Cheavers, Tbirds and Eagles together in WIAA draw

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

High School varsity hockey teams are entering the final week of their respective regular seasons and as of Sunday (Feb. 6) the playoff seeds have been set. 

The four Sauk County teams will start their respective playoff runs Feb. 15-18, and the number will be cut by at least one in the opening round as the RWD varsity Cheavers will play host to Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds in its first-round match. 

The Cheavers drew the #4 seed in the 14-team Section 3 with the Sauk Prairie Eagles ranked #5 and the Thunderbirds were ranked #13. 

Top seeded Madison Edgewood Crusaders and second seed Waunakee Warriors both drew a bye through the first round of play.  

The other 12 teams will start on Feb. 15 with the six opening game winners heading to regional finals Feb. 17 or 18. 

The top half of the draw has a distinct Badger West flavor with RWD, Baraboo/Portage, Sauk Prairie Eagles and the Crusaders in that half of the draw.  

The Eagles will entertain the 12th seeded DeForest Norskies in its opening contest with the winner confronting either RWD Cheavers or the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds in the Regional final round. 

The other top-half match will see #8 Sun Prairie Cardinals from the Big Eight Conference hosting #9 Onalaska Hilltoppers from the Mississippi Valley Conference. 

The bottom half of the draw will include five Big Eight teams. 

While the Warriors draw the first-round bye, the third seeded Verona Wildcats will begin its quest for a third straight trip to State against #14 Madison LaFollette/East, #6 Middleton Cardinals will host the Aquinas Co-op Avalanche, seeded 11th and #7 Madison Memorial Spartans will play #10 Madison West Regents.

Lightning ranked sixth

The Seven-team Section 3 draw gives the Badger Lightning a shot at one more meeting with the Cap City Cougars.  

The Lightning took the Cougars to overtime at Pierce Park Pavilion on Thursday (Feb. 3) and as the number six seed in Section 3, they will make the trip to third seeded Sun Prairie to face the same team either Feb. 17 or 18 for its first playoff encounter.  

Winner of that game will move on to play either second seeded Viroqua or number seven Beaver Dam in the Sectional semis.  

The other half of the draw includes the Metro Lynx drawing a first-round bye as the top seed and #4 Icebergs playing host to the #5 Rock County Fury.  

The unique draw which sees all seven Badger Conference teams in the same draw makes the Sectional tournament double as a sort of unofficial Conference championship series as well. 

Learning curve still steep for improving Ducks

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks have shown a marked improvement over the course of the season, but the Minnesota Moose showed them in games Saturday and Sunday, the road to the top half of the USPHL’s Premier Midwest-West Division still features several cutbacks up the side of a steep mountain. 

Recent games against the fifth place Steele County Blades showed the Ducks who for a second season are by far the youngest team in the division are closing in on being more than competitive with mid pack teams.  

But back-to-back 11-2 defeats at the Fogerty Icehouse in Blaine, MN against the Moose were a tough pill to swallow for the locals.  

In the opener on Saturday night, the Moose fired nearly 80 shots at Anthony Falzone (‘03/St. Charles, IL) and Drew Moseley (‘02/St. Louis, MO). 

Again, the Ducks showed promise, staying with the Moose through the opening 20, but a 2-1 Moose cushion turned into a 5-1 lead in the second period and the Moose exploded for a half dozen down the stretch.  

There have been some bright spots and one is the play of Samuel Soltes (‘04/Trnava, Slovakia). He scored his third goal in six games since joining the Ducks on a feed from Justin Green (‘01/Fort Worth, TX). The other goal came from Ethan Matthews (‘02/South Bend, IN) making his debut with the Ducks. 

On Sunday, the start was similar, the Moose carrying a 1-0 lead into the second period before Jayden Tkaczuk (‘02/Channahon, IL) tied it with his 12th goal of the season early in the second period from Caden Glamkowski (‘02/St. Charles, IL) and Bryce Jacobsen (‘02/DeForest, WI). 

