The Sauk Prairie Eagles grabbed a second lopsided win to advance to the Culver’s Cup Championship on Tuesday, downing the Marshfield Tigers 8-0.
After blanking Oshkosh through the first half of the game the previous day, Eagles’ junior goaltender Kaden Stracke turned in a full 51-minute goose egg, stopping all 19 Tigers’ shots.
Senior Nick Mast scored the only goal his team needed 5:32 into the contest, then rolled to a first-period hatrick and a four-goal/three assist game, giving him 13 points through the tournament’s first two games.
Junior brother, Luke Mast also recorded seven points with three goals and four assists, the other Eagles’ goal scored by senior Hakon Peterson and first-year Gunnar Nachreiner collected four assists in the win.
The other finalist will be the Marquette Hilltoppers who earned a bye through the first round and defeated the Monona Grove Silver Eagles 5-1 in the semis to grab the other championship game spot.
The Sauk Prairie Eagles made a dynamic debut in its first appearance at the annual Culver’s Cup Tournament on Monday (Dec. 28) reaching the Championship semis with a 10-4 win against the Oshkosh Ice Hawks.
After carrying a 2-0 cushion out of the opening period at Madison Ice Arena, the Eagles exploded for four more in the middle period before the Ice Hawks suddenly came alive with three in 77-seconds, the first two six-seconds apart.
Any thoughts of a rally were squashed with a 4-1 margin for the Eagles through the final 17 minutes.
Senior Nick Mast enjoyed another big offensive night with three goals and three assists for the Eagles, senior Erik Peterson and junior Luke Mast both scoring a pair. Senior Hakon Peterson, junior Blake Howery and first year Gunnar Nachreiner collected the other Eagles’ goals.
Eagles outshot the Ice Hawks by a 42-17 margin. Junior goaltenders Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInerney shared the win in goal for the Eagles.
Other quarterfinal matches at the Culver’s tournament saw Marshfield Tigers getting by Madison West Regents 6-1, Monona Grove Silver Eagles downing Ashland Oredockers and Marquette Hilltoppers awarded a win against the Madison Memorial Spartans.
Another two goals for junior John Scott and the third shutout of the season for senior Cooper Oakes helped the RWD Cheavers reach the prime stage to defend its 2020 Monk’s Cheeseburger crown.
A 3-0 win in its semi-final set up a date with the Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders Wednesday (Dec. 30) at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.
The path to the final went through the Kenosha Thunder and while the game was not clinched until late, the Cheavers were in control the whole way, outshooting the Thunder by a 49-11 margin.
Thunder junior goaltender Zach Mitchell was the busiest man in the barn, kicking out 46 shots but once again it was the trio of Scott, senior Tomas Korndorfer and sophomore Brady Baldwin who solved the goaltender.
Scott fired both the game winner 7:43 into the opening period and the clincher, early in the third Korndorfer notching the middle goal, also in the first period and assisting on the final goal. Baldwin set up Korndorfer’s tally.
After wearing out a path to the sin bin the previous night, the Cheavers produced a more disciplined effort against Kenosha as the two teams combined for six minutes of infractions, just one minor called against the locals.
The win sets up the final against the Red Raiders, the same team RWD defeated for the burgers last season.
Teams met in Rapids to open this season, the Red Raiders rallying back from an early 2-0 deficit to pull out a 3-2 edge. The Raiders outshot RWD 36-15 on that night and have brushed aside La Crescent-Hokah and Onalaska by a 17-5 margin in its first two games at the Monk’s tourney.
The second game for the Red Raiders was a lopsided 7-1 win against Onalaska on Tuesday. They carried Lout of the opening period and added another before the Hilltoppers scored its only goal.
Senior goaltender Dakota Blasky stopped 26 shots for the Red Raiders with two goal games for senior Carson Gunderson and junior Trevor Vilbaum. Gunderson also collected two assists.
