By Jim den Hollander
Having arrived in town at the end of the Labor Day weekend, the Dells Ducks will enter a final tune-up on home ice at the Lake Delton Ice Arena this weekend giving locals a chance to get a preview on what should be a turnaround season.
With 30 players on the roster, including former RWD goaltender Cooper Oakes, the Ducks headed to Oshkosh to take on the UW-Oshkosh ACHA squad Friday (Sept. 16) and Saturday with some interesting results.
While the Titans captured 4-1 and 7-1 wins in the game, the Ducks held a wide margin in shots, reportedly topping 50 in both games. It has been a while since a Ducks’ team racked up a total like that.
Rookie Nolan Winkler (’05/Plano, IL) scored for the Ducks in the first game and the second game goal was scored by Associate Captain Adam Brown (’02/Westmont, IL), a forward/defenseman back for a third season with the Ducks with a season in Hershey, PA in between.
Head Coach Anthony Rohde was mostly happy, in particular with several younger players battling nerves in the second game.
“We dressed a lot of rookies in the second game,” said Rohde in a telephone interview. “It took two periods for the team to really start playing.”
Poor ice conditions and a good defensive gameplan for the Titans played a part as well said the coach.
This weekend the locals will play host to a Showcase type tournament with split squads from both the Ducks and the Chicago Cougars a well as a team made up of Wisconsin Riverkings players and college club teams from UW-La Crosse and Aurora University.
The Ducks will kick off the event Friday (Sept. 23) with back-to-back games against the Cougars at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
In all, both Ducks teams (Ducks White and Ducks Purple) will play four times, the finale on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. matching the teams in a Purple vs. White head-to-head match.
In all there will be a dozen games played at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. Admission is free but the team will have a place for donations to help Jacob Cartland, a forward with the Ducks last season and a standout at the varsity level with the Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago/Oconomowoc club before that.
Cartland is battling hard to recover from some horrific injuries after a car crash earlier this month.
Follow the link below for a full season schedule for the Dells Ducks including all 12 games for this weekend.
— Oakes is one of five goaltenders currently battling for ice time with the Ducks. The team invited members of the RWD varsity team to join them this weekend and it appears junior forward Brady Baldwin will take them up on the offer.
— Ducks will open the USPHL Premier Midwest-West regular season a week from Friday at the Lake Delton Ice Arena against the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings.
— A third member of last season’s RWD club will also be playing in the tournament. Rookie forward Trevor Slaght has been in Chicago since Labor Day weekend with the Cougars and last weekend made a successful junior debut with a goal on the team’s opening weekend at the Fifth Third Arena in Chicago on a two-game weekend against the visiting Motor City Gamblers.