Eagles wrap up great run in a super conference

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Jimmy D’s Notes

With two teams still competing from the Badger West Conference, it confirms the division’s status as one of the best in the state this season. It was a wild season with four teams boasting stellar lineups with key players in their final season of varsity play 

Hockey is no different from any other varsity sport where seniors play a big role as leaders, but there is seldom a season with so many top-notch seniors playing in the same conference.  

The last Sauk County based team, the Sauk Prairie Eagles had seven seniors in their lineup including top line forwards Nick Mast and Erik Peterson who both spend off season time with Team Wisconsin along with Micah Hanson, a top six forward and regular contributor who wrapped up a great final season before moving on to his primary sport in the fall as a division 1 lacrosse player. Defensively the team relied heavily on Hakon Peterson who did double duty, protecting his own end while contributing 13 goals to the offense as well. Porter Kreul showed leadership in a supporting and set up role. Forward Brody Wolfe and utility player Brandon Mittelsteadt were both limited in games played this season but made their presence felt whenever they were able to play. 

Past Performance and the talent level of the incoming seniors and juniors made the Sauk Prairie Eagles a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, they came along in a season and in a conference filled with talent. The RWD Cheavers had a ton of senior talent as well while the Edgewood Crusaders are among the Division 1 Final Four while the Oregon Panthers will play in their division 2 Sectional final on Saturday. This was an amazing year for all four teams and the Badger West Conference overall. 

The Eagles finished this season with a 19-5 record overall. All five of their defeats came against Badger West opponents – three against the Crusaders and twice against the Cheavers. Also, this was the third straight season the Eagles were eliminated in the Sectional semis. The first two were both against the Verona Wildcats who both times reached the State Championship game, winning in 2019-20 and finishing as runner up last season. Ironically, the Madison Edgewood Crusaders were Verona’s victim in the Sectional Championship game on both occasions. 

Crusaders send Eagles to WIAA sidelines in semis

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The final Sauk County team remaining in the WIAA post season was sent to the sidelines Wednesday (Feb. 23) as the Sauk Prairie Eagles were shutout 6-0 by Section 3’s top seed, the Madison Edgewood Crusaders in the Sectional semifinals at La Bahn Arena in Madison. 

The Eagles were looking to solve the Crusaders who wrapped up the first Badger West Conference crown without a loss, including two wins against them in regular season play. 

The job got tougher quick as senior Parker Murn put the Crusaders on the board with the goal that turned into the game winner just 21 seconds into the match. 

Crusaders added another three seconds away from the first period buzzer off the stick of senior Cody Menzel and that 2-0 cushion held up all the way to the final period.  

The Crusaders held a narrow 8-7 edge in shots through the opening 17 minutes and ran it 19-13 by the end of a scoreless middle period. 

The Eagles needed to find the mesh in the final period, but the Crusaders tightened its grip, limiting them to four shots while piling up four more goals to pad its margin.  

The daggers were likely two goals scored 51 seconds apart giving the near a 4-0 cushion 5:37 into the final period. Menzel and senior Aidan Lenz fired those goals.  

First years Matt Richter and Easton Kinsler both scored in the final seven minutes to wrap up the scoring and send the Crusaders to the Sectional Championship game Friday night against the Waunakee Warriors who moved on by knocking off two-time defending Sectional champion Verona Wildcats with a 2-1 margin at the Waunakee Ice Ponds, also on Sunday. 

Eagles’ junior Kaden Stracke faced 31 shots in all, the Eagles firing 17 at sophomore Rowan White who stopped them all.

Winner will represent Section 3 at the WIAA State Championship tournament in Madison next week. 

Wilcox fires two for Cheavers to claim Dairyland Classic

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers wrapped up what it hopes is the first of two banners, claiming the championship in its Ultimate Tournaments Dairyland Classic Division over the President’s Day weekend. 

The Cheavers kicked off the tournament Friday (Feb. 18) afternoon with a 4-0 win against the Waconia (MN) Wildcats at Lake Delton Ice Arena returned with an early morning 1-1 draw against a familiar opponent, the Waunakee Wildcats at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA). 

On Sunday morning, the Cheavers wrapped up division play and earned a spot in the championship game with a 3-1 against the Chicago Hawks also at RACA 

Later Sunday, the Cheavers returned to Lake Delton to face the Waunakee crew again, claiming the banner with a 3-2 win. 

RWD Cheavers 4 Waconia Wildcats 0 

Two goals in the first and another pair in the second sent the Cheavers to a win in its opening contest.  