The game’s first game, saw La Crescent-Hokah Lancers picking up a 5-4 win in overtime against the McFarland Spartans and River Falls Wildcats bounced back from its opening game loss to RWD with a 7-1 win against Tomah/Sparta.
The RWD Cheavers opened play at the Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic ready to defend its title and putting together what might have been its best 51-minutes of the season so far this season.
Led by a junior John Scott who fired his first varsity hat trick and 22 stops on 23 shots for senior goaltender Cooper Oakes, the Cheavers got by the River Falls Wildcats, a team they had never faced before.
RWD dominated the contest from start to finish, including a long stretch in the middle period played one or two skaters short. After a lackadaisical final five minutes of the second which allowed the Wildcats a chance to score its lone goal, the Cheavers responded with a renewed vigor in the final period, turning a 3-1 cushion into the 5-1 final.
Juniors Caden and Carsen Brandt had the set ups on the game’s first goal, scoring by senior C.J. Pfaff and Scott fired the other two first period goals, the first on a feed from senior Tomas Korndorfer.
The Cheavers re-established control with a 14-3 edge in shots through the final 17-, minutes and it paid off with goals from Scott and junior defenseman Logan DeMars.
Korndorfer collected assists on both third period goals and sophomore Brady Baldwin, the third man on the line with Scott and Korndorfer, also picked up one.
The first day of the tournament began with Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders collecting a 10-4 win against the La Crescent-Hokah Lancers, an independent Minnesota team.
Sophomore Carson Gause led the Raiders with four goals and two assists, first year Pagel Jax scored a pair.
In the second game, Noah Clemment turned aside all 29 shots he faced and junior Gavin Schuster scored four to lead the Onalaska Hilltoppers to a 6-0 shutout against the McFarland Spartans.
The third game was the closest of the day, the Kenosha Thunder holding off a late rally by Tomah/Sparta for a 2-1 edge. First-year goaltender Mark Michelson stopped 33 of 34 to lead his team to the win despite a massive 34-12 edge in shots for Tomah/Sparta who didn’t find a way past him until late in the final period.
RWD, Baraboo/Portage and Sauk Prairie varsity teams will all hit the tournament trail this week, seeing some different teams and getting a break from their respective conference schedules.
RWD Cheavers will once again host the annual Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic. The 12th version of the tournament will see it once again as an eight-team event after being trimmed to four last season.
The tournament has been an important launching pad for the Cheavers in past seasons. They won the first tournament and rolled from that to a state championship berth. In 2014-15, a team much like this season’s Cheavers carried a 4-3-1 record into the Monk’s tournament and turned three wins to win the title into an 18-game unbeaten streak that didn’t end until the State championship quarterfinals.
The Cheavers will begin its latest version of the tournament in the final game of the day on Dec. 28 against the River Falls Wildcats at 7:30 p.m.
Meanwhile the Sauk Prairie Eagles will begin play at the annual Culver’s Cup, playing out of Hartmeyer Ice Arena and Madison Ice Arena.
The Eagles will begin at 2:45 p.m. against the Oshkosh Ice Hawks.
Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds will begin the following day at a tournament in Hartland.
Here is a little information on the local tournament and the other ones as well.
