South-Central WEHL squad collects Wheels of Fire title

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

With a week off in the middle of its short season schedule, the 14U South Central Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) squad took several team members to the Chicago area for a weekend tournament. 

Clearly the class of the field, the South-Central squad which uses the Lake Delton Ice Arena as a home-base, didn’t just pick up four wins, but surrendered just a single goal on the weekend at the Wheels of Fire Tournament

Starting out against THEM Girls. South-Central collected a 6-0 win with Tomah’s Shelby King (Blue Devils AAA) leading the way with a four-goal game, Anna Phillips of Black River Falls and Julia Purinton from McFarland (Madison Mavericks) notching the other goals.  

Against the Metro Jets from the Detroit area, South-Central rolled to a 10-0 goose egg with Phillips and King notching two more apiece and others for Waunakee’s Olivia Dull; Leah Grudzinski from Verona (Madison Mavericks); Maizy Fonseca of Warren (Monroe Youth Hockey Avalanche); Abby Hollfelder of Sun Prairie (Madison Mavericks); Carolina Cutrano from Waunakee (Madision Mavericks) and Payton O’Neill from Black River Falls (WI TNT/Blue Devils) and Reedsburg’s Paige Othmer (Badger Lightning/RWD/Blue Devils) collected an assist on the game winner. 

RWD/Badger Lightning defender hustles back to her own end to gather a puck against the WEHL SouthEast team at the Wheels of Fire Tournament in Darien, IL. While helping defensively on a weekend that saw just one goal against in four contests, Othmer also contributed an assist for South-Central.

Against a familiar opponent, the WEHL SouthEast team (for the fifth time in two weeks), the South Central squad kept rolling with a 4-1 win. This time Brynn Brinkmeister is from Sun Prairie (Madison Mavericks/Wisconsin Jr. Stars) paced the attack with two goals and othes came from Phillips and Grudzinski. 

The weekend finished where it started as South Central lined up Sunday against THEM Girls once again, getting a tougher challenge but still blanking the oppostion 3-0. 

Othmer drew a penalty and it was on that powerplay the South-Central squad notched the game winner, Grudzinski pulling the trigger for her second of the weekend.  

Insurance came late as Phillips stayed hot, scoring the clincher wrapping up a weekend that saw her score in every game, notching the easiest one of the stretch into an empty THEM Girls cage. Another empty netter from King put an exclamation point on it. 

While the goals piled up for the South-Central squad, goaltending has been unreal this season so far as the goaltending trio of Lily Rosenthal from Sun Prairie (Madison Mavericks/Jr. Wisconsin Stars); Tomah’s Alexa Moore (TNT Hockey/Blue Devils) and Diana Hanson from Holmen (Coulee Region Stars/Jr. Chill/River Valley Fuse) have kept a clean crease five times in 10 games. 

The 14U South-Central squad will be back in Lake Delton on Wednesday to prepare for a return to WEHL play this weekend as they travel to Cornerstone in Green Bay Sunday for a pair of games against North-Central/NorthEast at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  

The South Central team is 2-2-2 in WEHL league play and 6-2-2 overall heading into this weekend, but they have not played this team yet. 

The WEHL South-Central squad took a minute after four games in Darien, IL to show off their medals and championship pennant won at the Wheels of Fire 14U Hockey Tournament this past weekend. The team will head into its second and final month of the WEHL season in Green Bay Sunday.

Ducks fall short, but show heart in loss to Cougars

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks showed its resiliency once again Saturday (September 25), bouncing back from a two-goal deficit or a third time on the weekend, but ultimately fell short in its USPHL Premier rematch with the Chicago Cougars 4-2. 

Down 1-0 after a period and 2-0 early in the middle frame, a pair of goals by Jacob Cartland (‘02/East Troy, WI), his third and fourth of the weekend evened the score. 

The Cougars though struck back with a late second period goal then added a clincher 6:18 from the final buzzer.  

Dells Ducks

The loss leaves the Ducks at 1-3 on the season, but if you’re looking for some positives, here’s a list: 

  • The goal is to improve on last season’s 3-38-2 regular season showing that included a 23-game season opening losing streak. Friday’s win came months earlier that last season’s first victotry. 
  • The rate of improvement so far is nothing short of shocking. The team is already eons removed from the squad that got an early preview in Detroit just two weeks ago with four exhibition games.  
  • Teams and players always talk about the chemistry being in place, but there is more to it that just caring about each other. Chemistry shows up on the ice and was hugely evident on the team’s second goal when young defender, Jack Kopfstein fired a 60-foot tape to tape pass on a power from the left side of the blue line to the right side of the blue paint where Cartland was waiting to tie the game at 2-2. Clearly the guys are becoming aware of where their linemates will be ahead of time. 
  • The Ducks scored powerplay goals in both games and while the Cougars were also successful on the powerplay as well, the Ducks stepped up with some big kills in the dying minutes of the second period in both games and also killed off a five-minute major Friday.  
  • The Ducks might be a young team, but some rookies are making their presence felt out of the game. Cartland has five goals and seven points in four games while Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL) is among the league leaders with three goals and a half dozen assists. Bryce Jacobsen was an offensive leader for the Ducks last season, collecting nine points in 23 games. So far this season, the rugged center has already collected seven points in four games and has been dominant on faceoffs in both ends of the ice. 

The Ducks have a couple tough assignments coming up as they wrap up the second half of its eight-straight home games to open the regular season against the Minnesota Moose (Oct. 9-10) and Minnesota Blue Ox (Oct. 16-17), but they are off this coming weekend, giving the team extra time to prepare for these four games. The Moose and Blue Ox represented the Midwest-West Division at Nationals this past season and have competed in the top half of the division since entering the league five seasons ago.