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.

Jimmy D’s notes — June plans

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

June 1 is probably about as far from the hockey seaon that you can get in Sauk County.

If local arenas are being used at all it is for indoor activities, likely related to fairs and carnivals…at least in Reedsburg.

For Saukhockey.info, hockey will still be included with a couple projects and some looks back.

Over the past month and with the great assistance of statistics kept on wisconsinprephockey.net, I have begun compiling some all time statistics.

I wrapped up the first part for RWD — tracing results from every game and compiling points and penalty minutes for every player that suited up for the Cheavers, since the start of the Reedsburg-Wisconsin Dells-Mauston Co-operative effort in 2010-11.

Currently I am working on the same for Baraboo/Portage and over the month I will continue with the Sauk Prairie Eagles and Badger Lightning.

I have something similar for the Dells Ducks, but need to add the 2020-21 stats to it. I will do a brief look at the overall stats when I complete each team, but the primary purpose of this is background information which will come in handy everytime RWD, Baraboo/Portage or Sauk Prairie Eagles come up against each other.

I am going to go back and do conference histories and Playoff histories for each team over the course of the summer.

The RWD hockey team has some summertime activity planned including something next weekend which will keep them in the headlines. I am trying to find out more about the other teams as well.

Also, I want to go back and do season reviews on each team as well as the junior Ducks and also take a look a the short freshman college seasons for Jordan O’Connor, goaltender at UW-Superior Yellow Jackets and Kaylee Engel from the Northland College Lumberjills in the WIAC along with Julianna Teske of the Augsburg Auggies in the MIAC.

I have been wanting to do either a weekly video show or podcast and plan to set it up with something once a month or more frequently if I have material, in the off season months and then weekly starting in September.

Other stories will surely come up each week during the summer months. If anyone knows of something coming up related to hockey, I would be glad to include coverage of it. I can be reached a jim@dellsduckshockey.com or text 608-393-2876.

Also, still looking for someone that might be interested in helping with this website/facebook page and a possible partnership. I would really like to find someone that is adept, or at least interested in advertising and hopefully, website design.

More stories will be rolling out soon.

 

Sauk players busy as off season teams start up

By Jim den Hollander
Editor/Publisher
Saukhockey.info
It is surprising how long the hockey season is, even at the local level.
This has been a crazy couple years for everything and as hockey fans, we have gone from not being able to watch our heroes on television to seasons ending at crazy times. We should be halfway through the opening round of the opening round of the post season – at least in a normal year we would be. Instead, we are about a month from the start of a post season that will carry us into July.
If the 2021-22 regular season begins on a normal schedule, the teams playing in the Stanley Cup will have 5-6 weeks off before returning for training camps for what will be another long season with a break in February 2022 for the Winter Olympics which NHL players will be participating in.
Locally, the final event was Ice Wars, a unique event at Lake Delton Ice Arena that brought together players from across the Midwest as well as a solid contingent of locals.
Aaron Kirby, owner of Lake Delton Ice was the organizer of the event that saw individuals at the squirt and peewee level signing up. However, several others have continued playing, with the Blue Devils AAA squad, out of Tomah, the Wisconsin Junior Stars out of the Madison area and the Janesville Jr. Jets.
Local players also played in the peewee Kohlman Cup tournaments recently, representing WAHA Region 4.
Articles on all of these events will appear in this space over the next few week as well as updates on the Dells Ducks junior hockey team, and some looks back at the 2020-21 varsity seasons for RWD, Baraboo/Portage, Sauk Prairie Eagles and the Badger Lightning, as well as a look back on the college seasons for local players.
Also, a summer of research and compilation will see much more statistical information and points of interest for the varsity and junior teams in the season ahead.
I recently made a connection that should see my varsity stuff get a lot more views and I am excited about that.
This past season I took saukhockey.info to a new level and it became recognized across the county. I am looking forward to the off season allowing me to get set for this fall a more organized and wider blanket coverage on all hockey in Sauk.
I am also dusting off another website/facebook page I had sort of shelved to dedicate more time to Sauk Hockey so it should be a fun summer.

Badger Lightning gets hot at right time

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Badger Lightning varsity hockey team has turned in some solid efforts this season but frequently come away without a win.

That changed on Saturday, for sure the best day of the season so far for the Lightning who put together a pair of impressive wins against the visiting Medford Raiders and Northern Edge out of Rhinelander.

Most impressive was the 7-1 win against Northern Edge, the same team that turned away the Lightning on a Northern road trip 3-2 on December 12.

The Lightning started out the day with an early morning 5-1 decision against the Raiders and in between, the Raiders fell 10-2 to Northern Edge in a round-robin event.

