By Jim den Hollander
After a lopsided opening win, the Sauk Prairie Bantam ‘A’ Flyers engaged in a pair of close battles on its way to a third place showing at a tournament in Tomah this past weekend.
The Eagles played twice Saturday, collecting a 7-0 shutout win in its opener against Black River Falls Tigers before dropping a heartbreaker in overtime 5-4 against the Sheboygan Lakers.
On Sunday, the Flyers engaged in another close battle, capturing third place honors with a 5-4 win against the La Crescent (MN) Lancers in a game that came down to a shootout.
Flyers 7 Tigers 0
The Flyers carried a 2-0 lead out of the first period against the Tigers, adding three more in the second and two more down the stretch.
Landon Froese led the way in this one, scoring three and adding an assist while Brock Hill notched two and added an assist.
Josh Mast and Gavin Goetsch sank the other Flyers’ goals. Quinn Payne collected a playmaker with three assists with other help coming from Blayze Caldwell and Ben Hanko.
Taitym Banta picked up the goose egg in goal stopping all seven shots from the Tigers.
Flyers 4 Lakers 5 (ot)
Froese enjoyed another big game later Saturday, his third goal of the game coming with 3:31 to play, pulling the Flyers even and sending the game to overtime. Unfortunately, it was the Lakers notching the game winner with 2:28 to go in the overtime frame.
Teams were even at 2-2 after a period and the Lakers led 3-2 heading to the final frame.
Caldwell fired the other Flyers’ goals with assists for Hill, Greydon Schomber and AJ Klemm. Banta made 20 saves in goal for the Flyers.
Flyers 5 Lancers 4 (so)
The script was similar Sunday morning, but this time it was the Flyers who saw a late goal against sending the game to overtime and finally, a shootout.
Teams were deadlocked at 1-1 after a period but the Flyers carried a 4-2 lead to the third. The Lancers didn’t surrender, finally pulling even with 3:28 to play and sending the game to overtime.
The extra session solved nothing, and teams went to a shootout where Mast and Weiss both fired goals to clinch the Flyers’ win.
Caldwell, Hill, Mast and Hanko notched the regulation goals, Hill adding an assist. Payne set up a pair of regulation goals with other assists for Goetsch, Carl Weiss, Klemm and Cam McInerney.
The weekend results boosted the Bantam ‘A’ Flyers season record to 17-9-1 and the team will be looking to punch its ticket to the State 3A Bantam Championship tournament, playing host to either RWD Cheavers or Monroe Avalanche at Sun Prairie Tubbs Rink Sunday at 11:15 (see story above).