By JIm den Hollander
The Sauk Prairie Eagles stayed undefeated in Badger West Conference play as Landon Clary notched an overtime game winner lifting the guests to a 4-3 win Tuesday night at Reedsburg Area Community Arena.
While the win boosted the Eagles to 3-0 in conference matches and 5-1 overall, the host RWD Cheavers fell under .500 at 2-3 and 0-2 in Conference — both league losses coming in overtime.
Both teams are looking to find their way without their top offensive threats as seniors Caden Brandt of the Cheavers and Luke Mast of the Eagles are both out with injuries. The loss of Brandt might not be as permanent though as tests after the game in Oregon found a bad sprain opposed a broken or fractured bone.
In this game, the Eagles went to work early, junior Garret Mittelsteadt connecting for the first goal of the night in the second minute, from junior Karsyn Banta and Colin Harrington. Senior Blake Howery added another for the Eagles from junior Steven Romaker just before the 10-minute mark, but RWD sophomore Kaden Uminski struck back just 35 seconds later converting a feed from freshman RJ Manley to get the Cheavers within a goal.
That held up until late in the middle period when RWD senior John Scott notched his fourth of the season, unassisted to even the score. Sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner put the Eagles in front again before the end of the period with help from Harrington and freshman Landon Froese.
Senior defenseman Lukas Vana scored the lone third period goal from junior Brady Baldwin setting the stage for the overtime frame.
Senior Landon Clary stepped up as the overtime hero for the Eagles with his unassisted goal in the sixth minute.
Senior Kaden Stracke collected the win in goal for the Eagles, his fourth of the season with 25 saves on 28 shots while sophomore Alex Griebe kicked out 23 shots for the Cheavers.
The Eagles have played all but one game so far this season on the road and will get a chance to face one more tough road test Thursday at LeBahn Arena in Madison when they square off with the Madison Edgewood Crusaders.
This game has added importance as the Eagles and defending conference champion Crusaders are the lone undefeated teams in conference — the Eagles at 3-0 and the Crusaders with two wins.
The Eagles will finally play in front of friendly fans on Tuesday (Dec. 13) when they host the Monroe Cheesemakers at the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) but then head on the road for another pair.
The Cheavers will look to get their own conference season on track Saturday when they travel to Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo for a 7 p.m. faceoff against the host Thunderbirds, then return home for a Tuesday night contest against the Crusaders and a Friday game against the Cheesemakers, taking them to the halfway mark of their Badger West Conference schedule.