By Jim den Hollander
The Sauk Prairie Eagles head into the 2021-22 WIAA season looking to build off the success of its past two seasons.
After reaching Sectional semifinals in the past two seasons, the Eagles had its progress impeded by the State Champion Verona Wildcats in the spring of 2020 and the same Wildcats who once against reached the State Championship game this past Spring.
A few key members have moved on, but offensively, many of the key cogs are back for another run beginning Tuesday (Nov. 23) when the Eagles play host to the Onalaska Hilltoppers, a perennial contender as well.
The Eagles have solid leadership up front and on the blue line with key seniors such as Nick Mast, Erik Peterson and Micah Hanson at the forward position along with Hakon Peterson on the blueline along with junior forward Luke Mast and junior defender Ethan Tranel.
In goal, the junior pair of Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInerney helped the team to a 12-1 regular season record in last year’s shortened season.
The Eagles are looking to step into a higher level of competition beginning with the game against Onalaska, a team it faced off for the first time in regular season competition in January.
The new Badger West is basically an even trade-off as the always tough Madison Edgewood Crusaders now become a division rival along with Oregon and Monroe while perennial conference championship contender, Waunakee Warriors slide into the Badger East along with Deforest and Beaver Dam.
Regular season contests against Big Eight contenders Middleton Cardinals and Sun Prairie Cardinals will provide some tough challenges late in the season. The Eagles will also be taking part in the prestigious Culvers Cup holiday tournament (usually played out of both Hartmeyer Ice Arena and Madison Ice Arena) over the Christmas break.
Some of the players took part in both spring/summer teams as well as Before/After squads including Team Wisconsin, so the Eagles should be strong out of the gate.