Varsity fall sports up next but plenty of hockey being played

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Students are likely not pleased but the summer break is nearly over for athletes.

After what seemed to be the busiest summer yet for varsity hockey players, a majority of them will be heading to football fields, soccer pitches, volleyball or tennis courts, pools, golf courses or cross-country running courses for the next few months.

Football practices begin Tuesday while boys’ soccer, girl’s tennis, golf, volleyball, swimming, and cross country for both kicks off a week or two later, depending on the team.

Unofficial captains’ practices for hockey players will likely begin in early September as the ice will be in the Lake Delton Ice Arena by then and SPARC in Prairie du Sac will have floor hockey sessions.

Official first practices for the varsity hockey programs will begin on Nov. 8.

RWD Cheavers

The RWD regular season is scheduled to begin once again against the Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders, this time around at the South Wood County Recreation Center on Nov. 23. Sauk Prairie Eagles will face Onalaska Hilltoppers in its first of two home games to kick off the season on the same night.

Sauk Prairie Eagles

Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds will faceoff on home ice against the Menomonie Mustangs Dec. 1.

There hasn’t been any official information released yet, but the three Sauk County varsity teams will be in a slightly different conference. Gone are the Waunakee Warriors, Beaver Dam Golden Beavers and DeForest Norskies, replaced by the Madison Edgewood Crusaders, Oregon Panthers and Monroe Cheesemakers.

Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds

The Badger Lightning schedule is not available as of today (July 27).

The Dells Ducks will be on the ice a little earlier, beginning with a tryout camp in Crystal Lake, Ill. Aug. 6-8.

Dells Ducks

Players will arrive in town in late August, the players will begin with a week of dryland training and then hit the ice. The team will head to Motown for a weekend of exhibition matches against the Detroit Fighting Irish and Motor City Hockey Team Sept. 10-12.

The following weekend, the Ducks will open the USPHL Premier Midwest-West regular season with games Sept. 17-18 against the Rum River Mallards from Isanti, Minn.

Jordan O’Connor
Kaylee Engel
Jack MacDonald
Julianna Teske

Locals at colleges will begin soon after.

After COVID all but wiped out seasons for a trio of locals last year, they will be looking forward to finally playing a regular NCAA Division 3 campaign this fall.

Kaylee Engel from Lavalle, captain of the 2019-20 Badger Lightning varsity team, will begin her sophomore season with the Northland College Lumberjills while, Jordan O’Connor, a 21-game winner in her senior season with the Sauk Prairie Eagles, will also be back for her second year between the pipes for the UW-River Falls Falcons while Julianna Teske, a Reedsburg resident will begin her sophomore season with the Augsburg Auggies. Regular seasons will begin in late October for all three players.

Former Baraboo/Portage captain, Jack MacDonald will begin his freshman season with the St. Michael’s College Purple Knights in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Purple Knights play out of Colchester Vermont and that season is also scheduled to begin in late-October.

Before you know it, full time hockey will be upon us again.

RWD third at Onalaska tournament

After dropping its opening game Friday (July 23), the RWD Cheavers charged back with three straight wins to wrap up third spot at a summer tournament at the Onalaska Omni Center.

Led by a solid group of incoming seniors, it was a fun weekend with Billy Oakes stepping in behind the bench with RWD Head Coach Neil Mattson away for the weekend.

The RWD Cheavers picked up wins in three of four games to claim third place at a tournament in Onalaska July 23-25.

After wrapping up a 2-1 record through three round robin games, the Cheavers finished second in its pool and grabbed a 3-1 win against former Badger North Conference rival Waunakee Warriors in a battle of second place teams Sunday morning.

The Cheavers dropped a 4-0 decision to the Brookfield Stars on Friday night before returning Saturday to earn a 7-1 decision against the Aquinas/Holmen Avalanche in that team’s home barn, then clinching second place with a 4-1 win against the Viroqua Blackhawks Saturday evening.