Medford Raiders 1 @ Badger Lightning 5

In the first game, the Lightning built a 2-0 first period margin with goals from junior Signe Begalske and sophomore Mallory Ruhland, the first one unassisted and the other with set ups from sophomores Kayla Capener and Bella Bowden.

Teams played through a scoreless middle segment and Capener padded the lead with a third goal on a feed from junior Carson Blosenski.

Sophomore netminder Kaitlin Elder was beaten just once on 13 shots and that came 4:02 into the final period to get the Raiders within a pair.

Bowden restored the three-goal cushion from Capener and Ruhland less than three minutes later, then added another, from Capener 3:43 from the final buzzer.

The Lightning enjoyed its best offensive outing of the season, peppering the Raiders goaltender with 56 shots.

Northern Edge 1 @ Badger Lightning 7

The wrap up game to decide the unofficial round robin winner turned out to be no contest.

Begalske opened the scoring again with the lone opening period goal, from Capener on a Lightning powerplay.

Bowden’s third of the day was the game winner, 56 seconds into the second period from Begalske and Capener and Ruhland also notched a middle period goal with help from Capener.

Bowden’s second came 3:14 into the third period, from Capener, a couple minutes before the lone Northern Edge shot to beat freshman goaltender Alyssa Gada.

Blosenski, Capener and Begalske rounded out the scoring with assists for Capener and Ruhland.

The Lightning held a 31-26 edge in shots in the contest.

The wins boosted the Lightning’s overall record on the season to 4-10 with one game remaining tonight (Feb. 2) in Black River Falls against the 3-5 Tigers.

Capener has 20 assists on the season so far – fourth best total in the state and her 31 points is sixth best. Bowden’s 15 goals ties here for seventh best total in state and she has 20 points.

 

 

 

 

Lightning hope late season lessons help in playoffs

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Badger Lightning has shown – in stretches – a vast improvement in both offensive and defensive play this season but continue to struggle to find the elusive ‘W’s.

The past three games saw the team dropping a 4-2 decision on home ice against the Warbirds from Fond du Lac on Jan. 19, then hitting the road for a disappointing 3-2 loss against the Brookfield Glacier a team it defeated at Pierce Park Pavilion earlier this season.

Finally, just 24 hours after the opening round WIAA Sectional playoff seeds were announced, the Lightning faced off against the Onalaska Hilltoppers who they will meet on the road Thursday (Feb. 4) in its opening round playoff contest.

Warbirds 4 @ Badger Lightning 2

Once again, the primary damage was done in the opening period as the Warbirds scored twice in 56 seconds near the middle of the period to carry a 2-0 lead into the middle frame. In their earlier meeting a few weeks prior, the Warbirds scored five unanswered first period goals, then held on for a 5-2 win.

The other two Warbirds goals came on clean ice inside of the opening minutes of the second and then third periods.

Freshman goaltender Alyssa Gada played a key role in keeping the Lightning close facing 37 shots in the first two periods and despite an 18-6 edge in the second, the Lightning seemed to grab some momentum in the late minutes, following a goal by sophomore Bella Bowden about halfway through the period.

Junior Signe Begalske and sophomore Kayla Capener assisted on the goal. The Lightning still trailed by a pair entering the third and any thoughts of a comeback were stifled by another early goal for the Warbirds.

Bowden’s second, with Begalske and Capener on the set ups again, came early enough to give the Lightning a chance and they threw all they had at the Warbirds keeper, outshooting its guest 14-11 down the stretch. However, Gada was still the busiest player on the ice, stopping 44 of 48 Warbirds’ shots.

Badger Lightning 2 @ Brookfield Glacier 3

The middle game of the stretch saw the Badgers dominant on the shot clock, but unable to convert that into goals.

Both teams fired seven shots in the opening period and Glacier fired the lone goal of the frame. Despite a massive 18-3 advantage on the shot clock, in the middle period, the whole got a bit deeper for the Lightning with the host Glacier again notching the only goal of the frame.

The door finally got pushed open in the final period for the Lightning who needed just 37 seconds to tie the contest with goals from Capener and Bowden. Both picked up an assist and Mallory Ruhland also helped.

The Glacier snatched the win away and broke Lightning hearts with a goal jut 66 seconds from the final buzzer.

 

Gada kicked out another 17 shots in the contest while the Lightning held a 37-20 edge overall.

 

Onalaska Hilltoppers 4 @ Badger Lightning 1

The Hilltoppers doubled the Lightning in shots 44-22 and held a double-digit to single-digit edge in each period, but the game seemed more even, in the second and third periods. The Lightning at times had the Hilltoppers locked inside their blueline for long stretches but didn’t get many shots on goal out of it.

