By Jim den Hollander
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.