Friday

RWD Cheavers 1 Brookfield Stars 4

After the tournament Sunday, Oakes said he thought RWD came out a bit flat on Friday, finding its game in the final 15-minutes but already out of it by then as the Stars scored twice in each of the first two frames.

Cheavers were kept off the shot clock entirely through the first period and sophomore Brady Baldwin counted the team’s only goal unassisted on one of four third period shots.

Senior goaltender Cooper Oakes kicked out a dozen shots for the Cheaves and freshman Alex Griebe came on later to save another seven.

Saturday

RWD Cheavers 7 Aquinas/Holmen Avalanche 1

RWD bounced back with a big win Saturday morning, scoring twice in the opening period, including its first just 2:05 into the contest by junior John Scott, his first of three in the game.

Scott also fired the other first period goal, the game winner, late in the period, senior Clayton Pfaff and junior Caleb Eastman counting middle period markers.

Griebe went the distance in goal, turning aside 17 of 18 shot, the only one to get by him coming early in the third.

The Cheavers responded with three more goals, from Eastman, Scott and finally, senior Mitchell Henke. Senior Carter Scully along with juniors Nate Stando and Logan Demars both collected assists in the contest.

RWD Cheavers 4 Viroqua Blackhawks 1

Saturday night, Cheavers blasted off quickly again, Pfaff firing an unassisted regular strength goal before the end of the opening minute and Yevgeny Dedun converted a feed from Baldwin on a powerplay less than a minute later to add the game winner.

Viroqua pulled one back late in the opening period but that was as close as they got, Baldwin and Scott notching unassisted goals in the middle period to put this one away.

Oakes picked up the win in goal for the Cheavers, stopping all but one Viroqua shot.

RWD Cheavers 3 Waunakee Warriors 1

A change in the Badger Conferences for the upcoming season sees an end to 11 seasons as rivalry with the Waunakee Warriors, but seeing those purple jerseys still gets the Cheavers fired up.

That was certainly the case Sunday with a more chippy and emotional contest than the other three.

RWD notched the first goal once again, Eastman relaying a feed from Stando with 3:33 to go in the opening segment, but a goal in the final minute of the second had the Warriors at the break.

The Cheavers came out fired up for the final 15 minutes and despite a trio of third period infractions, it was the Cheavers providing all the offense as well.

Henke sank the game winner from Baldwin and Scott’s fifth of the weekend added insurance a short time later.

Griebe kicked out 22 of 23 to pick up the win in goal.

Many of the Cheavers players will turn their focus to football, soccer or cross country as they prepare for the varsity fall seasons.

Captains practices for both RWD and Baraboo/Portage will kick off in early September at the Lake Delton Ice Arena and the first practice of the 2021-22 regular season will take place in early November.

Three eras for SP Eagles since 2010-11

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Part three of my four-part summer project (It will turn into 8-12 parts, I believe) wrapped up on the weekend as I finally wrapped up tabulating the games for the Sauk Prairie Eagles beginning with the 2010-11 season.

Again, I must give thanks and praise to www.wisconsinprephockey.net for having game sheets and statistics’ dating back that far. In the case of the Eagles, it goes back a season or two further, but I started at the 2010-11 season to keep it level with the RWD and Baraboo/Portage programs which started that season.

The Eagles have an interesting modern history which saw the team start out the 11-season stretch as a solid mid to high pack squad, led by players like Luke McElhenie who played just three seasons with the Eagles, compiling a total of 80 goals and 80 assists with just 42 PIM.

That was followed by some extremely lean seasons, from 2013-14 to 2015-16 that saw the club endure an overall record of 12-58-0.

The team turned a corner in 2016-17 which coincided with the arrival of David Lohrei as Head Coach. Lohrei, with mentoring experience at the highest junior levels as well as stints in the pros, has put together a 71-30-6 mark so far, highlighted in 2019-20 when a tough 3-2 loss in the regular season finale against Middleton prevented the team from posting 20 regular season victories – a rare feat.

