By Jim den Hollander
On paper they should be about even, but the Sauk Prairie Eagles continued its run of Badger West Conference wins against the Oregon Panthers Tuesday night with a 4-2 doubling in their home opener at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC).
The Eagles now have three straight wins against the Cats since Badger conferences were realigned to start the 2021-22 campaign.
Senior Luke Mast and junior Colin Harrington paced the Eagles with two goals apiece in a game the home side never trailed.
A powerplay solo effort from Mast opened the scoring 7:32 into the match put the Eagles on the board, but Oregon senior Simon Dosher tied it up five seconds from the end of the opening period.
Mast’s second put the Eagles in front again 7:48 into the second but the Panthers rallied back again, this time just over two minutes later.
Harrington notched the eventual game winner to give the Eagles its third and final lead of the night 82 seconds from the end of the middle period and he added insurance near the three-minute mark of the final period. The final Eagles’ goal was the only one with set ups, Mast and sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner collected the assists.
For Mast, the three-point contest gives him five goals and eight points just three games into the season.
Senior Kaden Stracke stopped 23 shots to collect his second win of the season while Oregon junior Nate McAlpine made 19 saves.
The Eagles moved to 2-1 on the season with the win and 1-0 in Badger West play while the Panthers fell to 1-1 and 0-1 in league play. The Panthers will play its first home game Friday, entertaining the RWD Cheavers in another conference battle.
The Eagles will go back on the road for its next four games, beginning Tuesday (Dec. 1) at the Onalaska Omni against the Onalaska/La Crosse Hilltoppers with a 7 p.m. puck drop. Following that the Eagles will play Badger West Conference matches Saturday at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo Saturday, at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) Tuesday (Dec. 6) and LeBahn Arena in Madison against the Edgewood Crusaders Thursday, Dec. 8.
Next home game will be Dec. 13 at SPARC against Monroe Cheesemakers, another conference tilt.