Monks’s Cheeseburger Classic
Lake Delton Ice Arena
Tuesday, Dec. 28
Game 1 — 12 p.m. — Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders (5-3, 2-2 Wisconsin Valley) vs. La Crescent-Hokah Lancers 4-2, Minnesota Independent)
Game 2 — 2:30 p.m. — McFarland Spartans (4-5, 3-2 Badger East) vs. Onalaska Hilltoppers (3-4, 1-1 Mississippi Valley)
Game 3 — 5 p.m. — Tomah Sparta (3-5, 1-0 Mississippi Valley) vs. Kenosha Thunder (4-2, 0-1 Classic Eight)
Game 4 — 7:30 p.m. — RWD Cheavers (6-5, 3-2 Badger West) vs. River Falls Wildcats (3-5, 0-4 Big Rivers)
Wednesday, Dec. 29
Game 5 – 12 p.m. – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
Game 6 – 2:30 p.m. — Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
Game 7 – 5 p.m. — Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
Game 8 – 7:30 p.m. — Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4
Thursday, Dec. 30
Game 9 – 10 a.m. — Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 7
Game 10 – 12:30 p.m. — Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 7
Game 11 – 3 p.m. — Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 8
Game 12 – 5:30 p.m. — Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 8
Culver’s Cup – Varsity Boys Division
Tuesday Dec. 28 – Quarterfinals
Game 1 – 2:45 p.m. — Sauk Prairie Eagles (6-2, 2-2 Badger West) vs. Oshkosh Ice Hawks (3-4, 2-1 Badgerland) — MIA
Game 2 – 7:45 p.m. — Madison West Regents (3-7, 3-4 Big Eight) vs. Marshfield Tigers (6-3-1, 2-1 Wisconsin Valley) — MIA
Game 3 – 5:15 p.m. — Marquette Hilltoppers (6-1, 1-0 Classic Eight) vs. Madison Memorial Spartans (4-6, 3-3 Big Eight) — MIA
Game 4 – 7:45 p.m. — Ashland Oredockers (4-5, Independent) vs. Monona Grove Silver Eagles (3-5, 2-3 Badger East) — Hartmeyer
Wednesday Dec. 29 – Semi Finals
Game 5 – 12:15 p.m. — Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – MIA
Game 6 – 2:45 p.m. — Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – MIA
Game 7 – 5:15 p.m. — Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 – MIA
Game 8 – 7:45 p.m. — Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 – MIA
Thursday, Dec. 30 – Finals
7th Place Game – 4:45 p.m. — Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 7 – Hartmeyer
5th Place Game – 4:45 p.m. — Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 7 – MIA
3rd Place Game – 7:15 p.m. — Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 8 – Hartmeyer
Championship Game – 7:15 p.m. — Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 8 – MIA
Howard G. Mullet Ice Center – Hartland, WI
There will be four teams in this two-day event.
On Dec. 29, the first game will pit the Homestead Highlanders (5-5, 0-0 North Shore) against the Sheboygan Red Raiders (3-9, 0-3 Fox River) at 4:45 p.m. followed by the Baraboo-Portage Thunderbirds (2-7, 1-2 Badger West) against the Arrowhead Warhawks (6-2, 0-0 Classic Eight).
Game times and match ups for the Consolation and Championship game on Dec. 30 are still TBA as of press time.
The Lightning will not be in a tournament this season, but locals get a look at them at Pierce Park Pavilion on Wednesday at 5 p.m. when they play host to the Northern Pines Eagles at Pierce Park Pavilion wrapping up a three-game homestand.
Of course the primary goal is to attract attention and get the promotion to varsity, but the RWD junior varsity Cheavers have quietly put together a bit of a dream season so far.
A 2-0 win at home to Sauk Prairie Dec. 17, followed up by a 5-0 win in Tomah Dec. 21 continued a string of four-straight shutouts and boosting the team’s overall record to 10-2. A shutout is shared by all teammates, but first-year goaltender Alex Griebe has put together a run of 203 minutes and 12-seconds without allowing a puck past him in the blue paint for the Cheavers heading into the Christmas Break.
Eagles 0 @ Cheavers 2
Griebe and Eagles junior Brooks McInerney both stopped everything shot at them through the opening period. First-year Alec Breunig broke through with the game winner 2:24 into the middle period after a set up by junior Conner Putz.
The other goal came in the third period, an unassisted marker scored by Kaden Uminski.
Griebe kicked out all 28 Eagles’ shots while the Cheavers fired 18 the other way.
Cheavers 5 @ Tomah-Sparta 0
In Tomah, teams played through a scoreless first period again and Breunig fired his second straight game winner with the lone second period goal unassisted.
The Cheavers padded its lead with four more unanswered goals in the third period. Senior Malachi Strompolis-Salama paced the squad with the second goal and two assists in the period. Senior Carter Scully and junior Nate Stando both picked up a goal and assist in the period, the other goal scored by Uminski.