Ironically, the team has posted 20 regular season defeats, in the 2014-15 season with a tough 3-21-0 run through that campaign.

The Eagles longest winning streak is nine games which were the first nine games of the 2020-21 campaign, a shortened season that saw the Eagles entering the playoffs with a 12-1 record. The teams longest losing streak is 15 games, from Dec. 12, 2014, to Feb. 5, 2015.

McElhenie had a solid supporting cast two with names like Travis Jacobson, Jacob Free, Dayne Leonard and others that were regular scoring contributors. McElhenie went on to play USHL hockey in Madison and in three seasons at UW-Stevens Point he helped the team to both WIAC and National D3 Championship in 2018-19. Look in this space for story and interview with McElhenie in the next week.

McElhenie held the team’s points lead until Riley Jelinek who led the entire state in scoring in both 2018-19 and 2019-20 compiled a massive run of 92 goals and 148 assists for 240 points in 89 games. Linemate Camden Desroches also moved past McElhenie with 94 goals and 87 assists for 181 points in 91 games.

It’s hard to imagine anyone coming close to Jelinek’s total but 2022 senior Nick Mast will factor in as he enters his final varsity season with 58 goals and 68 assists for 126 points in 60 games. Rounding out the top five for the Eagles at this point is Jacob Free with 34 goals and 57 assists for 91 points in 60 games.

Luke Mast is not far off the pace, the incoming junior already compiling 26 goals and 33 assists for 59 points in 37 games while Hakon Peterson, an incoming senior sits at 16 goals and 41 assists for 57 points in 60 games.

The top point getters also lead both goals and assists while the team’s highest Penalty minutes total goes to Cam Gesicki with 129. The only player over 100 minutes in his career is Ryan Fitzsimmons at 108.

In goal, Dakota Pickhard leads in games (it appears having a name on the game sheet is classed as a game played which is a little unusual for goaltenders) with 83 and he also has the most minutes played – 3,019:12. Pickhard bridged the Dark Ages era and the Revival era, facing 1,737 shots in that period and beaten 184 times. He lowered his Goals Against Average each season after that tough opening year, ending up with a 3.11 GAA and Save Percentage of .894.

In Wisconsin High School games, it appears a Save Percentage over .900 is rare and only one Eagles’ goaltender with at least 10 games played have hit that mark.

Stephen Schultz was the team’s workhorse in the first few seasons, compiling a record of 22-16-3 with 2,089:26 minutes played, which converts to 40.97 games. He stopped 1,141 of 1,226 shots for a 3.15 GAA and a SP% of .901.

Jordan O’Connor played all 1,239:15 minutes of the 2019-20 season, compiling an awesome 19-4-1 record. She put up a goose egg in five games and kicked out 311 of 347 shots for a 1.48 GAA and a SP% of .899.

Schultz leads the goaltenders in shutouts with nine and Pickhard blanked the opposition a half dozen times.

Saukhockey.info will wrap up the varsity summer project with the Badger Lightning. I am not 100 percent sure when the schools all combined to form Badger Lightning, but we will use the 2010-11 season as the start point for this as well.

Soon after, stats from the first decade of Dells Ducks will be highlighted.

Ducks looking for billets for this season

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Dells Ducks junior hockey team is once again looking for some local support heading into the new season.

Players from across the USA and Canada will once again be in the community beginning in late August in preparation for a mid-September start to the United States Premier Hockey League season.

The Ducks are coming off its most difficult season, partly due to a large core of younger players who gained valuable season and partly due to the strangest season in the 10-year history of the squad as Head Coach Shaun Falzone remained loyal to the players who signed on originally with the squad while many other teams took advantage of Canadian players from the Tier 2 and Major Junior level looking for a place to play in mid-season.

As a result, the Ducks have learned some tough lessons and Coach Falzone has added new and experienced players that will bring size, physical play, and offensive skills to this season’s team.

