Four-point game for Mast leads Eagles to win

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Sauk Prairie Eagles varsity hockey team won its WIAA regular season opening contest with a big offensive night and a 7-5 edge against the visiting Onalaska Hilltoppers at the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center Tuesday (Nov. 23) night. 

The Eagles never trailed in the contest, but the season opening contest between a pair of teams that have been among the state’s best in recent seasons featured a Hilltoppers team that refused to surrender until the final buzzer sounded. 

The Eagles took a pair of leads only to have the Hilltoppers respond. A 2-1 lead after a period set the stage for a wild seven-goal middle frame that saw the Eagles finally pull away a bit, carrying a 6-4 margin into the final 17 minutes. 

Senior Erik Peterson opened and closed the scored for the Eagles, scoring the first goal 8:17 into the game and widening the gap to 7-4 with 4:17 to play in the contest. 

But the Hilltoppers responded once again as sophomore Thomas Bryant delayed the celebration with his goal 32 seconds later to get the Hilltoppers within a pair again with 3:45 to play. 

Tempers flared in the final minutes in a game that saw 37 minutes in penalties assessed along with a couple game misconducts. 

Also scoring twice for the Eagles was senior Nick Mast who also collected a pair of assists. Senior Hakon Peterson and junior Luke Mast both scored once and set up two others, freshman Gunnar Nachreiner sinking his first WIAA goal and adding an assist.  

Sophomore Karsyn Banta set up a pair for the Eagles with other assists for senior Micah Hanson and junior Ethan Tranel.  

Along with Bryant’s pair, Hilltoppers got goals from juniors Colin Comeau, Carter Hayes and Gavin Schuster. 

Sophomore Noah Gillette picked up two assists and senior Alec Browning also set up one. 

Junior goaltender Kaden Stracke picked up the win for the Eagles with a 21-save effort and senior Noah Clemment stopped 42 shots for the Hilltoppers.  

The Eagles will enjoy the Thanksgiving break before getting back to work and preparing for five straight Badger West Conference games beginning next Thursday (Dec. 2) at SPARC against the Monroe Cheesemakers.  

The Hilltoppers will be back in Sauk County on Tuesday (Nov. 30) paying a visit to the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) to play the RWD (Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells) Cheavers. 

Oakes keeps it close for RWD against Rapids

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

It took a while, but the host Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders persistence paid off with a 3-2 win against the RWD (Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells) Cheavers on home ice at the South Wood County Recreation Center on Tuesday night. 

Goaltender Cooper Oakes has played some big games in Rapids, both as a youth player and later as the puck stopper for RWD and this was another one. Oakes kicked out 33 of 36 shots, including all 15 he faced in the opening period. That allowed the Cheavers to carry a 2-0 lead to the locker room at the break despite a 15-7 edge in shots for the Red Raiders.  

Sophomore Brady Baldwin notched the first one for RWD 37 seconds into the contest and Logan Demars scored the other just over two minutes from the buzzer, both on set ups from junior Caden Brandt. 

Sophomore Josh Dekarske finally found a way past Oakes 8:17 into the second and sophomore Carsen Gause evened it up 74 seconds later.  

The Red Raiders went on to outshoot the Cheavers by a 36-15 margin but didn’t capture its first and only lead until Dekarske scored with 6:25 to play. 

Gause picked up assists on both Dekarske goals and other help came from seniors Carson Gunderson and Jacob Dekarske. 

Senior Dakota Blasky stopped everything he faced in the final two periods to pick up a 13-save win in goal. 

The Cheavers will continue a busy opening week, traveling to Somerset to take part in a four-team tournament Friday and Saturday. In the first game, RWD will play the Eau Claire North Huskies Friday at 2:15 p.m. at Somerset Ice Arena. On Saturday, the opposition will be either the Antigo Red Robins or Somerset Spartans. 

The Red Raiders next action will be another home game on Dec. 2 when Wisconsin Valley Conference play gets underway against the Marshfield Tigers. 

JV Eagles open season with shutout win

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Sauk Prairie junior varsity Eagles hockey team turned in a solid, near perfect performance to open its regular season with a 5-0 shutout against the visiting Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Tuesday night. 

For a second night, despite being shouldered with the loss, Burke Schweda became the story of the contest. After kicking out 37 shots against the RWD JV squad Monday, the goaltender added another 46 saves to his total in a brilliant performance between the pipes. 

Brooks McInerney was flawless in goal for the Eagles, stopping all 12 Thunderbird shots. 

The Eagles had five different goal scorers step up, scoring twice in the first and final periods with one in the middle session. 

Colin Harrington, Karsyn Banta, Gunnar Nachreiner, Blake Howery and Connor Grant scored the Eagles’ goals with assists for Nachreiner and Garret Mittelstaedt. 

The Eagles will get a short break for Thanksgiving and then begin preparations for another home game agianst the Monroe Cheesemakers next Thursday (Dec. 2). 

Next action for the Thunderbirds will be the varsity team’s season and home opener Saturday (Nov. 27) at 7 p.m. against the3 Middleton Cardinals at Pierce Park Pavilion.

JV Cheavers stay hot with win in Rapids

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD junior varsity hockey team continued a strong opening to its regular season collecting it second win in 24 hours with a 6-2 win against the Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders at South Wood County Recreation Center Tuesday evening. 

Tomas Komdofer, Nate Stando and Carter Scully paced the offense, scoring two goals each Scully and Komdofer both adding an assist as well along with Kaden Uminski. 

RWD fired the lone goal of the first period, Komdofer pulling the trigger and the game was still close at 2-1 heading to the third. 

With Alex Griebe, the team’s regular netminder out with illness, defenseman Mark Othmer volunteered to patrol the blue paint and recorded the win in his debut.  

The team will continue play in its busy opening week, following Thanksgiving with a trip to Somerset for a tournament involving both the varsity and junior varsity teams. 

First game for the local JV squad will be against New Richmond Tigers at 4:15 p.m. Friday and they will hit the ice again at 9 a.m. Saturday against the host Somerset Spartans JV squad.