Crusaders find way past Eagles despite Stracke brilliance

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

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.

Caden Stracke, shown here in an earlier game in Reedsburg, stopped 43 of 44 shots at LeBahn Ice Arena in Madison before the host Edgewood Crusaders found a way past for a 1-0 overtime win on Thursday (Dec. 8). Photo Courtesy Jessica Othmer

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