The players that move to the Sauk County area need to billet with local families and over the past decade, players from previous Ducks players have established family-like relationships with their billet families, many returning to the area to visit on special occasions.

The Morris Family has been involved with the program since it started and have volunteered to billet players in one or two homes almost every season. Pictured above are players from last season while below are players from previous seasons back in town to honor Kelly Morris, the team’s first fan, also last season.

The Ducks are looking for one or two more families to help this season.

The families of the players coming to the areas pay a fee to have their young hockey players move in with the locals and while they are in the area. Hockey players in general are humble and respectful and while in the community, the Ducks coaching staff ensures they are on their best behavior with curfews and random testing in place.

The Wilcox Family is another local family that has helped out the Ducks in recent years

The Ducks organization is thankful for the billets that have helped us out in the past, including at least one family that has been along for the entire 10 years and others who have become a major part of the Ducks family by allowing our players to eat and sleep in their homes.

Penny Lobenstein has become a popular ‘Mom’ to an army of Ducks players over the past few years and has also become one of the team’s biggest fans.

Anyone interested or looking for more information on helping the Ducks as a billet family for the 2021-22 season can contact jim@dellsduckshockey.com; shaun.chitexsports@gmail.com or lakedeltonice@yahoo.com.

More information on the Ducks season, which is now less than two months away, will appear on saukhockey.info soon.

Hockey close to year-round in Wisconsin

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

It’s a weird summer with the NHL hockey season wrapping up just a week ago but unbelievably, we’re just over a month away from the early days of a new hockey season. Hopefully, a normal one.

The Dells Ducks players will return to the Sauk County area in mid-August and by the end of the month the ice will be in at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.

A couple hockey teams have already been on the ice this summer – Sauk Prairie Eagles and RWD Cheavers both taking part in an eight-team mid-summer event in Middleton in June and the Cheavers also held the annual getaway to the Superior area where they played some scrimmage games. Both events though are geared primarily to introduce the newer players to the varsity culture.

In Superior the emphasis is on the team bonding and welcoming new players with an annual canoe trip among the highlights of the weekend.

The RWD team will also be taking part in a tournament in Onalaska July 23-25 and this writer is discovering that is not as unusual as first thought. A couple teams, including Beaver Dam and some Madison area teams scrimmage in a summer league and a quick look at the ice schedule for the Beaver Dam Family Ice Center shows a calendar as jammed in July as it would be in January.

Several youth players and varsity players took part on summer teams out of Tomah or the Madison area and competed into July but many of those have hung up the skates for at least a few weeks before eagerly pulling it down again with excitement in September.

RWD senior Trevor Slaght enjoyed the biggest moment of his hockey life so far winning a USA Hockey National Championship as a member of the Before-and-After Wisconsin Junior Jets in the late Spring and the next eager bunch of skaters, from across the state, will take part in the first step towards a repeat when the Jr. Jets holds a tryout at the Ice Pond in Waunakee this weekend.

Janesville 18U Jets celebrate winning the 2021 Chipotle USA Hockey Tier II 18U 3A National Championship in the traditional way.

The Olympics officially start on Friday in Tokyo…late Thursday here, but competitions are underway as early as Tuesday night, if you like soccer or softball. I am pumped about watching as much as I can. By the time its over, hockey season will be upon us.

Baraboo/Portage records since 2010

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The summer project – compiling stats on all four Sauk County varsity hockey teams passed the halfway mark with the completion of Baraboo/Portage.

Technically, while this project will put together the overall records, records vs. every team and player stats since the 2010-11 season, it will be ongoing into the season in November putting together conference records, total goals for and against then some single season records.

Once again, I thank and credit www.wisconsinprephockey.net which has been my source for all the statistical information. The stats on that website go back a bit further than 2010-11, but that seems like a perfect starting point as that was when the current RWD and Baraboo/Portage outfits were formed. I am using that as the starting point for Sauk Prairie and the Badger Lightning as well simply to make everything uniform.

