By Jim den Hollander
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.
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.