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.

Busy post-Thanksgiving weekend for area youth teams

A combination of Thanksgiving and hunting season slowed down youth hockey a bit in the past couple weeks, but entering December, teams are just a month away from Regional seedings and of course the holiday tournaments.

Throw in the Ducks and a full slate of varsity contests and there is plenty of action over the upcoming weekend.

 

Dells Ducks

The Ducks hit the ice right after Labor Day and the only let up was a forced one back in October. After playing right through the holiday weekend, the Ducks played a Thursday morning contest at the Lake Delton Ice Arena, falling to 0-21-0-0 on the season with a 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Steele County Blades.

The traditional weekend dates are dark this time around, but the Ducks will be on the ice Sunday at 5:30 p.m. and Monday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. to play the Northern Colorado Junior Eagles from the new Mountain Division.

The Eagles have a 13-3-1 record and sit second in the division standings behind only the Pueblo Bulls who have played seven more matches.

 

Varsity hockey

The opening week of WIAA varsity hockey enters its first weekend with a couple Sauk County teams in action.

The RWD Cheavers will be entering the third game of the season and the first road test when its heads to Fond du Lac to take on St. Mary’s Springs Ledgers the defending Division 2 State Champion with a large number of returning players with a high noon faceoff.

The Badger Lightning who opened their own regular season Thursday will be on home ice at Pierce Park Pavilion at 4 p.m.

Baraboo Thunderbirds have a weekend off and the Sauk Prairie Eagles will not drop the puck on its regular season until Tuesday.

 

Youth Hockey

Bantam

Both the Baraboo T-Birds and Sauk Prairie Flyers Bantam ‘B’ team will host Waunakee ‘C’ on Saturday, starting at Pierce Park against the T-Birds at 2 p.m. and followed up at 6 p.m. at SPARC against the Bantam ‘B’ Flyers.

Bantam ‘A’ Flyers have a weekend off.

RWD Cheavers are scheduled to play in a Black River Falls tournament this weekend beginning early Saturday with a game against the Southeastern Hockey Association of Wisconsin (SHAW) Timberwolves at 8 a.m. The rest of the tournament is TBA.

 

U-14

The U-14 Monkeys have a busy four-game weekend scheduled, all at SPARC. The Central Wisconsin Storm will be in town Saturday for a pair of games, scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and on Sunday it will be the Viroqua Thunder paying a visit with faceoffs at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The Badger Lightning will also be home for a pair Saturday, taking on the Mavericks at Pierce Park with faceoffs at 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

Peewee

Sauk Prairie ‘B’ Flyers will be on home ice Saturday, taking on Waunakee C1 Red Wildcats in a 9:45 a.m. contest, then facing off against Viroqua ‘B’ at 1 p.m. On Sunday, the Sauk ‘B’s will head to Baraboo for a 10 a.m. contest against the Peewee T-Birds.
The ‘A’ Flyers have a three-game homestand at SPARC with the Waunakee ‘B’ squad in town Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and a pair of games against Black River Falls Tigers at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday.

RWD will see eight games for the peewees as the Peewee ‘A’ team hosts Black River Falls at 2:45 and 5:30 p.m. Saturday, then entertains Onalaska ‘B’ Tornado in games at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The ‘B’ Cheavers will face off against Tomah/Sparta at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, then returns for a 7 p.m. contest against Sun Prairie ‘C2’. On Sunday Viroqua will pay a visit for a 10:15 a.m. start with a rematch against Sun Prairie ‘C20 at 3 p.m.

U-12

The Sauk Prairie U-12 ‘A’ Monkeys will be at a tournament in Appleton on the weekend, beginning with a Friday night match against Wisconsin Valley Union Junior Eagles at 6:45 p.m. with the rest still TBA.

The U-12 ‘B’ Monkeys will also be on the road, playing two at Cornerstone Community Center in Ashwaubenon against the Green Bay Bobcats. The same two teams squared off the previous weekend, splitting a pair of games at SPARC.

Squirt

The RWD Squirt ‘A’ squad will kick off its weekend with a home game against Sauk Prairie Flyers ‘A’ at RACA at noon Saturday and makes the trek to Viroqua for a 2:30 p.m. start on Sunday.

The RWD ‘B’ Squirts will take on Waunakee C2 Yellow at 4:15 p.m. Saturday at RACA and will join their brothers in Viroqua Sunday with a 12:45 p.m. faceoff.

Sauk Prairie Squirt ‘B’ Flyers have just one game, a 7:45 a.m. start Saturday at SPARC against Waunakee C1.

 

After its game in Reedsburg Saturday, the Squirt ‘A’ Flyers will stay on the road, and play a second game at Onalaska, starting at 7:30 a.m. against the host Onalaska Tornado ‘A’ Squirts

The T-Birds Squirts are out of action until Dec. 12.

U10

The Sauk Prairie U-10 Monkeys will also take part in an Appleton tournament, starting Saturday at 9:15 a.m. against the Green Bay U10 Bobcats. The rest of the event is TBA.

