Despite losses, bolstered lineup improves Ducks

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks returned from the Christmas Break and returned to the USPHL Premier Midwest-West regular season with a new sandpaper look.  

Unfortunately, with several new players in the lineup, communication was off a bit, but the improvement was evident in a pair of games against the Minnesota Mullets, a team that has had the Ducks’ number in recent seasons. 

The Mullets dominated the second half of what started out as a close game Friday, taking a 9-2 win in the opener at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. In the second game it was the Ducks rallying late but ultimately falling short by a 5-3 score.  

The Mullets collected more than 50 shots on goal on both nights, but the Ducks trimmed the total by 15 – from 69 to 54 in the second game while putting 27 of their own at Mullets’ goal, a solid total against a team in the Midwest-West. 

Mullets 9 @ Ducks 2  

The visitors dominated the opening minutes Friday, jumping into a 10-0 lead on the shot clock, but  a disciplined Ducks team took advantage of three powerplay opportunities to cut the margin to 21-15 by the end of the opening 20. 

Mullets scored first, but defenseman Drake Johnson (‘01/Grand Rapids, MI) sank his first as a Duck 10-seconds from the first period buzzer and teams were even at 1-1 heading to the second. 

Unfortunately, the Mullets snatched the momentum away in the middle frame with four unanswered goals and two more in the first two minutes of the third to widen the gap to 7-1. Luca Maislin (‘03/Montreal, QC), playing his first game with the Ducks, scored the game’s second goal with set ups for Johnson and team captain Bryce Jacobsen (‘02/DeForest, WI). 

Between them, goaltenders Anthony Falzone (‘03/St. Charles, IL) and Drew Moseley (‘02/St. Louis, MO) kicked out 60 shots. Falzone turned in a heroic effort in the first period stopping all but one of 21. 

Mullets 5 @ Ducks 3  

The Saturday game started with a similar barrage from the Mullets but once again the Ducks played a more even second half of the opening period, the Mullets carrying a 1-0 lead into the second after a 20-10 edge on the shot counter. 

The second period saw the Mullets pull away again with four goals, Maislin pulling one back with a well placed shot from a tough angle.  

The most promising sign came in the final 20 as the Ducks battled both figuratively and literally through a physical period with another goal by Jayden Tkaczuk (‘02/Channahon, IL) and another from Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL) with a little under two minutes to go, making for an interesting final few minutes. Assists came from defenders Gage Senio (‘04/Red Deer, AB) and Johnson. 

Moseley turned in another 49-save effort for a Ducks team that showed improvement not just from one game to the next, but one period to the next.  

Boasting a full lineup for the first time, the Ducks enter its longest downtime of the season, allowing plenty of practices for players to get used to each other. Also, a few more new faces will be added in the days ahead making players compete not just for ice time, but starting spots in the lineup. 

The team will be out of action until a busy weekend Jan. 28-30, starting with a pair in Coon Rapids, MN against the Division leading Minnesota Blue Ox followed by the penultimate home game of the campaign, Jan. 30 against the Steele County Blades.  

DUCK PRINTS – The Ducks have 11 games remaining in the regular season, all against Midwest-West Division’s top five teams as they have now wrapped up against the seventh place Rum River Mallards and sixth place Mullets.  

The Mullets swept a five-game series with the Ducks and have won the past nine against the Ducks, dating back to a 5-4 road win for the Ducks on Jan. 26, 2020. 

Caden Glamkowski scored a goal in Saturday’s game, giving him 28 on the season, moving him into a tie for fourth best single season total with Sherman Mowery and Jake Stima. The next two ahead of him are both Ian Wood – with 34 in 2014-15 and 36 the previous season. The all-time leader is Aidan Verbeke with 37 in 2011-12, the Ducks premiere season.

Jayden Tkaczuk also picked up a couple points on the weekend, pushing his career total to 54 (22g, 32a) in two seasons so far. He sits 16th all time on a list of more than 200 players, six points behind Reedsburg native Sean Teske who collected 60 points (16g, 44a) in 94 games with the Ducks. Heading into the weekend, Tkaczuk was even with Jason Heard who played with the Ducks on the weekend as well.  

Pfaff fires two, leads Cheavers past Thunderbirds

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD varsity Cheavers continued its winning streak and wrapped up a season sweep against the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds with a 5-1 win at Pierce Park Pavilion on Tuesday (Jan. 11). 

The Cheavers extended its current winning streak to eight games to eight games and nearly a month with the win, outshooting a game Thunderbirds squad 39-21. 