Three goals came from Landen Uminski and Teaghen Geffert notched the other. Ethan Wilcox and Dayne Wagner each collected an assist and Jesse Arnold recorded his second shutout of the season in goal for the Cheavers.  

RWD Cheavers 1 Waunakee Wildcats 1 

A tight defensive battle against a Wildcats team the Cheavers have run into a few times this season saw teams battling to a draw.  

Braxton McGuigan put the Wildcats up with the lone goal of the first period, but Uminski equalized the score in the second from Wilcox and Tyler Krieski early in the second.  

From there it was the goaltenders taking charge, Arnold wrapping up with 10 saves while the Cheavers tested the Wildcats’ keeper with 25 shots.  

RWD Cheavers 3 Chicago Hawks 1  

The Cheavers clinched a spot in the championship game with a win Sunday morning in Reedsburg. 

Wilcox fired the first goal of the game, late in the first period from Wagner and Krieski and Wagner converted a feed from Uminski early in the second with what turned into the game winner. 

The Hawks pulled one back late in the middle period, but Krieski restored the two-goal margin in the final period with help from Wilcox.  

Arnold stopped eight shots to pick up the win while the Cheavers peppered the Hawks’ goaltender with 27 shots.  

RWD Cheavers 3 Waunakee Wildcats 2  

The final brought a rematch with the Wildcats, and they engaged in another close battle Sunday afternoon.  

Teams were tied in the standings, but the Wildcats got the nod as the home team based on goal differential through the preliminary contests.  

That didn’t matter to the Cheavers who played even through the opening frame, opened a 2-1 edge in the second and widened the gap early in the third.  

Uminski’s unassisted goal opened the scoring, and it was Wilcox with another unassisted goal in the second to put the Cheavers up 2-1. 

Another Wilcox goal in the final period, from Andrew Stando widened the gap and turned into the game winner when the Wildcats pulled one back later in the period. 

Arnold kicked out another dozen while the Cheavers fired 33 at the Waunakee goal.  

Three wins and a tie boosted the Cheavers’ overall record to 27-16-2 and they will be looking for another tournament title attending an event in Green Bay this weekend.  

That will leave one more weekend of play before the team heads to the WAHA Peewee 3A State Championship in Somerset. More information on that event will be on these pages in the days ahead. 

The RWD Cheavers won three and tied one to claim the Ultimate Tournaments Dairyland Classic Peewee Division championship at Lake Delton Ice Arena on Sunday afternoon. Peewee Cheavers team members include: Hailey Dietl; Tyler Krieski; Landen Uminski; Ethan Wilcox; Dayne Wagner; Teaghen Geffert; Noah Backeberg; Evelyn Gurney; Andrew Stando; Jesse Arnold and Ethan Pope.

Froese fires 10 to lead Flyers to UT Dairyland Classic title

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

After qualifying for the WAHA Bantam 3A State Championship a few weeks earlier, the Sauk Prairie Bantam ‘A’ Flyers gave a preview, collecting a championship banner at the final Ultimate Tournaments event of the season, the Dairyland Classic. 

Playing in a three-team pool, the Eagles earned a bye to the championship game with a 6-1 win against the Rice Lake Youth Hockey Friday team and a 5-2 edge against the Sheboygan Lakers Saturday afternoon. The Lakers won a semi-final game to move into the other Championship spot and provided a tougher challenge Sunday afternoon before the Flyers captured the banner with a 5-4 edge. 

Flyers 6 vs. Rice Lake 1  

It was a rare event Friday night as the bantams opened at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) but occupied the visitor’s bench in the home barn. 

Landon Froese kicked off a great weekend with two goals in his first game of the weekend, matched by Ben Hanko while Quinn Payne scored once and set up two others.  

Josh Mast fired the other goal and adding an assist with other help coming from Brock Hill and Blayze Caldwell. 

Taitym Banta notched the first of three weekend wins stopping all but one of 16 shots against. 

Flyers 5 vs. Lakers 2 

Froese fired all five goals in this one, including the lone goal of the opening period and two more in the second to carry a 3-1 lead into the final frame.  

Hill and Payne chipped in an assist each and Banta added another win although shots on goal were not recorded in the contest. 

Flyers 5 vs. Lakers 4 

In the championship game Flyers and Lakers were even at 1-1 after the opening period and 3-3 heading to the third. 

The Flyers fired the first two of the final period, the second standing up as the game winner.  

Froese collected three more goals to wrap up a 10-goal, weekend Payne notching a pair and setting up another. Hill had three helpers and Banta picked up another win with eight saves. 

