By Jim den Hollander
The final hurdle between the Madison Edgewood Crusaders and a perfect Badger West Conference season, the Sauk Prairie Eagles were unable to stop the freight train who wrapped up the inaugural conference title with a 9-2 edge at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Thursday (Feb. 8).
The visitors started quick with two goals in the first seven minutes and one more before Luke Mast fired his 27th and final goal of the regular season from senior Erik Peterson.
The Crusaders added one more before the end of the period owned a 5-1 cushion when senior Micah Hanson scored with assists to senior Nick Mast and junior Luke halfway through the middle frame.
Two goals six seconds apart had Edgewood up 7-2 by the end of the second and two more down the stretch wrapped it up.
The Crusaders held a 40-18 edge in shots in the contest, junior Kaden Stracke facing 37 before junior Brooks McInerney came on for the final 5:48 stopping two of three.
The win was further proof to anyone who doubted the Crusaders deserved the top seed in Division 1, Section 3 and both teams clicked into playoff mode after the regular season finale.
The Eagles finished a solid 17-4 regular season, all four losses coming in Badger West Conference matches. The Crusaders finished at 21-3 with a 10-0 record in Badger West Conference matches.
The Eagles move into the 2022 WIAA post season as the Section’s fifth seed. They will entertain the DeForest Norskies on Tuesday in the Regional semi-finals, the winner moving on to play either RWD Cheavers or Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds on Thursday night in one of four Regional Championship matches in Section 3.