Froese sinks overtime winner for Eagles

By Jim den Hollander
Editor/Publisher
Saukhockey.info
Freshman forward Landon Froese fired his second of the game with 5:13 to play in overtime, lifting the Sauk Prairie Eagles to a 5-4 road win at the Onalaska Omni Center Thursday (Dec. 1) night.


The win came in the first game without senior Luke Mast in the lineup and it was an impressive victory against the always strong Onalaska/La Crosse Hilltoppers.
Sidelined with a wrist injury, Mast, who finished among the state leaders in scoring last season had 136 career varsity points.
Hilltoppers hit the board first for the Hilltoppers 8:59 into the contest but Froese fired his first of the contest 25 seconds later from sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner.


Junior Thor Peterson continued that trend later in the period, responding to the second Hilltoppers’ goal again 25 seconds later with his unassisted goal.
Junior Colin Harrington gave the visitors their first lead with a shorthanded goal, unassisted with just over five minutes to play in the opening period.
After a scoreless second period, the Hilltopers pulled even 6:29 into the third and this time it was 31 seconds before Harrington’s second put the Eagles in front again with a set up from junior Garret Mittelsteadt.
For the Hilltoppers, junior Noah Gillette scored twice and senior Carter Hayes notched the other before Gavin Shuster evened it up again with 7:26 to play.
That set the stage for Froese with another unassisted marker in the extra period.
Senior goaltender Kaden Stracke played a big part in this one, stopping 39 shots for his third win of the season in the Eagles’ crease and sophomore Josh Pogreba had 24 saves for the Hilltoppers.


Ironically, with the win, the Eagles have one more win at the Omni Center (2) than at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC). The other win came in the season opener against the Avalanche.
This win came in the first of four-straight road games for the Eagles. The next three for the 3-1 (1-0) will be Badger West Conference match ups at Pierce Park Pavilion against the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds Saturday (Dec. 3), Tuesday at Reedsburg Area Community Arena against the RWD Cheavers and Thursday at LeBahn Arena against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders.
Next home game for the Eagles will also be a conference game as the Monroe Cheesemakers pay a visit Dec. 13.

Jicha spoils valiant comeback by RWD

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Alec Jicha brought a disappointing finish to a hard fought, gritty and emotional contest for the RWD Cheavers at Oregon Ice Arena Friday (Dec. 2) night, sinking the game winner of a 3-2 Conference contest in overtime. 

After a tough start, the odds stacked further against the visiting Cheavers when one of the state’s top players, senior Caden Brandt was forced to leave the game with an apparent lower leg injury.  

Down 2-0 late in the opening period, the Cheavers were threatening on a powerplay with a flurry around the Oregon Panthers’ goal but when the whistle sounded, Brandt was on the ice and ultimately had difficulty getting up. He was eventually helped off the ice and the game continued.  

If the Cheavers felt sorry for themselves, it didn’t show as senior John Scott snapped home the team’s first goal before the end of the period and still on the powerplay. Fellow seniors Carsen Brandt and Logan DeMars had the assists. 

Caden Brandt’s regular linemates – senior Scott and junior Brady Baldwin picked up their own game following his injury and utility player, junior Iszak Elder filled in flawlessly to round out the line. Scott and Baldwin teamed up on the tying goal, Scott dropping a perfect pass that Baldwin slammed home 4:19 from the end of the period. Senior defenseman Lukas Vana also collected an assist. 

Following a scoreless final period teams headed to overtime and junior Andrew Jicha ended the game just before the end of the second period. Jicha, the lone remaining member of the Panthers’ powerful top line from last season, also opened the scoring for the Panthers and set up the second goal, scored by senior Edgar Nieto.  

Sophomore Alex Griebe stopped 32 of 35 shots in goal for the Cheavers while senior Josh Kean handled 25 of 27 for the Panthers.

The loss dropped the Cheavers to 2-2 on the season and 0-1 in Badger West Conference play while the Panthers avoided an 0-2 start to league play with the win while boosting their regular season record to 2-1. 

 The game is the first of five straight conference matches for RWD and the loss adds some importance to its next match at home at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) against the Sauk Prairie Eagles. 

Iszak Elder did a great job moving up from the blue line to fill in with John Scott and Brady Baldwin after the injury to Caden Brandt at Oregon Ice Arena Frdaiay. Photo Courtesy Jessica Othmer

 

Alec Jicha (6) scored twice for the host Panthers including the overtime game winner Friday night, but sophomore goaltender Alex Griebe made the stop on this opportunity. Photo Courtesy Jessica Othmer

Olson goal lifts Lightning past WVU 4-3

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Reese Olson lifted the Badger Lightning to its first and only lead of the contest Tuesday night with 31 seconds to play at the South Wood County Recreation Center in Wisconsin Rapids and the team held on for a 4-3 edge against the host Wisconsin Valley Union.  

Reese Olson fired the game winner for the Badger Lightning with 31 seconds to play in the contest. Photo Courtesy Jessica Othmer

The Lightning rallied back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to grab the win, boosting its WIAA season record to 2-1. 

Down by a pair after a period, the Lightning struck back in the middle period with goals from senior Lani Selje and junior Katelyn Allen 31 seconds apart and teams headed to the final period even at 2-2. 

First year Kyran Merrell collected assists on both goals and senior Kayla Capener helped on the second.  

Senior Sonia Dissanayake and first year Lily Cichy scored the first period Union goals and Dissanayake put her squad in front again 4:14 into the final period but Lightning senior Mallory Ruland pulled her team even again with an unassisted goal 3:10 later. 

That set the stage for Olson who took a feed from Capener before scoring the game winner.  

In goal, junior Alyssa Gada stopped 19 of 22 to grab her second win of the season while the Lightning sent 28 shots at junior Grace Lawrence. 

The meeting was the first between the Union and Lightning since 2016 and the Lightning evened the all-time series at 3-3-2 with their first win against the Stevens Point/Wisconsin Rapids cooperative effort since 2012. 

Lightning will try to stay hot when they return to Badger Conference play Saturday with a trip to Mandt Community Center in Stoughton Saturday (Dec. 3) for a 2:15 p.m. puck drop against the Icebergs and then travel to Sun Prairie Ice Arena Monday night for another Badger Conference match against the Cap City Cougars.  

Next home game for the Lightning will be on Friday when the Rock County Fury visits for yet another Badger Conference contest at Pierce Park Pavilion