Here are some of the interesting tidbits gathered on the Baraboo/Portage squad:

The team’s overall record in that span is 123-113-11. After six straight seasons, north of .500, topping at 16-5 in 2013-14, the Thunderbirds have been sub .500 for the past five straight, but current head coach, David Clark was close, a season ending tie in the spring of 2020 wrapping up an 11-12-1 campaign.

Clark and his assistants are a positive influence on the players and show a great deal of loyalty to the players, in particular starting goaltenders such as Dane Hinz who played every one of the 1250+ minutes that season in the blue paint for the team in that 19-20 season.

Clark’s overall record with the team is 33-52-1.

The team’s top overall scorer since 2010-11 is Tyler Laux with 40 goals and 124 points in 60 games played. Just four points back with 52 goals and 120 points is Steven Mordini and Dawson Hinz rounds out the top three with 58 goals and 113 points and 2021 graduate Campbell Koseor sits fourth overall with 48 goals and 103 points.

Leading goal scorer is Adam Stanton who notched 61 goals in 64 games, and he also rounds out the top five overall with 101 points. The 84 assists for the Laux is the most by 16 ahead of Mordini.

Penalty minutes leader to date is Mordini with 161, nine more than Joe Zemanovic and Stanton picked up 132 minutes in the box.

In goal, a trio of stoppers combine to lead in different categories. Sean McCutchin collected the most wins with 27, one more than Nate Heckendorf and four more than Dane Hinz who leads minutes played with 3,146.52, more than 400 more minutes and second ranked Heckendorf.

Hinz also leads with the most losses, at 36, the most shots against with 1,986 and saves with 1,760. Nate Godemann played just 436:45 but they were quality minutes as he posted a record of 7-0-0 and a team best 2.57 Goals Against Average. Best Save Percentage among players with at least 100 minutes was Heckendorf at .895 and his eight shutouts is also a team best.

Hopefully in the next few weeks, I will have a few paragraphs on the Sauk Prairie Eagles and Badger Lightning and then double back for conference winners and records and all-time goals for and against.

Off topic — Tokyo Olympics

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

For most of the past couple years, my own primary focus has been on hockey – whether with the Ducks where I help as part of the management team, or local varsity and youth levels which are the bread and butter for Saukhockey.info.

Most probably don’t know this about me, but I am an Olympics fanatic. Since I was young, I was glued to the television during the Olympics, watching sports that I would normally flip the channel on as if it was for the Stanley Cup.

This summer, I find myself in a position of being able to watch all of the Olympics this summer and by the time it ends in the middle of August, it will practically be hockey season once again. I have already gotten through a warm-up spending time watching US Olympic trials for swimming, track and field and gymnastics in the past few weeks.

I grew up cheering for the Maple Leaf and I still have a place in my heart for Canada but getting a look at the American athletes and the great stories behind so many of them, I am excited to see the ones that earned the right to make the trip next month in Tokyo.

How much of an Olympic nerd have I can become. Well, I can tell you, almost like an expert, the top weightlifters in the world generally come from Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries, if you want to learn from the best cross-country skiers, you should head to Norway, want to learn to be an Olympic archery medalist – make the trip to South Korea. Cycling or Speed Skating – Netherlands…and the list goes on.

The neat thing about the Tokyo games is the schedule is so busy, there are some sports kicking off before the Opening Ceremonies. So if you are antsy for some softball or football (soccer) and you happen to be up at 2 a.m., you are in luck.

That works out great for me as I generally find the Opening Ceremonies mostly boring, way too long and just difficult to sit through.

Softball and football will begin playing their respective pool play games on July 21 and even on the 23rd, archery and rowing will be a great alternative to a bunch of dancers and flag wavers giving you some crazy history of Japan that the announcer must explain.

The craziness of the past year saw the Olympics pushed for a year and because of that, an Olympic fan like myself will get a chance to watch two Olympics in less than 12 months as the Beijing Winter Olympics will begin on February 2.

