By Jim den Hollander
Both Sauk Prairie Flyers Bantam teams made the trip to their respective State Championship tournaments this past weekend both the Bantam ‘A’ and Bantam ‘B’ Flyers returning home with Consolation Final hardware.
Both also faced a tough opening round opponent, going to the Consolation side of the draw with tough losses to eventual State Championship finalists.
The procedure was the same at every state tournament played last weekend, each team playing twice on Saturday and returning for one final match on Sunday.
In Shawano at the WAHA State 3A Championship tournament, the Bantam ‘A’ Flyers dropped a 5-2 decision to Ashland before bouncing back with a 7-3 decision against Marshfield Youth Hockey Blades. In the Consolation Championship game, the Flyers handled Waupun by a 7-2 score.
The Ashland bantams moved to the State Championship game before falling 3-2 against Tomahawk.
The weekend results wrapped up the WAHA season for the Bantam ‘A’ Flyers who posted a record of 25-13-1.
The Bantam ‘B’ Flyers were moved up from the WAHA State 3B to 3A Championship event facing some tougher caliber teams, due to a lack of teams at the 3B level.
After dropping a 4-2 decision to the River Falls Wildcats in its opening game the Flyers rebounded with a 6-2 win against the New Richmond Tigers.
That advanced the Flyers to the State Consolation Final where they handled the Mosinee Pride by a 6-4 score.
Flyers 2 Wildcats 4
The Flyers played the Cats even through a period, both teams scoring once. The Wildcats notched the lone goal of the second then outscored the Flyers through the final 15 minutes by a 2-1 margin.
The first period Flyers’s goal came from Tucker Acker on a feed from Jacob Wilhelm and the other Flyers’ goal was scored by Caleb Chetwood with an assist for Lucas Rehlinger.
Ethan Goodman handled the work in goal for the Flyers, stopping 29 of 33 shots.
The loss moved the Flyers to the Consolation side of the draw.
Flyers 6 Tigers 2
In the second-round game, played later on Saturday, the Flyers jumped in to a 3-1 first period lead and never looked back, adding one more unanswered marker in the second and outscoring the Tigers 2-1 down the stretch.
Slater Denu opened the scoring for the Flyers and set up the other two first period goals, scored by Ryan Flynn and Ryan Jorgenson before wrapping up his own hat trick with both third period goals.
The second period goal came from Chetwood with help from Greyson Dunn. Flynn and Dunn both collected assists as well.
Goodman stopped a dozen of the 14 shots he faced to help move the Flyers into the Consolation Final.
Flyers 6 Pride 4
On Sunday, the Pride and Flyers were even at 2-2 after a period and still knotted at 3-3 heading to the final period.
The Flyers finally grabbed control with two goals in the opening 2:36 of the final period, then matched then another in the middle of the period before Mosinee added one more in the final six minutes.
This time it was Chetwood with the hat trick to wrap up a five-goal weekend with goals in all three contests. Denu fired a pair and Tyler Jorgenson fired the Flyers’ first goal of the contest. Gavin Krueger chipped in three assists with others for Jacob Wiegmann and Flynn.
Goodman backstopped the win with 26 saves, including 14 of 15 in a wild third period.
The Bantam ‘B’ Flyers’ weekend record finished their season at 22-11-1. It was the final youth event for Chetwood, Flynn, Wilhelm, Acker and Denu who will all move under the Eagles’ umbrella next season.