Cheavers held an overall edge of 37-11 in Tomah.
The junior varsity squad will be back in action on Tuesday Jan. 4 at Waupaca.
Coming off a big conference win on home ice, the RWD Cheavers wrapped up the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule with a non-conference shutout win on the road against Tomah Sparta on Dec. 21.
Senior Cooper Oakes kicked out all 22 Tomah/Sparta shots on goal for his second shutout of the season and broke his own team record with his 11th varsity goose egg.
Offensively, the Cheavers got the only goal it needed when junior Yevgeny Dedun buried an unassisted marker 6:30 into the contest, the lone goal of the opening period.
Senior Trevor Slaght, playing his first game of the season after off season injury made his presence felt quickly, notching an insurance goal in the middle period on a feed from senior C.J. Pfaff.
The Brandt twins, juniors Caden and Carsen put the game away with their third-period markers, Caden early and Carsen with 25 ticks on the clock. Both goals came with help from seniors Pfaff and Grant Marsich.
The Cheavers held a 33-22 edge in shots overall and boosted its regular season record to 6-5 heading into the Christmas break.
Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds snapped a five-game losing streak and broke into the Badger West win column with a 2-1 edge against the Monroe Cheesemakers at Pierce Park Pavilion on Saturday, Dec. 18.
The game was the middle match of three, a pair of losses against tough non-conference opponents in Janesville and Onalaska.
Preceding the win, on Dec. 16 was a 9-0 loss on the road against the Janesville Bluebirds and the Thunderbirds wrapped up the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule with an 8-2 loss at the Onalaska Omni Center against the host Onalaska/La Crosse Hilltoppers.
Cheesemakers 1 @ Thunderbirds 2
Thunderbirds have endured a tough first half of the season due in a big way to injuries and illness creating a revolving door to the locker room. It’s been tough in Monroe as well for a team full of promise thanks to a state championship bantam squad last season, but still young and learning the varsity ropes.
Senior goaltender Andrew Schaetzel made 29 stops to help the Thunderbirds collect the win despite a 30-22 edge in shots for the guests.
That goal was the fourth of the season for Monroe junior Seth Brandt, the lone goal of the opening period and it stood up until the game’s final minutes.
Senior Gabe Fitzwilliams hit the scoreboard for Thunderbirds with 3:59 to play with help from junior Peyton Sloan and sophomore Carson Zick put the home team in front for the first and only time 77 seconds from the final buzzer with assists for senior Oliver Scanlan and first-year Jordi Beale.
Thunderbirds 0 @ Bluebirds 9
The Bluebirds are off to a great start in the Big Eight Conference and collected in fifth win in six games on home ice against the Thunderbirds.
The hosts all but clinched the win with six first period goals including three in 1:23 late in the frame. After a rough first period, Schaetzl was stingier in goal for Baraboo/Portage allowing just three the rest of the way.
Thunderbirds 2 @ Hilltoppers 8
Off to an uncharacteristic slow start that included losses in each of its first four games this season, the Hilltoppers are scratching their way back and the win against Thunderbirds was the second of three straight for the perennial Mississippi Valley Conference champ.
Once again, the first period was tough for the visitors who fell behind 4-0 and the Hilltoppers struck back with three more in the second before the Thunderbirds scored its two goals 2:17 apart.
Senior Oliver Scanlan scored the first, his fourth goal of the season from junior Landon Olson. The other goal came from first-year Nathan Gneiser with help from senior Gabe Fitzwilliams and junior Peyton Sloan.
Senior Andrew Schaetzl and first-year Burke Schweda shared the work in goal for the Thunderbirds, combining on a 34-save effort.
Thunderbirds hit the Christmas Break with a 2-7 overall record, 1-2 in Badger West Conference play.
After snapping a two-game losing streak, the longest of the season so far with a 9-0 shutout win against the visiting Beaver Dam Golden Beavers in the first of three-straight on home ice at Baraboo’s Pierce Park Pavilion Dec. 17, the Badger Lightning came up short against the Icebergs on Dec. 21 in its final game before the Christmas Break.