As a hockey fan, I generally favor the winter games and I don’t consider myself very political, but because of a certain event between Canada and China, I am not in favor of our participation.

But that’s another story.

Jimmy D’s notes — Summer Project for a Stats-nerd

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Closing in on the halfway mark of compiling statistics on all four Sauk County varsity hockey teams, it seems a good time to tease some of what has come together.

Jimmy D’s Notes — Saukhockey.info

RWD was the first to be complete as far as regular season team and game stats and Baraboo/Portage should be done in the next week. Sauk Prairie Eagles and Badger Lightning will follow in July. Then season by season conference standings and post season stats.

The primary purpose of doing these is to have some interesting background information for pre-game and post-game write ups, but here is some of the interesting things I have come up with.

Please note – I owe a great deal of thanks to wisconsinprephockey.net. Simply put, that is my source for information with almost all game sheets available dating back more than a decade. For RWD and Baraboo/Portage, I have compiled stats going back to 2010-11 when the two teams were formed. Before that, all four teams – Reedsburg, Baraboo, Wisconsin Dells/Mauston and Sauk Prairie ran their own teams and for a few seasons Reedsburg and Baraboo were combined.

In 2010-11, the RWD coalition (with Mauston) was formed as was the Baraboo/Portage squad. Sauk Prairie might go back a little further and I believe the Lightning, a marriage of Baraboo and the Freeze, out of Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells was formed around the same time.

Since the RWD squad was formed, it has compiled a record of 152-88-13. The team has posted only three sub-.500 seasons. In 2014-15, the team compiled its most regular season wins with a 19-3-2 record including 16-straight regular season wins, beginning with a three-run sweep at the annual Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic and lasting to the end of the season, the only non-win a 1-1 draw with Baraboo/Portage.

The Cheavers added three more playoff wins to reach the State Championship quarter-finals.

The longest losing skid for the team was four games, on three different occasions.

The surprising thing so far for both RWD and Baraboo/Portage is the number of ties. It would seem rare for a team to play through eight minutes of overtime without settling a draw, but RWD has just three seasons, including 2020-21 without at least one draw.

To the surprise of nobody, the team’s leading scorer through that stretch is Dylan Brown with 67 goals and 97 assists for 164 points in 60 games, an impressive total for a player who missed most of his junior season.

Derek Pawlak is next on the list and the all time leading goal scorer with 70 goals and 122 points in 71 games. One of the originals, Luke Bjorklund is third highest with 57 goals and 112 points despite playing just two seasons and 46 games under the RWD co-op.

Rounding out the top five is a tie between Jordan Bill (49-58 – 107) and Jordan Brown (47-60 –107). 2021 senior Danny Ely (44-58—102) is so far the only other player to top the 100-point plateau.

Jonathan Zobel leads the team in penalty minutes with 134, just four more than Austin Schyvinck and Zach Clisch was two more minors behind.

In goal, Cooper Oakes already owns most of the high marks, with 34 wins, 1,703 shots, 1,538 saves and nine shutouts, including his first game in goal for the Cheavers, a 5-0 goose egg at Wisconsin Rapids Nov. 20, 2018.

Oakes is still chasing, but will catch early in the season, the total minutes, (24:66.05) currently held by Tyler Arneson. Oakes should nab that mark in the second game of the season.

A couple of players with less than two full games of varsity – Logan Sullivan (.952) and Gary Wiles (.938) hold the best save percentage. Among the regulars, Shane Moilanen posted a .930 Save Percentage with three shutouts in 2010-11 and Dylan Stein was .916.

Among the single season highlights in goal was an awesome six-shutout season for Stein in 2016-17.

That’s an example of the stats saukhockey.info will be able to regurgitate through the regular season. Add to that the team’s record against every team it has played in that 11-year stretch and scorers from each game.

Hopefully it adds a little color to the upcoming season.

That’s my excuse for being a stats-nerd.