WAHA Qualifier

Flyers 4 Cheavers 2

Earlier, the Flyers clinched its spot at the WAHA Bantam 3A State Championship with a 4-2 win against the RWD Bantam Cheavers in the Region 4 Championship game.  

As the top seed, the Flyers earned a berth straight to the final while the Cheavers used a 2-1 shootout win against Monroe to claim the other spot.  

All of the scoring took place in the first two periods. Teams were even at 2-2 heading to the second where the Flyers fired a pair of unanswered goals to clinch the win. 

Froese fired two goals including the regional championship clincher in the second period and assisted on another.  

Hill added a goal and assist with the other goal scored by Mast. 

For the Cheavers, RJ Manley scored one and set up the other, by Nicholas McPherson. 

Banta enjoyed a big game stopping 35 shots to help his team grab the win despite being outshot 35-23. 

Jordan Kowalski stopped 19 shots in goal for the Cheavers.  

With the win, the Flyers qualified to represent Region 4 at the WAHA State Championship tournament March 5-6. More information on that event will appear on this page in the next few days in one of several state championship weekend previews. 

The Sauk Prairie Bantam ‘A’ Flyers claimed the title in their Bantam ‘A’ Division in the Ultimate Tournaments Dairyland Classic Tournament played out of Lake Delton Ice Arena, Reedsburg Area Community Arena, Pierce Park Pavilion and Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center over the Presidents Day Weekend. Team members (in no specific order) pictured above include: Quinn Payne; Brock Hill; Blayze Caldwell; Taitym Banta; Douglas Jolicoeur; Gavin Goetsch; Landon Froese; Greyden Schomber; AJ Klemm; Josh Mast; Rylan Burch; Carl Weiss; Ben Hanko and Cam McInerney. Photo by Jim den Hollander

Falzone stands tall in goal against Riverkings

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks made the short trek to Wisconsin Rapids last weekend (Feb. 17-18) dropping a pair of decisions in the penultimate weekend of the USPHL regular season, 5-2 on the first night before the Riverkings handed them a lopsided 11-0 defeat the following night. 

Looking to snap a long losing streak and gather some momentum heading into the post season. 

The Ducks made some big moves in the time between games with top scorers Caden Glamkowski and Jayden Tkaczuk both wearing new jerseys as of last weekend, giving both a shot at making some post season noise with the Chicago Cougars and Detroit Fighting Irish respectively. 

As they have all season, the Ducks relied heavily on the goaltending this past weekend and Anthony Falzone (‘03/St. Charles, IL) played a big role in keeping the first game close. Falzone faced close to 70 shots while the Ducks triggered just 11 at the opposite end, but Falzone stood tall throughout the 60-minute contest. 

In fact, Francesco Addante (‘02/Glenview, IL) picked up days before in the Glamkowski trade, fired the lone goal of the first period three minutes into the game from Kai Neumaier (‘03/St. Charles, IL). That allowed the Ducks to carry a 1-0 lead into the middle period despite a massive 28-3 edge on the shots board for the home side. 

The Riverkings finally found a way past Falzone near the halfway mark of the second period and that opened the floodgates for three more, giving the Rapids’ crew a 4-2 edge heading to the third period. 

Luca Maislin (‘03/Montreal, QC) fired his fifth goal in nine games since joining the Ducks while Bryce Jacobsen (‘02/DeForest, WI), Ducks’ captain and now, team leading scorer, collected his 19th assist and 30th point. 

Riverkings’ fourth goal was scored by Jeffrey Rebman (‘01/Libertyville, IL) a fifth-year junior who played both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons with the Ducks. 

The Riverkings held an 18-5 edge in shots in the middle period and pounded the Ducks with a 22-3 edge in the third, resulting in one final goal. 

On Saturday, the Riverkings dominated the shot clock again but this time they found the net early and often on its way to an 11-0 whitewash, the 10th consecutive loss for the Ducks who enter this weekend with three final chances – two in Hudson Friday and Saturday and back on home ice Sunday – to break into the win column. 

The Riverkings were up 4-0 after a period and added another five in the middle period before putting it away with a couple goals down the stretch.

Drew Mosely (’02/St. Louis, MO), Jadon Mammen (’04/Grapevine, TX) and Falzone each took a turn in goal in this one, combining to kick out 57 in the contest.

Sunday’s game will give local fans one final chance to get a look at the Ducks this season as they take on the Steele County Blades in a 6:30 p.m. start at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. 

The playoff match ups have been determined, at least for the Ducks who face a tough assignment, going into battle next weekend against the Minnesota Blue Ox. Dates and times for that Best-of-Three series are still to be announced.