All but one of the goals came in the opening period, Capener slamming on e home from he slot area with assists for Begalske and junior Carson Blosenski.

The Lightning looked to have something good happen early in the third to get back into it and instead the Hilltoppers notched the game’s final goal in the opening 30 seconds to put a stranglehold on the win.

The loss to Onalaska dropped the Lightning to 2-10 on the season so far.

The Lightning prepares for the much more important rematch with the Hilltoppers at the Omni Center in Onalaska Thursday, with a round-robin event at Pierce Park Saturday (Jan. 30) with games against Medford Mustangs (0-9) who they have not played yet this season at 10 .a.m. and against Northern Edge from Rhinelander at 4 p.m. In an earlier meeting at Rhinelander in December, the host Edge held on for a 3-2 with Bella Bowden out of the Lightning lineup.

On Tuesday, the Lightning will travel to Black River Falls, facing off in its final regular season game against the host Tigers at Milt Lunda Memorial Arena at 7 p.m. That game can be seen on LiveBarn.

Engel, O”Connor and Teske set to start college campaigns

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Three players with local ties are set to  begin their long-anticipated college hockey careers.

The recently released Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Conference (WIAC) Women’s Hockey schedule shows Badger Lightning 2019-20 captain and Reedsburg resident Kaylee Engel, now with the Northland College Lumberjills will face off against Sauk Prairie’s Jordan O’Connor, one of the top-ranked  goaltenders in the WIAA last season who will begin her own college career with UW River Falls Falcons.

Generally, teams would be closing in on the post season by now with seasons getting underway in the fall, but COVID restrictions put in place by WIAC held things up until now.

Meanwhile, in the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Association, the Augsburg Auggies, including Julianna Teske, a former Reedsburg resident who moved back to town with her family recently.

Teske will also be suiting up for the first time in her college career.

Engel captained and led the Badger Lightning in scoring last season with 14 goals and 23 points. In 75 career games with the Lightning over four seasons, Engel notched 29 goals and 55 points.

While the Jills begin the regular season on Feb. 3 at River Falls, the team will also play a pair of exhibition contests beginning Tuesday (Jan. 26) at UW-Superior Yellowjackets and then Friday at home at Bay Area Civic Center in Ashland, also against the Yellowjackets.

O’Connor played every minute of last season for the Sauk Prairie Eagles varsity squad, compiling a record of 19-4-1 in regular season action, then adding two more in the post season, helping the team reach Sectional semi-finals.

Her 19 wins ranked he second in the WIAA through the regular season and her Goals Against Average and Save Percentage also ranked her among the best.

Jordan O’Connor

Her career stats with the Eagles saw her collect 21 wins in 27 starts with a 1.61 GAA. As a sophomore and junior, O’Connor spent time with the Madison Capitols.

O’Connor is one of three goaltenders on the Falcons, and one of two freshmen.

As this is written, there are no pre-season games scheduled for the Falcons.

Teske spend much of her youth career with the Madison Capitols and moved with her family to Warroad, Minnesota for her freshman year of High School.

Over four seasons with the Warroad Warriors, Teske played 99 regular season games, totaling 26 goals and 71 regular season points along with 20 playoff games where she added seven goals and 11 points. She also played on the Minnesota High School Performance Team in 2019-20, collecting three points in five games.

Julianna Teske

The Aggies are scheduled to begin the regular season against Hamline University on Feb. 6 at Tria Rink in St. Paul, Minn., but they will get an early preview Friday (Jan. 29) on home ice against St. Scholastica and then again, the following night in Duluth against the same St. Scholastica Saints. Both games faceoff at 7 p.m. and the Auggies schedule (https://athletics.augsburg.edu/sports/womens-ice-hockey/schedule) includes a link to watch the games live.

Saukhockey.info wants to wish all three college athletes the best of luck in their upcoming season. Hopefully, local female players watch and see the opportunity to play hockey at the college level is reachable by local athletes.

 

WIAA Sectional playoff brackets set

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

All four area schools had at least one game added to their respective schedules Sunday (January 25) with the release of the WIAA Sectional Brackets for this spring.

As expected, Sauk Prairie drew the best seed of the local crew, set at #3 in the group, behind only the Madison Edgewood Crusaders and Verona Wildcats. Those three will draw a first round by along with number four Onalaska and number five Waunakee who will play each other in the Regional finals round.

The RWD Cheavers were granted the sixth seed and will open the post season at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) against the 11th ranked Middleton Cardinals. Winner of this match will advance to play at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) two nights later.

The Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds will also get a first-round home game at Pierce Park Pavilion, also on Feb. 2 and also against the Cardinals…but out of Sun Prairie. Winner of this contest will draw a tough assignment, moving on to play the top seeded Edgewood Crusaders.

For the Badger Lightning, the six-team Sectional pool (Section 3) will begin play on February 4. The Badger Lightning have looked better each time it hits the ice, but unfortunately, that has not converted to wins and as a result, the Lightning, looking for its first playoff victory since 2012 will be placed as the sixth seed, traveling to Onalaska for its opening round contest against the Hilltoppers.

Ironically, the Lightning faces the same team tonight (Jan. 25)  at Pierce Park Pavilion so it will be interesting to see if coaches hold cards close to their chest in this one.

Following is a closer look at the first-round matchups.

 

RWD (10-6) vs. Middleton (0-3-1) – The Cardinals are generally among the favorites in this Section, but have possibly seen players jump to junior or AAA squads this season as the team played just a handful of contests and none at Capitol Ice in Middleton.

The two teams have met twice in the past, the Cardinals capturing a 3-2 win in the first meeting in the Fall of 2017 at Capitol Ice while the Cheavers collected a 2-1 win at RACA in February of 2019.

On paper, this is a tough match for the Cheavers against another opponent accustomed to deep playoff runs, but this year is a strange one and the Cardinals simply haven’t played enough games for a higher ranking.

Last year the Cheavers won its first-round game with a 1-0 shutout against Monroe, then dropped a heartbreaker to Edgewood in the second round, the winning goal in a 2-1 win coming in the final minute of the contest.

Middleton captured a 7-2 first round win against Tomah/Sparta but were ruled ineligible for the second round, Tomah/Sparta getting the spot instead.

Baraboo/Portage (7-10) vs. Sun Prairie (0-1) – The only game registered for the Cardinals this season is a 5-0 loss at Beaver Dam suffered on Saturday. The team is scheduled to play three times this week including twice (tonight, May 25 and Wednesday) at RACA against Waunakee and Middleton respectively.

These teams have never crossed paths, at least in the Baraboo/Portage history which goes back to 2010.

Last season the Thunderbirds drew the same seed and dropped a heartbreaker 3-1 against Madison Memorial at Pierce Park Pavilion while the Cardinals drew a first round bye and defeated Sparta/Tomah in the Regional finals before dropping a 3-2 edge in Sectional semis against Edgewood.

 

Badger Lightning (2-9-0) @ Onalaska Hilltoppers (2-3) — The Lightning faces a tough task entering the post season at the Omni as the team has not won a post season contest since the spring of 2012 and have never beaten the Hilltoppers, going back to the 2011-12 seasons. They have played at least once every season and twice a couple times, Onalaska winning by an average score of 6.72-2.09.

Teams meet tonight (Jan. 25) at Pierce Park Pavilion which will give a preview of what is to come. Lightning have looked better of late, limiting opponets to four goals or less in the past three games, but a tough 3-2 loss on the weekend at Brookfield has be considered a setback as the Lightning beat the same team 5-2 at Pierce Park in the second game of the season.

Lightning closes gap but comes up just short in Viroqua

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

As they boarded the bus for Viroqua on Monday (Jan. 11), the Badger Lightning varsity girls hockey team knew it was in tough. After all, the last meeting, played at Pierce Park Pavilion saw the visiting Blackhawks skating off with an 11-3 win in the season opener on Dec. 3.

So despite absorbing another defeat, the Lightning team and Head Coach Rick Capener had to be somewhat pleased returning home from Viroqua Community Arena having surrendered a 3-1 decision.

The Lightning showed improvement on the stats sheet. After surrendering 41 shots last time, the locals limited the home side to 30 in Viroqua while firing 20 of their own, a couple more than last time.

Teams were past the halfway mark before the host Blackhawks opened the scoring with a goal from Cadence Dehlin.

Kayla Capener responded with the lone Lightning goal – her seventh of the season —  with 91 seconds to play in the middle period but the Hawks went in front again just 25 seconds later as Erin Simonson hit the mesh. Dehlin added another in the third to wrap up the scoring in a much closer contest than the Hawks likely expected.

Freshman Alyssa Gada inched a little close to that elusive .900 Save Percentage plateau with a  27-save contest, leaving her at .892.

The loss dropped the Lightning to 2-7 on the season and they will host the 0-1 Onalaska Hilltoppers Thursday at Pierce Park Pavilion with a 7 p.m. opening faceoff. The Lightning will also be home Tuesday for a rematch against the Warbirds who defeated them 5-2 on Jan. 4.

Kayla Capener tied the game briefly late in the second period.

 

Dismal start dooms Badger Lightning

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Badger Lightning varsity hockey team turned in two solid periods of hockey – perhaps their best of the season so far Monday night (Jan. 4)  at Pierce Park Pavilion but it wasn’t enough to overcome a dismal opening period in a 5-2 loss to the Fond du Lac Warbirds.

The visitors scored on their first two shots and led 3-0 by the end of the third minute on its way to an overwhelming 5-0 first period cushion despite the closest margin of the night on shots – the Warbirds holding a 14-9 edge.

Freshman goaltender Alyssa Gada didn’t have the angle right on the first Warbirds’ goal and was frustrated early on, but made up for it in a huge way, denying the visitors on every one of their 25 chances in the final two periods and giving her teammates a chance to get closer.

At the opposite end, another freshman, Kristi Binder looked unbeatable in the first period, making one stop on a rebound that had the Lightning wondering what it would take.

The only penalty of the night assessed to the Lightning came in the second period and the momentum built from killing that infraction led to the first goal for the home team as sophomore Mallory Ruhland made moves around three Warbids defenders making them look like Maroon colored pylons then snapped a shot to the top left corner from the slot for, easily the sweetest goal of the contest.

The Lightning were outshot 12-7 and 13-5 in the final two periods, but the play seemed more even, and the Lightning made Binder work for the win.

The second goal came 33 seconds from the final buzzer as Lani Selje jammed a rebound home after Binder stopped a shot by junior Lightning defender Carson Blosesnski but left the puck on top of the crease for Selje.

The game was the first of two in 24 hours for the Lightning who host Beaver Dam Golden Beavers Tuesday (Jan. 5).

The Warbirds will be back in two Jan. 19, giving the Lightning a chance at redemption…if they mentally arrive on time for the game.

The loss dropped the Lightning to 1-6 on the season so far with nine games remaining on their schedule which wraps up on Groundhog Day.

Badger Lightning can’t recover from slow start

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

They recovered and put up a more sound fight in their own end, but the opening six minutes doomed the Badger Lightning varsity hockey team to a rough night at the office Wednesday (Dec. 30) turning into a 6-1 defeat against the Lakeshore Lightning at Pierce Park Pavilion.

The visiting team, also a cooperative effort bringing together players from several Southeast Wisconsin schools and based out of West Bend, hit the mesh three times in that opening six minutes, including the opening goal on its first real offensive threat with a nice deke move by Sydney Bartlett leaving her an easy finish.

That goal came in the third minute and the visitors added a couple more in the next three minutes to build a lead the Lightning could not overcome .

The Badger Lightning who had a few games postponed and had not been in game action since its Northern trip Dec. 12 spent much of the opening period becoming reacquainted with each other on the ice with some clear communication issues.

But those problems were brushed aside at the start of the second with a well-executed powerplay that resulted in a goal for Bella Bowden, her sixth in six games so far this season. Help came from linemate Kayla Capener and defender Eryn Benson, playing in her first game of the season. All three are sophomores.

On long passes and attempts to negate icing calls Bowden showed a different gear, shooting past defenders like a dragster on a nitrous burst, she was clearly the fastest player on the ice. Unfortunately though, that was the best and only converted attempt for the Lightning in the contest.

Defensively, the squad looked much more organized in the final two periods and did a good job of limiting its opponent to mostly shots from the outside. Freshman goaltender Alyssa Gada had no chance on the opening three, all from the top of the crease but kicked out chance after chance from the outside. Beaten just three times on the game’s final 30 shots,  she gave her team a chance to make it closer.

The Lakeshore squad piled up three more before the end, one on a nice pass and one-timer  no keeper would have handled and one other from the point through a maze of bodies.

Head Coach Rick Capener (see video interview) was disappointed with the loss, especially since in a previous meeting in West Bend, the home side managed just a 4-1 margin. However, with the layoff and a couple players absent, it was almost like starting a new season.

One bright light though was the play of sophomore defender Benson (see video interview) who collected the earlier assist and set up shop as a blueline quarterback on the powerplay. Benson also moved the puck well through the neutral zone, hooking up the forwards with some nice passes.

This has been a tough season so far for the young Lightning squad which fell to 1-5 and saw its current losing skid extended to four games. But the progress even during these three periods was evident.

After the long break, the Lightning face a busy week ahead beginning Monday (Jan. 4) when they entertain the 2-4 Arrowhead Warhawks at Pierce Park Pavilion followed 24 hours later by a visit from the  0-3 Beaver Dam Golden Beavers. Both games start at 7 p.m.