Ducks riding momentum into Chicago Showcase

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Coming off a promising albeit unsuccessful game on home ice this past Thursday, the Dells Ducks hit the Christmas Break rolling into the Windy City, the site of last season’s highlight. 

A winless Ducks team headed to Chicago for last season’s Showcase event and picked up two of its three wins on the season. 

This season, the Ducks have already collected three wins and enter a four-games in three-days stretch that once again could vault them into a positive post-Christmas stretch. 

Also, the team once again finds itself bolstered entering the tournament with additions on both the blue line and up front.  

First, a look back at last Thursday: 

Drew Moseley has turned in some solid performances for the Ducks this season, but his 63-save performance against a potent Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings team might have been his best so far, despite a 6-1 loss.  

Riverkings hit the board first, but Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL) fired his 18th of the season to knot it up with 6:35 to play in the opening period with help from Jayden Tkaczuk (‘02/Channahon, IL) and Thomas Howell (‘04/Gilmer, TX). 

The visiting Riverkings snatched the momentum back though, firing a shorthanded goal just over two minutes later to carry a 2-1 cushion out of the opening 20. The Riverkings held a massive 20-5 edge in shots through the frame.  

Riverkings turned the pressure up a notch with 26 second-period shots, but Moseley held strong until the visitors finally broke through for two in the final five minutes of the session. Another pair in the third, including one 14 seconds before the final buzzer widened the gap to 6-1. 

The Riverkings lead the Midwest-West Division and are a good bet to go a long way this season and the Ducks, simply not at the same point in their progress, have played them bravely and without fear, especially in this contest.  

Since that game, the Ducks have added three players including most recently Drake Johnson (‘02/Kalamazoo, MI) who completed his first semester at Aquinas College and got the itch to return to juniors to play hockey after acting as the manager of the school’s hockey club. Also, back for the tournament is Dillon Collings (‘02/Golden, CO), a regular last season who also has moved on to attend school but is making his second visit to the Ducks this season while on a break from school. 

Also bolstering the defense is Oliver Cabala, the team’s third ‘05 addition, from Kezmarok, Slovakia. 

Alex Grove (‘02/Waldorf, MD) has been with the team for a couple weeks as well, acquired from Hudson, but he is currently out of action due to concussion protocols. Grove will be a good addition to the team’s forward group after the Christmas break.  

The Ducks will begin play at the Chicago tournament Thursday at 1:10 p.m. against the Decatur Blaze from the Midwest-East Division, then return to play twice on Friday, at 8 a.m. against the Detroit Fighting Irish, another Midwest-East team they defeated in Chicago last season, but lost to in pre-season matches in August and at 4:40 p.m. against the Columbus Mavericks, a team from the Great Lakes Division they have never played before.  

On Saturday, the team will wrap up the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule with a rematch against the Wooster Oilers from the Great Lakes Division at 2:20 p.m. The Ducks met the Oilers as the Islanders HC tournament in Massachusetts 9-3 on Nov. 19. 

Solid play but lapses hurt varsity Cheavers

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD varsity Cheavers slipped back under .500 with a couple rough days at the office.  

On Saturday (Dec. 11), the Cheavers played host to Baldwin-Woodville Hawks for a non-conference tilt and saw a 3-2 edge after two periods slip away thanks to three unanswered Hawks goals in the final 17 minutes and a 5-3 loss.  

On Tuesday at Oregon, the Cheavers went up against one of the state’s top scoring teams, the Oregon Panthers and limited the team to 26 shots, but that was enough for a 5-1 win for the home team.  

Baldwin Woodville Hawks 5 @ RWD Cheavers 3 

The home team couldn’t have started this game much better, outshooting a Hawks team coming off a tough loss the night before at Black River Falls to start the weekend road trip, by a 19-4 margin. 

But on the scoreboard teams were even at 1-1, the lone goal coming from junior defenseman Carsen Brandt, just back in the lineup after a season opening injury. Brandt’s rising shot from the blue line hit the back of the net unseen by the Baldwin keeper, cancelling out the Hawks’ opener, scored a couple minutes prior. 

Another defender stepped up 33 seconds into the middle period as senior Grant Marsich put the Cheavers in front with help from junior Caden Brandt and senor Tomas Komdofer. 

The Hawks tied it just past the nine-minute mark, but Komdofer put the Cheavers in front again 63 seconds from the middle period buzzer from Marsich. 

The Cheavers held a 31-14 edge in shots through the first 34 minutes, but the visitors flipped the script in the final frame, tying the game 6:17 in and taking the lead with 6:17 to play on a powerplay. Another powerplay goal, third of the game for the Hawks all but settled the game with 1:54 to play. 

RWD Cheavers 1 @ Oregon Panthers 5  

The assignment awaiting anyone taking on the Panthers is shutting down the explosive trio of Joe Roemer, Kyle Rohrer and Andrew Jicha. For the most part, the Cheavers did that for 44 of 51 minutes Tuesday night, but three goals in seven minutes to open the middle period showed just how explosive that trio can be. 

The Cheavers took the game to the host Panthers through the opening period, holding the high-flying team to one goal scored 2:03 into the contest.  

The Cheavers held a 10-8 edge on the shot clock, but the Panthers scored twice in the opening two minutes of the second and added another before the seven-minute mark to widen the gap.  

Senior CJ Pfaff finally got the Cheavers on the board with 7:05 to play in the game, from juniors Yevgeny Dedun and Logan DeMars, but any thoughts of a late comeback with squashed less than a minute later as Oregon fired its fifth.  

Once again the Cheavers held the overall edge on the shot clock but just by a 27-26 margin. 

Rohrer-Roemer and Jicha played a part in all five Panther goals and combined for 10 points although only one of the markers involved all three. 

The back-to-back losses dropped the Cheavers under .500 at 4-5 for the first time since Dec. 3 when they sat at 2-3. It also evened the team’s Badger West Conference record at 2-2, making Friday’s home game against the Sauk Prairie Eagles (3-1, 1-1 Badger West) crucial to the team’s conference championship hopes alive. 

That game will wrap up the first half of the Conference schedule for the Cheavers who will have one more game before the Christmas break, traveling to Tomah to faceoff against Tomah/Sparta on Tuesday (Dec. 21). 

Griebe unbeatable in JV Cheaver goal

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD junior varsity Cheavers stayed hot in recent games, collecting a 3-0 shutout win against the Baldwin-Woodville Hawks at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) Saturday (Dec. 11) afternoon and he needed just three days to add his second goose egg with another 3-0 win at Oregon Tuesday night. 

The last goal allowed by Griebe was scored by Monroe with 11:12 to play and he has 101:12 of clear crease since then.

Shutouts are a shared stat though. The JV defense corps and forwards deserve credit as well, limiting Woodville to just seven shots, but the Panthers peppered Griebe with 32 shots and outscored the locals 32-14 in the contest. 

Offensively against Baldwin, Caleb Eastman scored the game winner 5:04 into the contest and that held up all the way to the third period when Eastman added another and Nate Stando added insurance just 17 seconds later.  

Mark Othmer and Kaden Uminski collected assists on the Eastman goal in the third and Carter Renneberg had the set up on Stando’s tally. 

In Oregon, RWD fired one goal in each period, Malachi Strombolis-Salama with the opener and closer and Gus DeFosse notched the middle marker. Iszak Elder, Stando, Nolan Pope and Tristan Edgerton picked up assists in the game.  

The wins pushed the JV squad to 8-2 so far this season and extended the current winning streak to four games.

The JV Chiefs will be back in action Friday on home ice against the Sauk Prairie Eagles.