Cheavers continue streak at home against Panthers

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD varsity Cheavers hockey team showed the grit and poise shown at the recent Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic was not temporary, putting together its best 51-minute effort of the season so far in a thrilling 4-2 Badger West Conference win against the Oregon Panthers Thursday night at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA). 

The Cheavers never trailed but didn’t have the game fully under control until an empty netter from Trevor Slaght with 27 seconds to play. 

The win extends the team’s current winning streak to seven games dating back to the team’s previous meeting with the Panthers, a 5-1 loss on Dec. 15.  

The team honored its seniors and their parents between the warm-up and pre-game flood.

All three forward lines and defense pairs along with senior goaltender Cooper Oakes played to expectations and Head Coach Neil Mattson showed he was not afraid to put anybody on the ice in high pressure situations. And, considering the Panthers entered the game with the state’s top three points leaders and are currently ranked second in state among Division 2 teams, that is a pretty darn high level of pressure. 

RWD hit the scoreboard first, senior Tomas Korndorfer hitting the mesh from a tough angle 7:29 into the contest and sophomore Brady Baldwin buried a pass from Korndorfer to give the host Cheavers a 2-0 cushion at the first period break.  

Andrew Jicha fired his state-leading 28th goal of the season for the Panthers early in the second period and a penalty called in the final minute of the frame gave the visitors reason for optimism at the break. 

Senior C.J. Pfaff turned the tables though, intercepting a pass and heading the other way alone, making several moves before depositing the puck into the Oregon cage for a shorthanded goal 31 seconds into the final period.  

The only issue the team struggled with was some tough penalty calls in the second half. After the Panthers were assessed the first four infractions of the game, the Cheavers had the finger pointed at them five consecutive times from the 11:33 mark of the second to the 12:01 mark of the third. 

Successful at killing off the first four, the Panthers finally found a way through as senior Joe Roemer buried one bar down from about 40 feet out with 3:42 to play. 

That set the stage for Slaght’s clincher with assists for Pfaff and sophomore Trey Lariden. 

Overall, the Cheavers held a 35-27 edge in shots. 

The win boosted the team’s overall record to 11-5 and more importantly, boosted its Badger West Conference record to 4-2, keeping league title hopes alive. 

The Panthers fell to 9-6 and 2-4 since its previous win against the Cheavers and their conference record falls to 3-3. 

Next up for the Cheavers is another conference battle as they travel to Pierce Park Pavilion on Tuesday (Jan. 11) and the Panthers will also move on to play at Pierce Park on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.  

Shutout streak ends but JV Cheavers unbeaten in 8

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Facing a tough and persistent Oregon Panthers squad, the RWD junior varsity Cheavers hockey team saw its seven-game winning streak turned into an eight-game unbeaten streak as the Panthers rallied for a 3-3 draw Thursday night (Jan. 6) at Reedsburg Area Community Arena. 

After ending a stretch of more than 17 periods of shutout hockey for goaltender Alex Griebe and the JV Cheavers, the Panthers built a 2-0 lead before rallying in the game’s final minute for a 3-3 final score. 

The Cheavers, who have not lost a game since Dec. 3, 2021 have not trailed often in that stretch so when the visiting Panthers scored twice in a little more than three minutes to carry a 2-0 lead out of the opening period, it was a big of unfamiliar territory for the home side.  

But the squad, made up primarily of underclassmen showed no panic or frustration, using a patient but persistent attack, the team struck for two of its own to knot the game at 2-2 in the middle frame.  

Senior Malachi Strompolis-Salama finally found a way past Oregon goaltender Nickolas Couillard, snapping a wrister home under the cross bar on a powerplay with an assist for first year Kaden Uminski.  

In the final minute of the second, senior Carter Scully evened the score with his unassisted marker and the Cheavers grabbed its first lead with another unassisted tally, this time from first year Alec Breunig. 

After killing off a late penalty the Cheavers had its sights set on the final buzzer, but the Panthers managed to spoil it for the home side notching the equalizer with 34 seconds to play. 

Sophomore Isaac Rottier scored the first and final goal for the Panthers with sophomore Charlie Ashworth netting the other.  

The JV Cheavers record moves to 11-2-1. 

Wilhelm sinks winner for Flyers against Wildcats

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Sauk Prairie Flyers Bantam ‘B’ hockey team wrapped up a split Dec. 11-12, opening with a tough 4-3 loss at McFarland Ice Arena against the host McFarland ‘B’ Spartans Dec. 11 before bouncing back the following day on home ice with a 3-1 win against the Waunakee ‘C’ Wildcats.  

The team wrapped up the weekend later Dec. 12 with a 7-2 win in Reedsburg against the RWD Cheavers (see story below). 

Against McFarland teams were even at 2-2 after a period, Slater Denu and Jacob Wilhelm counting the Flyers’ goals. The Spartans scored a pair of unanswered goals in the middle period, but Tucker Acker got the visiting Flyers within one with just under five minutes to go.  

Kaleb Chetwood had set ups on two of the Flyers’ goals and Denu had an assist as well.  

Goaltender Ethan Goodman was the game’s busiest player, kicking out 37 shots to keep it close despite a 41-17 edge on the shots clock for the Spartans. 

The following day against the Wildcats, Acker converted a feed from Acker for the lone goal of the opening period, but Waunakee responded with the lone goal of the middle frame and teams were even at 1-1 heading to the final 15 minutes. 

A pair of unassisted third period goals about two minutes apart made the difference in this one, the game winner fired by Wilhelm and the insurance goal by Ryan Flynn. 

Goodman turned in another 27 save effort in goal to lift his team to the win despite a 29-28 edge in shots for the Wildcats.  

The Flyers are scheduled to be back in action this weekend, traveling to Rhinelander for a tournament. The Flyers will begin with games against the Appleton Avalanche (10 a.m.) and host Rhinelander Hodags (7 p.m.) on Saturday and wrapping up Sunday against an opponent determined by the performance in the first two games.