T-Birds charge back for overtime win at Sparta

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds rallied all the way back from a 2-0 deficit on the road for a thrilling 3-2 in in overtime against the host Tomah/Sparta hockey team at Sparta Ice Arena on Tuesday (Nov. 30) night. 

Heading to the third period, the Thunderbirds had played five periods of varsity hockey this season without counting a goal, but that unfortunate streak came to an end 31 seconds into the final period as sophomore Carson Zick converted a feed from junior Luke Schweda and fired it home to cut the home team’s lead in half.  

Junior Kyle Buelow completed the comeback with 9:35 to play, from Zick and senior Oliver Scanlan. 

Still even at the end of regulation, teams headed to an eight-minute overtime period which came to a sudden halt when senior Gabe Fitzwilliams gave the Thunderbirds its first and only lead of the contest at the 3:13 mark. Zick picked up his third point of the contest with an assist along with Scanlan. 

Tomah/Sparta opened the scoring with a goal scored by freshman Parker Holloway, from sophomore Easton Armstrong and the other goal came in the middle period, scored by senior Charlie Joyce on a feed from sophomore Ethan Wildes.  

Senior Andrew Schaetzl evened his record at 1-1 with the overtime win, kicking out 25 of 27 shots while junior Jake Berry made 23 saves for Tomah/Sparta. 

Baraboo/Portage will be looking to carry the momentum from this win into its Badger West Conference opener Thursday night at Oregon with a 7 p.m. faceoff against the Panthers.  

Tomah/Sparta fell to 1-2 with the tough overtime loss and will also be back in action Thursday, traveling to West Salem to play the Panthers in a 7 p.m. puck drop. 

Brandt comes up big for Cheavers against Hilltoppers

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD (Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells/Mauston) Cheavers played its first game on home ice Tuesday but packed a season’s worth of highs/lows and excitement into a 5-4 overtime win against the visiting Onalaska Hilltoppers.  

The win was the second straight for the Cheavers and boosted the record to 2-2 on the season after a couple tough one-goal losses to open the season. 

It took some grit and determination to grab this on as, despite a 58-39 edge in shots, some unlucky bounces around their own crease forced the team to battle back from one-goal deficits three times, the last one with 94 seconds to play sending the game to overtime.  

Junior Caden Brandt was to go-to guy on offense, and he stepped up with that tying goal as well as the overtime game winner for the Cheavers.  

The tying goal came on a perfectly executed give-and-go play Brandt to senior CJ Pfaff and back to Brandt giving him some space in the neutral zone. He split the defense to get in alone and deposited the puck into cage with time winding down on a five-minute man advantage for the home team. Junior Logan Demars also collected an assist on the play.  

The overtime game winner came after a behind the net pass from sophomore Brady Baldwin to Brandt at the top of the crease and Pfaff had the other assist on that one as well. Baldwin also set up Brandt on the goal that tied the game at 3-3 and the first two RWD goals came from Pfaff with a set up for Brandt and Mitchell Henke with help from Iszak Elder. 

Junior Colin Comeau fired the first two Hilltoppers’ goals with single assists for senior Quinn Anderson and junior Gavin Schuster. Later Schuster put the Hilltoppers up 3-2 from Comeau and senior Peyton Jones and sophomore Thomas Bryant fired the fourth goal unassisted.  

It didn’t show up on the game sheet, but goaltenders Cooper Oakes from RWD and Abraham Finch of the Hilltoppers, both seniors, came up with some big stops in the contest. 

The win was a massive one for RWD who have only played the Hilltoppers in regular season play three times, all losses in the team’s history. 

Along with the game’s highs and lows, an emotional tribute to original RWD team member Alex Yacko between the first and second period. Yacko, who scored some huge goals for the RWD program, passed away suddenly shortly before the start of the season. His parents and siblings were all on hand for the brief ceremony and stayed to cheer the Cheavers on to the win.

Members of the RWD varsity hockey team joined the parents of Alex Yacko on the ice for an emotional tribute and moment’s silence for an original member of the RWD team, Alex Yacko.

The Cheavers move on to its first Badger West Conference game Friday playing host to the Madison Edgewood Crusaders and the 0-2 Hilltoppers will get a week to prepare for its first contest on home ice, although as the visiting team against the Avalanche who share the Omni Center in Onalaska, on Dec. 7. 

Scully-Korndorfer lead JV Cheavers past Hilltoppers

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD junior varsity hockey team boosted its regular season record to 4-1 with an impressive 6-2 win against the visiting Onalaska Hilltoppers on Tuesday night as the opening act to thrilling varsity contest. 

Hard work and a 26-11 edge in shots had the home side up 2-0 heading to the final frame, but that evaporated suddenly as the Hilltoppers scored twice in 42 seconds and pulled even before the third period was 90 seconds old. 

The home side went back to work though scoring the game winner about three minutes later and piling on another three before the final horn.  

Seniors Carter Scully and Tomas Komdofer formed a potent tandem playing a part in four goals including the game winner for RWD.  

Komdofer set up Scully for the opening goal and both collected assists on a goal scored by Nate Stando later in the opening period.  

Scully assisted on Komdofer’s game winner with additional help from junior Caleb Eastman. 

Freshman Kaden Uminski fired the fourth goal on a feed from Freshman Tye Barney and Scully’s second came later with an assist for Komdofer. Connor Putz scored the final goal 26 seconds later with a pass from Tristan Edgerton. 

Freshman goaltender Alex Griebe collected his third win in goal stopping 19 of 21 shots and the Cheavers held a 47-21 edge overall. 

Next up for the JV Cheavers will be a tough test against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders on Friday night with a 5 p.m. faceoff at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA).