Phillips’ hat trick leads 14U WEHL squad to win

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) 14U SouthCentral Girls team wrapped up its 12-game regular season splitting a pair of games against the NorthEast/NorthCentral squad at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.  

After winning a wild offensive battle 7-4 to start the two-game set Sunday morning, the SouthCentral team had trouble finding the mesh the second one, dropping a 2-1 decision.  

A four-goal flurry for SouthCentral turned a 2-0 deficit into a 4-4 draw by the start of the third and three more unanswered goals in the final frame lifted them to the win.  

Leading the way on offense was Anna Phillips (Black River Falls) with three goals and Julia Purinton (Madison Mavericks) notched a pair. Ella Knapp (Madison Mavericks) collected a goal and two assists, the other goal scored by Shelby King (Wisconsin TNT/Wisconsin Blue Devils AAA). 

Defender Tahni Barger from the Sauk Prarie Flyers/Monkeys and Wildcat Youth Hockey and Payton O’Neill (TNT/Blue Devils)set up a pair of SouthCentral goals with other assists for Phillips, Purinton and Carolina Cutrano (Mavericks). 

The second game was the opposite as SouthCentral opened the scoring early in the second period as Knapp set up Purinton’s third of the day, but this time the visitors struck back with a trying goal early in the third and a game winner with 6:20 to go. 

Also in the lineup for SouthCentral in this one and for the entire season was Sarah Hash from the Sauk Prairie Flyers/Monkeys and Wisconsin Jr. Stars along with Paige Othmer (RWD/Badger Lightning/Blue Devils) on defense and forward Reese Olson from Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds/Badger Lightning/Blue Devils AAA. 

A goal Celebration from earlier this season. SouthCentral had plenty to celebrate in the first game, but had troubles on offense in the getaway game against NorthEast/NorthCentral on Sunday at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.

The split in the final series leaves SouthCentral with a 3-6-3 record in WEHL contests and a 7-6-3 record overall.  

The four teams from the 14U Division will compete in the championship tournament this weekend at Blue Line Family Ice Center in Fond du Lac.  

SouthCentral will face off against SouthEast in its first game Saturday at 9:45 a.m. In its previous four meetings with SouthEast, the local side owned a 1-2-1 record, but they haven’t faced each other in over a month. 

Second game at 6:30 p.m. Saturday will see the local squad taking on the Western team which it has yet to defeat, tying once and dropping the other three. 

On Sunday at 11:45 a.m. SouthCentral will wrap it up against NorthEast/NorthCentral who they hold a 2-1-1 record against this season. 

Local youth hockey teams named

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info.

All three of the Sauk County Youth Hockey organizations have announced players on at least a few of their teams.

The Sauk Prairie Flyers and Sauk Prairie Monkeys will have a total of 13 teams at the compertitive levels — two each at the Squirt, Peewee and Bantam levels for the Flyers as well as the 10U and 14U levels for the Monkeys. The Monkeys will boast an amazing three teams at the 12U level.

There are also 39 players registered at the 8U (Mite) level cross-ice programs and another 44 are signed up at the 6U Beginner levels

For more information on the rosters of the various Sauk Prairie teams for the upcoming seasons, visit the organization’s website at https://www.saukprairiehockey.com/ and look under the Teams tabs.

RWD has named both its Bantam and Mite Rosters and with final tryouts at the Squirt and Peewee level taking place late last week, the two teams at each level will also be named in the next day or so as well.

This week, the Squirts and Peewees have pre-season schedules practice with regular schedules next week and season openers as early as the Oct. 29-31 weekend.

For more information on the RWD teams, check out the organizations website https://www.rwdhockey.com/ and visit the team or ice schedule links.

The Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds Youth Hockey organization has printed rosters of its competitive teams at the Squirt, Peewee and Bantam levels as well as the 14U Badger Lightning squad.

For more on the Thunderbirds and Badger Lightning visit the organization’s website at https://www.thunderbirdyouthhockey.com/.

Three point game for Olson in WEHL meeting

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The SouthCentral 14U Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) team saw its longest undefeated string of the season end after seven games but also saw some improvement over early matches against the Western squad in a pair of games at the United Civic Center Ice Arena in Baldwin. 

After scoring the first two and final two goals in a 4-4 draw to extend its streak in the opening match despite being outshot, the Western side rallied back from an early deficit again in the second match, this time extending it to a 3-1 final.  

The same two teams met in Verona at the end of August, Western handing the South Central squad 3-1 and 6-0 defeats.  

Reese Olson from Baraboo (Badger Lightning/Blue Devils AAA) played a big role in the first contest, shaking off some physical play to score the first two SouthCentral goals and she also set up Leah Grudzinski (Wisconsin Mavericks) to get the team within one later in the contest. 

Reese Olson slams the puck home past the Western goaltender in the first of two games at Baldwin Sunday with teammate Maizy Fonseca ready for a rebound.

Other Sauk County representation on the team includes defenders Tahni Barger (Sauk Monkeys, Wildcat Youth Hockey/Sauk Flyers); Sarah Hash (Sauk Flyers/Sauk Monkeys/Wisconsin Jr. Stars) and Paige Othmer (RWD Cheavers/Badger Lightning/Blue Devils AAA).

Anna Phillips (Black River Falls) scored the equalizer for SouthCentral in the third period to complete the comeback. 

Leah Grudzinski celebrates her goal for the SouthCentral squad with Abby Hollfelder.

Outshot again in the second contest, SouthCentral kept the game scoreless until Caroline Cutrano (Madison Mavericks) found the net to put SouthCentral in front again. A shorthanded goal pulled the Western side even and that shifted the momentum back to Western who fired two more unanswered goals to wrap up the win. 

The weekend results dropped SouthCentral to 2-5-3 in league play and 6-5-3 overall. The Regional squad will enjoy a week off this weekend, then return to the Lake Delton Ice Arena October 24 for a pair of matches against the NorthCentral/NorthEast team. 

Paige Othmer of the SouthCentral (red jersey) squad takes away a scoring opportunity for a player from the Western team during the first of their two games in Baldwin Sunday.
Reese Olson (forward by boards, Tahni Barger (15) and Sarah Hash are in position for a faceoff just outside the Western blue line during their second game in Baldwin Sunday.
This board meeting was part of the physical contests between the SouthCentral (red) and Western (blue) WEHL teams played in Baldwin on Sunday. SouthCentral players in the scrum including Sarah Hash (11), Ella Knapp (17) and Payton O’Neill (2).

Ruhland, Begalske help WEHL team earn split in Delton

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

A pair of Badger Lightning varsity players, got the shorter drive with their Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) team this past weekend.  

Elroy’s Mallory Ruhland and Signe Begalske from Sauk Prairie have been playing with the League’s South Central team this season. After practicing at the Lake Delton Ice Arena earlier in the season, the team played host to a pair of games Sunday against the NorthCentral/Northeast squad. 

Both games were close heading to the final period, the Northeast/NorthCentral team up 1-0 in the first contest but returning from the second intermission with four more unanswered goals and a 5-0 win. The second game was much closer, a late second period goal for SouthCentral sending them to the third period even at 1-1 and a goal with just over five minutes to play lifted the team to a 3-2 win. Ruhland collected an assist on the game winner.  

Standout goaltending played a big part in the win for SouthCentral as they captured the ‘W’ despite a lopsided 44-14 edge in shots for the visiting side.  

The split was the third straight for the SouthCentral team who also played had a loss and win Sept. 19 against the same team at Greeheck Fieldhouse in Schofield after playing SouthEast to a split as well in Beaver Dam August 22.  

Next up for the SouthCentral team is a practice in Oregon Wednesday and they will step away from league play this coming weekend, playing at the HPC Showcase in Bolingbrook, IL. 

The team will practice in Lake Delton one more time, on Nov. 3. 

Mallory Ruhland (left) and Signe Begalske

WEHL South Central 18U at Lake Delton Sunday

The Wisconsin Elite Hockey League Girls 14U team has been using the Lake Delton Ice Arena as a home base but several other local girls will get a chance to play a true home game in Lake Delton Sunday.

The 18U SouthCentral squad has held a practice or two in the local rink, but on Sunday the team, which includes Signe Begalske and Mallory Ruhland, teammates on the Badger Lightning varsity team and Katelyn Allen who has played for the Sauk Prairie Flyers, Sauk Prairie Monkeys and Badger Lightning.

The team will hit the ice on Sunday (October 3) for a pair of games against the NorthCentral/Northeast 18U squad, playing at 10 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. on an otherwise quiet day at the local rink.

A long day on the ice could continue as the Badger Lightning will be holding a Captain’s Practice at the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) at 8 p.m.

This marks the second weekend the Lake Delton Ice Arena will hold some high level events at the local rink. Last weekend, the barn was the host of a four-team Minor (2010) Peewee AAA event which included the Madison Capitols, Green Bay Gamblers, Chicago Fury and St. Louis Jr. Blues. While they played a round robin event both Saturday and Sunday, the Major Peewees (’09) also held a game Saturday afternoon with the Capitols and Gamblers tangling.

14U SouthCentral WEHL finds return match tougher

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Photos Courtesy Jessica Othmer

After collecting a pair of shutout wins at the Lake Delton Ice Arena the previous weekend against SouthEast, the South Central 14u Girls Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) team found it a little more difficult in Ozaukee this past weekend.  

The tension from the previous weekend as the third and fourth consecutive meetings of the season saw some more physical matches in this hardfought rivalry. The SouthEast team found a way to the net in the opener, battling South Central for a 2-2 draw, then finally collecting a win with a 3-1 edge in the second contest.  

South Central 2 SouthEast 2 

Both teams led once in the first game but neither held the position for long. After a scoreless opening period, it was South Central on the board first board first with a goal by Tahni Barger from the Sauk Prairie Monkeys/Sauk Prairie Flyers with set ups for Carolina Cutrano and Abby Hollfelder, both Madison Mavericks. 

Tahni Barger (right) and a 14U WEHL South Central teammate celebrate her goal to open the scoring at Ozaukee

That goal came with 4:43 to play in the middle period but teams were even 43 seconds later on a goal by Aly Schuster (Milwaukee Jr. Admirals/WCYHA/Them Girls). 

Southeast led for the first time in three contests early in the third period on a goal by Josee Busse (Reedsville) but this time South Central battled back after trailing just 35 seconds with a goal from Brynn Brinkmeier (Madison Mavericks/Wisconsin Jr. Stars) and help from Maizy Fonseca (Monroe) and Samara Collins (Coulee Region Stars/AAA Blue Devils/River Valley Fuse). 

Brynn Brinkmeier (red jersey) slams home the tying goal against SouthEast in the first of two games at Ozaukee on Sunday

SouthEast 3 South Central 1 

The host team finally pulled out a win in the second game, a pair of unanswered first period goals standing up as the difference in the contest. 

Brinkmeier scored the lone South-Central goal early in the final period from Olivia Dull (Waunakee), but Sydney Bertolino (Ozaukee Youth Hockey) scored her second of the game with 4:10 to go to restore the two-goal margin and clinch the win.  

Brinkmeier’s second of the day had South Central within a goal in the second contest, but the host SouthEast squad added a late one to clinch the win.

Busse fired the other SouthEast WEHL goal. 

The weekend results dropped the South-Central team to 2-3-1 in league play. The squad will take a break from WEHL league play and instead head to Darien, IL near the Windy City to take part in the Wheels of Fire Tournament, a massive event with several divisions of boys’ and girls’ teams.  

Baraboo’s Reese Olson gets a chance in close for South Central in one of two games played against SouthEast in Ozaukee on Sunday.
Reedsburg’s Paige Othmer (right) keeps an eye on a SouthEast player on defense with Leah Grudzinski (Madison Mavericks) coming on to help out in 14U WEHL action in Ozaukee Sunday.
Teammates on the 14U South Central WEHL team and Sauk Prairie Monkeys and Sauk Prairie Flyers, Tahni Bager (15) and Sarah Hash work together to clear their zone during their two game series Sunday in Ozaukee.

Thunderbirds youth skaters hit the ice Wednesday in Lake Delton

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Tuesday (Sept. 15) was a busy day for Thunderbirds Youth Hockey with a third and final equipment fitting and handout held at Pierce Park Pavilion in the afternoon and players hitting the ice for the first time that evening. 

The ice will likely not be in at Pierce Park Pavilion for about another month, but youngsters from the Thunderbirds, which offers hockey for both Baraboo and Portage communities, had an optional early skate at the Lake Delton Ice Arena Wednesday evening. The organization will continue to hold open skates at the Lake Delton rink until the ice goes into the Bararboo arena.  

A pair of Thunderbirds Youth Hockey Skaters — Majel Beckwith (5) and her younger brother, Porter (3) were at the Pierce Park Pavilion with their grandmother, loading their gear bags for the upcoming season. Helping them out is Thunderbirds Board Member Brianna Gooding. Majel will be entering her third season of play this season while Porter is hitting the ice for the first time.

Lightning looking to improve in Badger Conference

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Badger Lightning varsity squad is coming off a season of quality as opposed to quantity.

Clearly a team used to play with a short bench, the Lightning compiled a 6-11 record last season and has shown a marked improvement in each of the most recent seasons and ironically, despite playing with just two lines, the Lightning was at its best in the final period, outscoring opponents 26-12 through the final 17-minutes.

With the entire lineup eligible to return this season and maybe five additions on the horizon, the team has the possibility of making another leap in its progress. It’s never easy as the Lightning plays in likely the toughest conference in the state and faces perennial frontrunners like the Cap City Cougars on a regular basis.

The Lightning has a full 24-game schedule for the upcoming season beginning with a tournament on home ice against teams still to be determined. Below is the tentative schedule for the Lightning with Badger Conference tests in bold.

November 26-27 – Home Tournament at Pierce Park Pavilion (two games)

Dec. 3 – vs. Rock County Fury @ Monroe SLICE 7 p.m.

Dec. 4 – vs. Wisconsin Valley Union @ Pierce Park Pavilion 6 p.m.

Dec. 6 – vs. Cap City Cougars @ Waunakee Ice Pond 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 10 – vs. Metro Lynx @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Dec. 13 – vs. Viroqua Blackhawks @ Viroqua Community Arena 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 17 —  vs. Beaver Dam Golden Beavers @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Dec. 21 – vs. Icebergs @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Jan. 4, 2022 – vs. Onalaska Hilltoppers @ Onalaska Omni 5 p.m.

Jan. 6 – vs. Medford Raiders @ Simek Recreation Center TBA

Jan. 7 – vs. Rock County Fury @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Jan. 11 – vs. Cap City Cougars @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Jan. 13 or 14 – vs. Metro Lynx @ Capitol Ice TBA

Jan. 15 – vs. Brookfield Glacier @ The Ponds of Brookfield 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18 – vs. Medford Raiders @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Jan. 25 – vs. Viroqua Blackhawks @ SPARC 7 p.m.

Jan. 27 – vs. Beaver Dam Golden Beavers @ Beaver Dam Family Ice Center TBA

Jan. 28-29 — @ Beaver Dam Tournament – 2 games TBA

Feb. 1 – vs. Warbirds @ Blue Line Family Ice Center (Fond du Lac) 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 4 – vs. Icebergs @ Mandt Community Center (Stoughton) 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 8 – vs. Onalaska Hilltoppers @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Feb. 11 – vs Black River Falls Tigers @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Locals star on WEHL 14U South-Central squad

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) South-Central 14U team paid a visit to Lake Delton Thursday night for a practice session at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.

That worked out well for some locals – Paige Othmer from the RWD Youth Hockey and Badger Lightning and a resident of Reedsburg; Baraboo’s Reese Olson who also did double time last season with the Baraboo T-Birds and Badger Lightning and DeForest native Tahni Barger, a regular with the Sauk Monkeys and Sauk Flyers. Also on the team is Sarah Hash, another member of the Sauk Monkeys and Sauk Flyers who was unable to attend the practice.

Pictured from left are: Tahni Barger, Reese Olson and Paige Othmer — Sauk County hockey players who are playing with the Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) 14U Girls Hockey team. Missing from the photo is Sarah Hash. The South Central team will practice at the Lake Delton Ice Arena almost every Wednesday during the ‘Before’ season and plays a few home games there as well, starting Sunday.

All four will likely be back at the Lake Delton Ice Arena as the South-Central squad will take on the SouthEast WEHL team in a pair of games, starting at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The team will practice locally every Wednesday for the next few months and has home games in town again Oct. 24.

RWD kicks off captain’s practices

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

With Labor Day in the rearview mirror, the Lake Delton Ice Arena is becoming busier every day.

The Dells Ducks enjoyed a week as the sole tenant for the barn (with a few exceptions) but beginning Tuesday with the RWD varsity hockey team coming in for an evening skate under the supervision of Ducks’ Head Coach Shaun Falzone, things are picking up.

On Wednesday (Sept. 8), the U14 Girls South-Central WEHL team will be among three hitting the rink for a regional practice. Included on the team are local players Tahni Barger, a Deforest native who played last season for the Sauk Monkeys and Sauk Flyers; Reese Olson, a member of the Badger Lightning last season; Sarah Hash who split time between the Sauk Prairie Flyers bantams and the Sauk Prairie Monkeys and Paige Othmer, a member of both the Badger Lightning and RWD peewees.

The same team will be at the Lake Delton Ice Arena Sunday for a pair of games at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. against the South-East squad.

On Thursday night, the RWD youth hockey program will hold its first in person registration period with equipment fitting and distribution as well.

Check here for more information on activity at all three Sauk County arenas as the season progresses.