Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds junior Luke Schweda snapped a stretch of more than four games without a goal when he converted a feed from freshman Thomas Sarnow Tuesday (Dec. 6) at State Line Ice Arena (SLICE).
Unfortunately, the lone goal of the middle period wasn’t enough to stay with the Cheesemakers who collected their first ever Badger West Conference win with a 4-1 decision.
The host Cheesemakers scored twice in the opening period, juniors Ethan Rosenstiel and Wyatt Janecke pulled the trigger before Schweda notched the first Thunderbirds goal since the season opening game late in the second period.
Janecke added a clincher 7:07 into the final period and senior Seth Brandt padded the margin just over a minute later.
Shots on goal were not kept for the game which is a shame as Thunderbirds sophomore goaltender Burke Schweda may be on track for facing the most shots in the state this season.
Thunderbirds fell to 0-6 overall and 0-3 in the Badger West with the loss and will face a tough challenge on Pierce Park Pavilion Saturday when the RWD Cheavers (2-3, 0-2 Badger West) pay a visit.
A battle of the last two undefeated teams in the Badger West Conference at Le Bahn Arena in Madison Thursday totally lived up to expectations.
The Madison Edgewood Crusaders managed to stay undefeated in league play since the Badger West was formed at the beginning of last season, but thanks to some standout goaltending from Sauk Prairie Eagles’ senior Kaden Stracke, it was far from easy.
Stracke stopped all 43 shots sent his direction in Madison before sophomore Dylan Lenz found a way past him 2:38 into overtime, lifting the host side to a 1-0 win. Crusaders’ junior Rowan White kicked out all 26 he saw to collect the shutout and push the Edgewood side to 3-0 in conference play this season.
Meanwhile, the Eagles fell to 3-1 in conference play and 5-2 overall with the end of a four-game winning streak.
The Crusaders held the edge in shots in each period, but never dominated in a wide-open contest. After a 13-8 margin through the opening 17 minutes, both teams put on after-burners in a 28-shot second period, 16 for the home team. Edgewood controlled the third period with a 12-6 edge and all three overtime shots came off Crusader sticks.
The Eagles will look to break back into the win column on Tuesday (Dec. 13) when they host Monroe Cheesemakers who are also 5-2 on the season so far but 1-2 in conference contests.
The game will bring the end of a four-game road trek for the Eagles and just the second game at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) this season. It will be a short-lived respite though with the Eagles back on the road for games in Oregon Thursday and McFarland Dec. 20 before wrapping up the pre-Christmas portion of the schedule back at SPARC Dec. 22 against DeForest.
Circle Jan. 19 on calendars as the Crusaders will visit SPARC for the return match in what is shaping up to be a critical Badger West contest.
The Dells Ducks have enjoyed a nice turnaround to its regular season of late but one thing remains the same.
Fogerty Ice Arena is no fun for them.
Coming into a weekend set with the host Minnesota Moose riding a modest two-game winning streak and looking much better of late, the Moose brushed them aside in the first of two games by an 11-1 score. The following night the Ducks came out looking to turn the tables and led 2-1 late in the game in what would have been its biggest victory in several seasons.
But the Moose, a team the Ducks have never defeated, spoiled the day for them again, tying the game with 3:30 to play and snatching the win away just over a minute later.
The Moose fired two more in the game’s final minute, the first into an empty goal to rub a bit more salt into the wound, wrapping up a 5-2 win.
Despite the tough losses in Blaine, a win in the Twin Cities Thursday night against the Minnesota Mullets widened the Ducks in the final playoff position and the ninth place Mullets who wrapped an 0-3 weekend.
HIghlights of Thursday included another win in goal for Chris Mazurek (‘03/Batavia, IL) as he stopped 26 of 28 Mullets’ shots and Austin Holmberg (‘03/Amery, WI) fired the game winner early in the final period. Holmberg’s goal was the first of three helping the Ducks rally back from a 2-1 deficit for a 4-2 win.
Friday’s game was a mismatch from the opening faceoff as the host Moose peppered Anthony Falzone (‘03/St. Charles, IL) and Jadon Mammen (‘04/Grapevine, TX) with a combined 68 shots including the game winner notched before the halfway mark of the opening period.
MIkel Ferran Cobo (‘02/Curernabaca, Mexico), a former Moose player fired his third goal since joining the Ducks just before Thanksgiving, the lone bright spot on an otherwise rough night.
If the Ducks were down after the loss to the Moose, it didn’t show Saturday as the team came out looking to prove something in its fourth and final meeting of the season with the Blaine-based squad.
Moose got on the board with the lone goal of the first period but defenseman Jack Kopfstein (‘05/Vista, CA) responded with the lone second period tally.
Mazurek turned in his best outing of the season, kicking out 45 of 46 to keep the game even after 40 despite a 46-17 margin for the home side on the shot counter.
A brilliant neutral zone takeaway sent Bryce Jacobsen in alone and he buried a go-ahead goal right after the Ducks killed a minor penalty with just under four minutes goal in the third giving the Ducks their first lead of the season against the Moose.
The Moose kept up its barrage against Mazurek until netting the equalizer just 3:30 from the final buzzer and breaking Ducks hearts with the game winner just over a minute later. The clincher was slid into an empty net and the Moose fired one more meaningless goal with four seconds to play.
The Ducks will be hoping the goaltending effort of Mazurek who should be the Goaltender of the Week for the division, will give them momentum as they head to the Windy City Thursday for its third and final Showcase event of the season.
The Ducks will start out Thursday at 12:40 p.m. (CST) at the Canlan Arena in Romeoville against the Chicago Cougars who they played in a couple of pre-season exhibition contests in Lake Delton. The Cougars are from the Midwest-East Division.
On Friday the Ducks will face two opponents at the Leafs Center in Elgin, IL. First up is the Cincinnati Cyclones from the Great Lakes Division at 10:10 a.m. and later they will play the MHC club, made up of Metro Jets players, also from the Great Lakes Division.
Wrapping up the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule, the Ducks will return to Romeoville Saturday to play the Northern Colorado Eagles from the Mountain Division at 7:50 p.m. Because the games are being played in a tournament format, starting times may not be exact.
After the Showcase, players will scatter around the globe to celebrate the holiday with their respective families, then return to prepare for its first home series since November Steele County Blades pay a visit to the Lake Delton Ice Arena Jan. 7-8, 2023.
Those games will kick off the 13-game homestretch for the Ducks who will wrap up the regular season on Feb. 26.