By Jim den Hollander
The RWD varsity Cheavers turned in a near perfect effort and the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds once again saw its adversity from the start of the season continue with several players sidelines due to injury and illness.
As a result, the Cheavers scored the game winner in the game’s second minute and never looked back on its way to an 8-0 shutout win.
The Cheavers scored twice in the game’s first four minutes rolling to a 3-0 first period lead and had a running clock in place with three more in the middle 17.
Thunderbirds had eight players scratched and RWD Head Coach Neil Mattson acknowledged the return match in Baraboo in January see a much tougher Thunderbirds’s squad.
But the RWD team was clicking on all cylinders and the chemistry on nearly every line was undeniable.
Senior CJ Pfaff enjoyed one of his best nights as a varsity player, contributing to the effort playing both defense and forward and on at least one occasion switching mid-shift. Pfaff scored twice and set up the game winner 1:47 in with a perfect pass from behind the net to junior Caden Brandt.
The junior center also scored twice and set up a pair while the third member for the lead trio, sophomore Brady Baldwin picked up an assist on Brandt’s second of the game.
Junior John Scott and senior Tomas Komdofer also turned in a noticeable effort setting each other up frequently. Both collected a goal and assist in the game.
Junior Defenseman Carsen Brandt, playing in his first game of the season hit the mesh from the blueline 3:43 into the game from Yevgeny Dedun.
Another defenseman, junior Logan DeMars scored the other goal and picked up an assist and senior Grant Marsich collected an assist as well.
Cooper Oakes broke his own record for RWD shutouts, collecting his 10th varsity goose egg.
Thunderbirds Head Coach David Clark shrugged off the loss with the depleted roster and praised his troops for a hardworking and disciplined effort despite playing with so many sidelined players.
The win boosted the Cheavers to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the Badger West. The Thunderbirds fell to 1-4 and are now 0-2 in Badger West matches.
The Cheavers will look to stay in the win column, making the trip to Monroe for another conference duel Thursday night while the Baraboo Thunderbirds will play host to the Brookfield Stars on the same night at Pierce Park Pavilion.