Eagles and Cheavers square off in Red Line Shootout final

By Jim den Hollander
Publisher/Editor
Saukhockey.info


The Sauk Prairie Eagles and RWD Cheavers both dominated their respective pools, heading for a collision in the championship game at the Middleton Red Line Summer Shootout at Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton.


Both opened the event with a win on Friday (June 18) night then returned Saturday for two more wins and a great bonding experience in a tournament designed to allow for a incoming frehsmen players to get their first taste of varsity hockey.
On Sunday, the rivals met in the championship game won handily by the Eagles (9-1) against an RWD team light on seniors.

Eagles 6 Purple Knights 1


For the second day, the Purple Knights saw a close contest get away from them in the final period.


The Eagles fired the first two goals, but the Knights were within one with 2-1 score after both the first and second periods.
Four more unanswered goals in the final 15-minute segment put the game away for the Eagles.
Senior Erik Peterson fired two goals for the winners, senior Nick Mast in on all but one with a goal and four assists.Junior Landon Clary, senior Brandon Mittelstaedt and sophomore Samson Begalske fired the other Sauk Prairie goals and junior Luke Mast chipped in an assist.
The Eagles improved to 2-0 with the win while the Knights fell to 0-2. The Eagles held a 37-14 edge in shots.

Sauk Prairie Eagles (dark jerseys) apply some pressure against the Beloit Memorial Purple Knights.

Cheavers 8 Cardinals ‘White’ 6


That comfortable margin was almost wiped out by the Cards who exploded for four goals in 5:50 to suddenly trim the cushion to a single goal just 6:01 to play.
A great feed from junior Yevgeny Dedun, finished with a tip from sophomore Trey Lariden restored some breathing room with 86 seconds to play and that was as close as the home side got in this one despite getting an extra attacker on for the final minute.
Along with Lariden’s goal, the Cheavers got three from junior Caden Brandt and two each from junior John Scott and sophomore Brady Baldwin. Sophomore Izak Elder, junior Logan Demars, junior Nate Stando, junior Carsen Brandt and Dedun had assists in the contest.
RWD held a 27-26 edge in shots in this one.

Action from RWD Cheavers vs. Middleton High School Cardinals ‘White’

Cheavers 4 Cardinals ‘Red’ 0


Griebe collected a 33-save shutout in this one clinching a spot in the tournament championship game and he was counted on as a first period goal by Logan Demars stood up as the only goal of the contest until the final period.
Demars added another in that period as Carsen Brandt, John Scott and he combined to notch three goals in 3:25 the salt this win away. The result was the closest of round robin contests for the locals who outshot the Middleton High School ‘Cardinal’ club 40-33.

Eagles 8 Stars ‘Blue’ 0


The Eagles also racked up a shutout thanks to a 17-save goose egg effort for William Anderson.
The Eagles built a 4-0 first period lead and added three more in the middle segment.
Nick Mast fired three goals, Hakon Peterson adding two goals and an assist with Luke Mast scoring once and setting up four others. Erik Peterson and Thor Peterson sank the other goals, Erik adding an assist and Samson Begalske also contributed a helper.

Eagles 9 Cheavers 1


It might have been mid-June, but the pace for most of this contest looking like a mid-February contest. The Eagles, opened a 2-0.
Both teams showed off some speed and physical play, typical of a rivalry contest, but in the middle period, the Eagles took over, turning a 2-0 lead into a 6-0 cushion before the second period break.
The Cheavers showed flashes but the toughest part for the RWD squad was Sauk scored a couple of its goals on counterstrikes right after some of the Cheavers’ best chances.


Luke Mast led the Eagles with two goals and four assists, Micah Hanson and Hakon Peterson both added two goals while Nick Mast fired one goal and set up two others. Brody Wolfe and Gunnar Nachreiner collected the other Eagles’ goals, Erik Peterson, Steven Romaker and goaltender Brooks McInerney, who split the work in goal with Kaden Stracke, had single assists.
Caden Brandt fired the lone Cheavers’ goal unassisted, Alex Griebe and Cooper Oakes kept busy between the pipes.

