By Jim den Hollander
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.