A pair of Badger Lightning varsity players, got the shorter drive with their Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) team this past weekend.
Elroy’s Mallory Ruhland and Signe Begalske from Sauk Prairie have been playing with the League’s South Central team this season. After practicing at the Lake Delton Ice Arena earlier in the season, the team played host to a pair of games Sunday against the NorthCentral/Northeast squad.
Both games were close heading to the final period, the Northeast/NorthCentral team up 1-0 in the first contest but returning from the second intermission with four more unanswered goals and a 5-0 win. The second game was much closer, a late second period goal for SouthCentral sending them to the third period even at 1-1 and a goal with just over five minutes to play lifted the team to a 3-2 win. Ruhland collected an assist on the game winner.
Standout goaltending played a big part in the win for SouthCentral as they captured the ‘W’ despite a lopsided 44-14 edge in shots for the visiting side.
The split was the third straight for the SouthCentral team who also played had a loss and win Sept. 19 against the same team at Greeheck Fieldhouse in Schofield after playing SouthEast to a split as well in Beaver Dam August 22.
Next up for the SouthCentral team is a practice in Oregon Wednesday and they will step away from league play this coming weekend, playing at the HPC Showcase in Bolingbrook, IL.
The team will practice in Lake Delton one more time, on Nov. 3.
Editor/Publisher The ice has been in just over a week at the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) and the opening days have been busy for the Sauk Prairie Youth Hockey Association.
This past Friday night, the Madison Capitols, from the United States Hockey League paid tribute to the local organization with SPYHA Night at the Capitols. Many local players and their families watched the Caps in their home opening contest and first win of the season as they knocked off the defending Clark Cup champion Chicago Steel in a 3-2 overtime thriller.
Intermission entertainment at the game included a scrimmage hockey contest involving the organization’s 8U players.
Also on the weekend, volunteers helped Clean the Rink and on Sunday, an open house at SPARC was well attended.
Pre-Season clinic for all age levels are underway now at the arena and the bantam level players also will benefit from a checking clinic. Player Evaluations will begin for the different divisions on Oct. 10.
Following its first off weekend of the season the Dells Ducks returned to work at the Lake Delton Ice Arena Monday, beginning a long stretch that won’t see them off again until Thanksgiving.
October and November will see the team in action for seven straight weekends including two three-game sets and two four-game Showcase events in Blaine, MN and Merrimack College in New England.
In all, the 20 games played in the next seven weeks will carry the team past the halfway mark on its 44-game USPHL Premier schedule.
The last action for the Ducks was an encouraging weekend split with the Chicago Cougars. The team clearly is hoping to build on that momentum with two of the USPHL Premier Midwest-West Division’s perennial frontrunners next on the itinerary.
Head Coach Shaun Falzone said there was a little rust to shake off in the first of two practices Monday, but added the team already looked better for the second session. All areas need improvement of course, but the transition game and limiting chances for the opposition is still the primary concern and likely will be for most of the season.
The team looks more organized and confident in its own end, but still has some lengthy lapses and counted on some stellar goaltending performances to counter a pair of games this past weekend both surpassing 60 shots against.
This weekend’s series will begin Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and wrap up with a matinee contest Sunday at 1:30 p.m.