Handshakes after Championship game between Sauk Prairie Eagles and RWD Cheavers.

Red Line Club Tradition


While Middleton High School Cardinals hosted the event and put three teams into the eight-team competition, thanks goes out to the organization’s ‘Red Line Club’ which has run the event for more than 15 summers.
The primary purpose of the tournament is to give freshmen an early shot at creating some chemistry with their new teammates.
The the RWD squad, that bonding included both players and parents with a Tailgate event in the parking lot helped kill the time between games on Saturday.

Cheavers, Eagles Get Winning Start At Middleton Tourney

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The regular season is almost six months away, but its safe to say both the Sauk Prairie Eagles and RWD Cheavers will have the bar set high when the new Badger West Division kicks off its 2021-22 season.

Both teams took advantage of a mid-summer opportunity to hit the ice, taking part in the 10th Annual Red Line Summer Shootout at Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton.

The eight-taem event is a low key bonding opportunity hosted by the Middleton Cardinals. The Cheavers and Eagles were two of three single-entry teams taking part, the other being the Beloit Memorial Purple Knights. Meanwhile, the host Cardinals have three teams taking part and the other two represent the Brookfield Stars.

The tournament opener Friday (June 18) afternoon featured the Eagles against the Middleton High School ‘Cardinal’ team with the Eagles rolling to a 9-3 win in their Cardinal Division match. The other Cardinal Division contest saw Brookfield ‘Blue’ getting the Purple Knights 6-2.

The Cheavers rounded out the opening day of action with an 8-3 win against Brookfield ‘White’, following an earlier game that saw MHS ‘Red’ capturing a 5-3 win against MHS ‘White’.

Eagles 9 MHS ‘Cardinal’ 3

Eagles fired a pair of unanswered first period goals and both team notched a pair in the middle frame. After the second period flood, the Eagles returned with some fire, posting a 5-1 margin through the final 15-minutes.

Seniors Hakon Peterson and Nick Mast both scored twice, Peterson adding three assists to lead the Eagles. Sophomore Karsyn Banta added a goal and assist with other goals fired by sophomore Samson Begalske, junior Luke Mast, senior Micah Hanson and sophomore Steven Romaker.

Senior Brody Wolfe, sophomore Thor Peterson and freshman Connor Grant collected an assist each. Goaltending chores were shared by juniors Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInenerny who combined to stop 15 of 18 Middleton shots.

Sophomore Carter Walby scored twice for Middleton, Alex Moreau, also a sophomore, fired the other. Senior Connor Faucher and freshman Heuer Stutz shared the work in goal for Middleton, handling 30 of 39 Eagles’ chances.

Cheavers 8 Brookfield ‘White’ 3

RWD all but settled this game in the opening four minutes, jumping into a 3-0 lead and up 4-0 by the end of the first period. Cheavers added two more before the Stars finally hit the board in the second half of the middle period.

Sophomore Brady Baldwin paced the Cheavers with a three-goal game and sophomore defenseman Izak Elder added two goals and an assist. Juniors John Scott and Yevgeny Dedun and freshman Bryan Mammos fired the other RWD goals.

Junior Caden Brandt and sophomore Trey Lariden both collected a pair of assists with singles for junior defender Nate Stando and freshman Kaden Uminski.

Freshman goaltender Alexander Griebe made a solid debut with 27 saves and the win while RWD fired 36 shots the other way.

The Tournament continues on Saturday with the Eagles on the ice early, a 7:50 a.m. start against Beloit and a 4:30 p.m. match against Brookfield ‘Blue.’

The Cheavers will take on MHS ‘White’ in a 9:30 a.m. contest and MHS ‘Red’ at 2:50 p.m.

Pool results will decide opponents for four final games on Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. and wrapping up with the final at 11:20 a.m.