Jim den Hollander
The Badger Lightning varsity hockey team is looking for a big improvement this season and served notice of that with a 10-1 win in its first of two meetings against the Beaver Dam Golden Beavers at Pierce Park Pavilion on Saturday.
With an additional five players (three freshmen and two sophomores) in the lineup this season, Head Coach Rick Capener has been hoping for a more potent and balanced offensive attack and that appeared to be the case in this game as the team had 13 skaters in the lineup and every one of them collected at least a point.
Leading the charge was junior Mallory Ruhland coming off a before season with the South Central WEHL squad. Ruhland fired three goals and set up another while Katelyn Allen fired her first two WIAA goals and added an assist as well.
Junior Kayla Capener notched a goal and two assists and junior defender Eryn Benson set up three. Senior defenseman Carson Blosenski and forwards Lani Selje and Lily McPherson each picked up a goal and assist.
First-year forward Reese Olson who also played with a South Central WEHL team in the early fall, scored her first varsity goal. Freshman Kayla Garbacz, senior Emily Gunnell, sophomore Madchen Ewig, senior Signe Begalske and Audrey Hanko each picked up an assist in the game.
Sophomore goaltender Alyssa Gada came up big when needed in goal, beaten just once on 10 shots as the Lightning opened the season with a 38-10 edge in shots.
The first game of the pair also counts as a conference match so the Lightning are 1-0 in Badger Conference play now as well.
By Jim den Hollander
The RWD Junior Varsity Cheavers had its season opening winning streak snapped Saturday falling 6-4 to the Eau Claire North Huskies in a back-and-forth game played at Somerset Ice Arena.
After fighting back from a single goal deficit three times, the Cheavers grabbed its first and only lead with a little under five minutes to go in the second period.
It didn’t last long. The Huskies responded 27 seconds later to tie it and grabbed the lead for good in the final minute of the period, adding one more for insurance in the third.
Tomas Komdofer scored the first RWD goal and set up the second scored by Malachi Strombolis-Salama. Carter Scully collected an assist on the first goal and Nate Stando helped on the second.
Strombolis-Salama with his fourth of the weekend and Kaden Uminski fired the other two goals with assists for Scully, Komdofer and Kadin Bergenske.
Alex Griebe kicked out 28 shots in the contest as the Cheavers were outshot 34-18.
The JV Cheavers are scheduled to play on home ice for the first time Tuesday taking on the Onalaska Hilltoppers in the 5 p.m. opener for the 7 p.m. varsity contest between the same two teams.
By Jim den Hollander
The RWD junior varsity Cheavers opened play on a two-game weekend at Somerset with a 6-5 edge against the New Richmond Tigers at Somerset Ice Arena Friday afternoon.
The game was back and forth, but the Cheavers never trailed, holding leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before three straight goals put them up 5-2 halfway through the middle period.
It was 3-2 RWD after a period with two goals for Tomas Komdofer and one for Nate Stando.
Kaden Uminski and Malachi Strombolis-Salama added second period goals and a second for Strombolis-Salama stood up as the game winner in the final period.
Uminski, Komdofer and Gus Defosse collected assists in the game and Alex Griebe stopped 32 shots to pick up his second win of the season in goal. Cheavers won the game despite a 32-17 edge in shots for the Tigers.
The win boosted the JV Cheavers to 3-0 on the season and they were scheduled to play Eau Claire North Junior Varsity the following day.
By Jim den Hollander
The RWD varsity Cheavers hockey team found third time was lucky, breaking into the win column Saturday with a 5-3 edge against the host Somerset Spartans in the Consolation final at a four-team tournament.
After dropping a pair of 2-1 heartbreakers in games they were badly outshot, the Cheavers faced another lopsided total on the shot clock, but this time managed five goals and a win despite a 34-26 edge in shots for the Spartan.
After battling back from a 1-0 deficit to even things by the end of the first period, the Cheavers were looking up at a 3-1 deficit, halfway through the middle frame. But while Cooper Oakes blanked the hosts the rest of the way, the Cheavers responded with four unanswered goals, two to tie it by the end of the second, then two more down the stretch.
Trey Lariden notched the first goal on a feed from Brady Baldwin with just over seven minutes to play in the opening period.
Caden Brandt and CJ Pfaff who have both collected a point in all three games so far, both scored unassisted second period goals and Malachi Strombolis-Salama notched the team’s first game winner of the season 5:07 into the third, from Pfaff.
Baldwin sank an insurance marker with help from Brandt exactly three minutes from the final buzzer.
Oakes provided stellar work in goal, stopping all but three of the 50 shots he faced. He has already kicked out 107 of 114 shots faced in the first three games.
The Cheavers will finally play in front of friendly fans at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena Tuesday night, but it will be another tough one as the Onalaska Hilltoppers will pay a visit for the final game before the Cheavers embark on three straight Badger West Conference tests.
By Jim den Hollander
The RWD varsity Cheavers hockey team came up way short on the shot clock once again but banked on some stellar goaltending to keep them close in the opening game of a tournament in Somerset on Friday (Nov. 26).
The Cheavers were facing off against the Eau Claire North Huskies for the first time in team history and managed just 17 shots on goal while Cooper Oakes was pounded with 44.
But after a pair of first period goals, Oakes turned aside all 28 shots in the final two frames to keep his team alive. Brady Baldwin’s tally, with help from Caden Brandt and CJ Pfaff 13 seconds into the final period had the Cheavers within a shot of tying the game, but that was as close as RWD would get in this one.
The loss dropped RWD to 0-2 on the season and pushed them into a consolation game the following day against the host Somerset Spartans.
The Spartans met the Antigo Red Robins later Friday and dropped a 6-5 decision in overtime.