The Moose responded with the next 10 goals, five in the second period and five more in the final 20 before Tkaczuk notched his 13th, again with help from Glamkowski and Jacobsen 47 seconds from the final buzzer.  

Falzone and Jadon Mammen (‘04/Grapevine, TX) shared the work in this one, sharing the workload against another 70-plus shots on goal. 

The losses in Blaine extended the team’s current losing streak to eight games with five games to play. 

The first four are on the road in Wisconsin with a pair at the South Wood County Recreation Center in Wisconsin Rapids Friday and Saturday (Feb. 18-19) against the second place Riverkings and a week later in Hudson against the third place Havoc. The Ducks will wrap up the campaign at the Lake Delton Ice Arena Feb. 27 with one last chance to get by the Steele County Blades before the playoffs start. 

Glamkowski reaches milestone for Ducks in loss

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks opened a three-game weekend Friday (Feb. 4) night with a 6-3 loss to the Steele County Blades at the Four Seasons Center in Owatonna, MN. 

Coming off a 3-2 loss on home ice to the Blades the previous Sunday at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. This time around the Blades grabbed a 2-0 first period lead, but saw it trimmed to 4-3 by the end of the second. 

Two more unanswered down the stretch padded the lead for the Blades and extended the Ducks’ current losing streak to six games.  

There was some reason to celebrate though as the Ducks’ first goal came off the stick of Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL) for his 30th goal of the season. He is only the third player in team history to record 30 goals in a season. The others were Ian Wood (twice) and Aidan Verbeke. 

Assists on the Glamkowski goal went to Gage Senio (‘04/Red Deer, AB) and Alex Grove (‘02/Waldorf, MD). 

The Blades scored the next two to go up 4-1 but the Ducks struck back with two in the final 5:05 of the period to get within a goal again.  

Samuel Soltes (‘04/Trnava, Slovakia) fired his second goal since joining the Ducks a few weeks ago and another newcome, Luca Maislin (‘03/Montreal, QC) notched his fourth. Glamkowski had set ups on both goals, pushing his team leading points total to 52, Grove and Oliver Cabala (‘05/Kezmorok, Slovakia) adding the other assists.  

Drew Moseley (‘02/St. Louis, MO) handled 38 of 44 shots in goal for the Ducks who were outshot by a margin of 44-17. 

The team hit the road after the game for Saturday and Sunday games in Blaine, MN against the Minnesota Moose to wrap up the team’s final three-game weekend of the season. 

Brandt fires four to lead RWD past Oredockers

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD varsity Cheavers hockey team wrapped up a two-game northern getaway Saturday (Feb. 5) afternoon with a 5-1 win against the host Ashland Oredockers. 

Four unanswered goals in the middle period made the difference in this one as both teams fired one in the opening period and the final 17-minutes was scoreless. 

RWD junior Caden Brandt fired his first of four to open the scoring, from senior Trevor Slaght and Grant Marsich 3:35 from the end of the opening period, but the Oredockers struck back with the only shot of 21 to get past senior Cooper Oakes in goal for the Cheavers with 13 seconds to play in the frame. 

Brandt notched the game winner from senior C.J. Pfaff and first year Kaden Uminski 49 seconds into the second, senior Tomas Korndorfer adding another before the end of the second minute, from senior Trevor Slaght and junior Logan DeMars. 

Brandt fired the other two, 49 seconds apart inside the game’s final three minutes. Pfaff collected an assist on both with Slaght also helping on one. 

Both teams fired 10 shots in the opening period, but it was a dominant RWD effort with a 15-5 edge in the second and a closer 9-6 margin down the stretch. 

The win boosts the team’s overall record to 17-6 and extends its current winning streak to four games. 

The Cheavers will wrap up the regular season Tuesday night with a 7 p.m. contest against the Janesville Bluebirds (12-9, 8-5 Big Eight Conference).