The Badger Lightning has improved its win total in each of its previous few seasons and at the end of November, the squad will roll into a new season with as close to a full roster as it has had in a few seasons.
Girls’ hockey is on the rise in Sauk County, in particular in Sauk Prairie which boasts no fewer than seven teams wearing Sauk Prairie Monkeys uniforms this season, so the light is beaming at the end of the tunnel and if the Captains’ Practice at SPARC on Monday is any indication, the skill level of the incoming freshmen players will have them contributing immediately on both ends of the ice.
The team has been practicing in Sauk Prairie for a month and at the start of November with the wrap up of some of the other sports, the team will be on the ice more frequently. Regular practices will begin next week and the regular season will open with a weekend series against the Beaver Dam Golden Beavers Nov. 26-27.
The Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA) opened for many local teams this past weekend including the RWD Squirt ‘A’ Cheavers with some promising results.
After an 8-2 win against the Dodgeville Ice Dogs in its opening match at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA)on Saturday, the Squirt Cheavers battled back late but fell just short in a narrow 3-2 loss to the Middleton Cardinals Sunday.
Squirt A Cheavers 8 Dodgeville Ice Wolves 2
The Cheavers were clearly eager to get the regular season going, blasting off to a 5-1 first period lead and wrapping it up with three more in the middle frame.
Rainier Scott enjoyed a huge weekend which started with a hat trick and an assist in the opener. Cole Renneberg added a pair while Briar Messer collected a goal and assist. Braydan Potter and Jamison Haag scored the other goals and Caleb Backeberg added a couple assists.
Jase Uminski played in goal for the Cheavers, kicking out 14 shots to nail down his first win of the season.
Griffin Hanson and Brayden Lydic scored the Ice Wolves goals.
Middleton Cardinals 3 Squirt A Cheavers 2
On Sunday, the Middleton ‘B’ squad paid a visit to RACA for a much tighter defensive battle.
The lone goal through the opening two periods was a first period tally by Gavin Shaw of the Cardinals in the opening period but two goals, eight seconds apart early in the third had the visitors up 3-0. Owen Raulin and Cole Klein scored the Middleton markers.
Scott finally got the Cheaves on the board with 5:03 to play and notched his fifth of the weekend with 1:51 remaining to get the Cheavers within a shot of tying it up. That was as close as they would get through, Nora Walker picking up an assist on the first goal.
Uminski kicked out another 20 shots in goal for the Cheavers, Carson Kraus stopping 11 in goal for the Cards.
The Cheavers will carry the 1-1 record into next weekend, an even busier stretch with three more home games. On Saturday, the Cheavers will welcome the Sauk Prairie ‘A’ Flyers at 11 a.m. and on Sunday, the Middleton ‘C’ Cardinals will be at RACA for an 8:45 a.m. faceoff while the Waunakee ‘C’ Wildcats at 3:30 p.m. at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.
It came as no real surprise the Ducks wrapped up play at its first Showcase of the season with a tough loss against the Minnesota Blue Ox.
The Ducks have improved each time on the ice, but playing in a tough division and wrapping up a four-game weekend with a battle against perhaps the division’s best team, the 9-2 final score defeat didn’t come as a huge shock.
The Blue Ox carried a 3-0 lead out of the first period before Adam Chaudhri (‘04/Allen, TX) collected his first goal as a junior early in the second on a feed from Jacob Cartland (‘02/Mukwonago, WI) to get the Ducks on the board.
Blue Ox responded with another pair before Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL) added a second for the Ducks, his 11th of the season, from Jayden Tkaczuk (‘02/Chanahon, IL) and Dillon Collings (‘02/Golden, CO) who last played with the team in the 2020-21 season.
The Ox added one more in the second period and widened the gap with three more in the final frame.
The Ducks finished the Showcase winless and continue to home ice this coming weekend with a 1-14-0-0 regular season record.
The record is certainly not what the team what hoping for at the beginning of the season, but while the team is having its struggles, there are players who have made their presence felt in a big way.
It’s hard to miss Caden Glamkowski, on a pace for one of the best offensive seasons in the team’s history. The Illinois rookie has hit the 20-point mark (11g, 9a) in 15 games, one more than Jayden Tkaczuk had as the team’s leading scorer last season. Glamkowski collected points in all four games at the Showcase and has been kept off the sheet just twice in the team’s first 15 matches.
Tkaczuk also has been making up for lost time. He has three goals and nine assists in just 11 games with the team so far while rookie Jake Cartland has 15 points (6g, 9a) and the 14 points (4g, 10a) is five more than he collected playing in 23 games last season.
The gap between those players and the rest of the pack is wide, but 16 Ducks’ players have collected at least a point and the supporting cast is becoming more of an offensive factor.
The Ducks began preparing for another busy weekend against the only two teams the Ducks have not played yet in the Midwest-West Division.
After a Friday night contest against the always tough Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings (7:30 p.m.) the Ducks will complete an all-Wisconsin weekend with matches against the Hudson Havoc on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday (1:30 p.m.). The homestand will be the fifth of the season for the Ducks who will not play at home again until 2022.