Senior C.J. Pfaff scored his first of a pair unassisted to open the scoring with the only goal of the opening period 2:44 from the buzzer.  

The Cheavers added two more in the second before senior Oliver Scanlan notched the lone T-Birds marker late in the period with help from junior Luke Schweda and sophomore Carson Zick. 

Senior Trevor Slaght scored the game winner, his fifth in seven games since returning to the Cheavers from injury, converting a pass from junior Caden Brandt 5:32 into the middle frame and Junior John Scott stayed hot, scoring his ninth and seventh since the Monk’s tournament, unassisted later in the period. 

Third period goals from Pfaff and senior defenseman, Ty Thompson widened the gap for the Cheavers and senior Cooper Oakes stopped all but one of the 21 shots he faced in goal for RWD. 

Senior Andrew Schaetzl kicked out 34 shots in goal for the Thunderbirds. 

The win was also the third straight Badger West Conference win for the Cheavers who now sit at 5-2 with three games to play. The Cheavers’ overall record is 12-5. 

The Thunderbirds have dropped its last seven and fall to 2-13 overall and 1-5 in the Conference.  

RWD and Baraboo/Portage now head into the Badger Challenge as all six Badger West Conference teams will take on teams from the Badger East Conference at the Ice Pond in Waunakee on Saturday. 

The Thunderbirds will face off against the Milton Red Raiders (5-7-1, 2-5-1 Badger East) at 2:30 p.m. while the Cheavers meet the Deforest Norskies (3-4-1, 2-3-1 Badger East) at 5 p.m. 

Uminski’s 21 points leads Cheavers to four-win weekend

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD peewee ‘A’ Cheavers wrapped up its most successful weekend of the season so far with four wins, all on home ice at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA). 

The Cheavers had double win days, picking up 6-2 and 7-4 victories against the visiting Madison Patriots on Saturday and matching it with 11-6 and 10-6 wins against the Black River Falls Tigers on Sunday. 

Several players enjoyed huge offensive weekends – that happens when a team scores 34 times — including Landen Uminski with 21 points, Ethan Wilcox with 11 and Tyler Krieski with nine. 

Patriots 2 @ Cheavers 6  

The Cheavers set the tone in the first game Saturday, turning a 1-0 lead after a period into a 5-1 cushion in the second.  

Dayne Wagner set the pace with a hat trick, Wilcox scoring twice and Noah Backeberg adding the other. Uminski set up three, Evelyn Gurney adding two assists and Hailey Dietl helping out on one. 

In goal for his first of four weekend games, Jesse Arnold stopped 15 of 17 shots to pick up the win. 

Owen Hadden fired both goals for the Patriots. 

Patriots 4 @ Cheavers 7  

In the rematch, the Cheavers carried a 2-1 lead into the second period and both teams fired a pair in the second before the hosts put it away with a 3-1 margin down the stretch. 

Uminski, Dietl and Wilcox fired two goals apiece for the Cheavers, Uminski adding two assists and Wilcox one. Tyler Krieski fired the other Cheavers’ goal and Andrew Stando also picked up an assist. 

Arnold stopped another 16 shots for his second win of the day. 

Hadden fired a hat trick for the Patriots, the other goal scored by Dillon Reynolds. 

Tigers 6 @ Cheavers 11 

Uminski scored five and set up another pair while Krieski fired a hat trick, Wilcox adding two goals and a setup. Wagner had the other goal, Ethan Pope and Dietl adding assists. 

Brooke Lakoske scored five for the Tigers, McKenzie Apicella adding the other.

RWD outshot its guest 34-25. 

Period breakdowns were not available from the first match. 

Tigers 6 @ Cheavers 10 

The Tigers stayed with the Cheavers for two periods, even at 2-2 after 15 minutes and the Cheavers up 5-4 heading to the third. A 5-2 margin in the final period made it an easy win for the hosts. 

Uminski wrapped up a 14-point day with three goals and four assists, Krieski notching his second hat trick of the day along with two assists and Wilcox also scored three. Teaghan Geffert notched the other Cheavers’ goal. Wagner and Backeberg picked up assists. 

Lakoske fired another four Tigers’ goals with others added by Jordyn King and Andrew Gunderson. 

The hot streak comes just in time for a tournament test as the peewees head to Spooner for three games beginning Friday. A win in the first game would be a fifth straight, matching the team’s longest winning streak from Nov. 13-28 2021.