Golden Beavers 0 @ Badger Lightning 9
Starting out the stretch was the third win this season against the Golden Beavers, a team the Lightning has never lost to.
Offensively, the Lightning was consistent with three goals in each period while in goal, sophomore Alyssa Gada picked up her first WIAA shutout.
Junior forward Kayla Capener continued her torrid offensive pace with four goals and an assist in the contest, senior Signe Begalske chipping in a goal and two assists. Junior Lily McPherson and first-year Kayla Garbacz each contributed a goal and assist.
Zoey Udelhofen, Eryn Benson and Lani Selje each picked up a goal assists, the other goal scored by Mallory Ruland.
The Lightning held a lopsided 46-5 edge in shots against the Golden Beavers
Icebergs 4 Lightning 0
Against the Icebergs, Lightning played mostly even, the visitors holding a 32-24 edge overall in shots, but the big difference was Laila Howe who fired three of the four Icebergs’ goals, including the game winner near the halfway mark of the first period.
Icebergs scored singles in the first and third with two in the middle frame.
The Lightning entered the Christmas break even at 4-4. Unfortunately, all four losses have come against Badger Conference opponents, so the team’s conference record at this point is 2-4.
The team will wrap up a three-game homestand on Wednesday (Dec. 29) with a non-conference meeting with Northern Pines Eagles (4-3, Independent).
The Sauk Prairie Eagles snapped a two-game losing streak and created a three-way tie for second in the Badger West Conference with three straight home wins at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC).
Starting the stretch, on Monday, Dec. 20 was a needed 7-1 win against the visiting Oregon Panthers, followed up by a 7-5 non-Conference win the following night against the McFarland Spartans and a 9-4 margin on Thursday against the Avalanche, made up of players from La Crosse Aquinas, Holmen and other area schools.
The key might have been rediscovering its offense. In a division that includes some of the best offensive crews in the state, the Eagles fit in well, coming up with 24 goals in its first three games, but then two in its next pair. The Eagles struck for another 23 in the past three carrying it into the Christmas break.
The win against the Panthers was the most important as the Eagles, winners of its first two conference games suddenly saw itself at 2-2 and needed to get back on track.
The Eagles struck for three unanswered first period goals and added two more in the second with two more in the third before the Panthers, a team the boasts the state’s top three point getters avoided being victims of a shutout with the only shot to beat junior Kaden Stracke in the Eagles’ net with 50 seconds to play in the contest.
Junior Luke Mast had a massive night for the Eagles, in on all seven points with a goal and six helpers. Senior Nick Mast added three more goals, including the game winner. Senior Erik Peterson enjoyed his best night so far with two goals and three assists and senior Micah Hanson scored the other.
Spartans 5 @ Eagles 7
A night later, the Eagles engaged in a wild shootout, similar to the season opener against Onalaska.
After allowing the game’s first goal, the Eagles carried a 4-2 lead out of the opening period, but found themselves even at 4-4 four minutes into the middle frame. Two later goals made it 6-4 heading to the third and both teams added one more down the stretch.
The Mast brothers and senior Hakon Peterson scored two each, Peterson added three assists with two for Luke and one for Nick.
The other Eagles’ goal came from freshman Gunnar Nachreiner.
Avalanche 4 @ Eagles 9
Wrapping up the busy and successful week on Thursday, the Eagles again allowed the first goal but carried a 3-1 lead into the middle period and widened the gap to 6-3 by the start of the third.
Nick Mast led the charge again with four goals and an assist, Hakon Peterson adding two of each and Luke Mast picking up a goal and four more assists.
Erik Peterson scored a goal and added two assists, junior Landon Clary scoring the other.
Luke Mast leads the team with 30 points (9g, 21a) at the break, good enough for 10th best in the state and Nick Mast is close behnd with 25 (18g, 7a).
The wins boosted the Eagles’ record at the break to 6-2.