015-16.
After returning to his home country, Leitner played some pro hockey with the Vienna Capitals Silver squad in 2017-18.
A physical defensive defenseman, Leitner made contributions that didn’t show up on a game sheet, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t an extremely valuable player with a great hockey attitude.
Leitner turned 26 on Saturday (Sept. 4). Saukhockey.info and the Dells Ducks want to wish Jo-Jo a Happy Birthday.