Jimmy D’s Notes — Rising from slumber and on with the season

By Jim den Hollander

Publisher/Editor

Saukhockey.info

I thought 2020 was a dreadfully tough year and couldn’t possibly get worse. October spiked the graph to some newly discovered high points though.

After months of mostly hearing and reading about a condition that seemed mostly far away, it was suddenly on my doorstep and banging to get in. It appears I personally staved it off for now, but it is at least a little scary when you know people who have been struck, no matter how minor the affliction.

Its not like I was so busy battling that I couldn’t add anything, but I think I might have gone through a bit of a hockey depression. However, the good news is I am back now and raring to go again…just in time.

The season is now upon us at every level. The ice is either in, or going in, at all four Sauk County facilities (Lake Delton Ice Arena, Reedsburg Area Community Arena, Pierce Park Pavillion and Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center). The junior team, after a rough start on and off the ice, is ready to get on with the season, the four Sauk County varsity hockey teams are in captains practices and now the local youth outfits are also hitting the ice.

A little further behind are the five locals looking to start their respective NCAA Tier 3 campaigns — freshmen Kaylee Engel at Northland Lumberjills; Jordan O’Connor at UW-River Falls Falcons and Mike Lennon, Assistant Coach of the Northland Lumberjacks from the WIAC Conference along with freshmen Julianna Teske with the Augsburg Auggies and Sebastian Frank of Gustavus Adolphus Gusties — both in the MIAC Conference. Both NCAA Tier 3 Colleges announced recently they have delayed the start of their respective seasons until January.

There are a number of Dells Ducks graduates who will also be entering College seasons and at least five have already kicked off their respective seasons on European professional teams.

Most teams have yet to release updated schedules but check here for details on the local hockey scene and the locals playing abroad.

Back from my brief hiatus, it is on with the show now. The regular season awaits.

Awesome off-season storylines for every team in Sauk County

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

It has been a weird summer for a hockey fan.

While I have always considered that stretch between April and September as the ‘off-season’ with little to no hockey activity, I was surprised to find its actually not hard to miss the game, even when the ice is out of most arenas.

This summer in particular has been rough, as the 2020-21 hockey season becomes more highly anticipated by the minute.

Many youth players extend their season, trying out for area teams of all competition levels and for coaches and scouts of junior hockey teams is generally almost as hectic as the regular season with Showcase style weekends planned across the country as they work toward putting the next season’s team together.

It might be a little tougher this season for some junior teams with the absence of the weekly events, but the Ducks are in good shape with a solid number of returners and a core group brought by the new coaches – Shaun Falzone, Anthony Rohde and Brian Guevara – from the Dallas area.

The excitement of the local High School coaches is contagious – RWD varsity Head Coach Neil Mattson is definitely a glass half-full personality. If you see him in June or July of any off season, he will beam while telling you how good the upcoming RWD team will be. How can you not look forward to the season after speaking with him?

I have not head nearly as many interactions with Baraboo/Portage Head Coach, David Clark, but he also seems supremely confident in the ability of his charges and they definitely play their best for him. Sauk Prairie Eagles Head Coach David Lohrei is coming off a season featuring likely the greatest graduating class in the team’s history, led by Riley Jelinek who topped the state in scoring.

There were several other seniors that got the team to the Sectional semis and while there will no doubt be a bit of a drop off, the future bodes well as last season’s bantam Flyers enjoyed a strong season, wrapping up at the State Championship tournament.

The Badger Lightning won just a few games last season, but it was a bounce back season. Head Coach Rick Capener will miss his six graduating seniors but he also will benefit from a solid group of players who played prominent roles on their respective Badger Lightning youth teams. It might take a while, but help is definitely on its way.

In the Youth leagues, the rivalry should intensify with the dissolving of the South Central Cyclones and the return of Baraboo Youth Hockey and the forming of the RWD Youth organization. That means the RWD vs. Baraboo/Portage matchup that creates so much excitement during the varsity season will no be in effect right down to the Squirt level of play.

All of this hockey talk has this reporter getting anxious to stand at the glass once again.

We are a week from June and that will bring some action on the ice at various locations.

Stay tuned.

Ducks to honor state youth qualifiers at season finale

The Dells Ducks will wrap up its United States Premier Hockey League Premier Midwest-West Division regular season this weekend at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena against the Minnesota Moose.

The Ducks officially clinched the eighth and final playoff spot in the division last weekend and could move to seventh with two wins this weekend.

Game time on both nights – Friday and Saturday – is 7 p.m.

The regular season finale has some special attractions, highlighted by the local junior team honoring the team South Central Cyclones teams that have earned berths at their respective state tournaments.

The Squirt B Cyclones will be one of eight teams competing in the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA) 10U (Squirt) 2B Championship tournament at Menomonie March 7-8 and the 12U Badger Lightning girls will not only be attending, but hosting, the WAHA 12U B State Championship Tournament at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) March 14-15.

Also, on Saturday, anyone who attends a Public Skating session at the Poppy (see lakedeltonice.com for information on cost) from 4-6 p.m. will be granted free admission to the game that follows. This will also be the final chance this season to skate with the Ducks after the game, a tradition that goes back to the team’s first season.

Playoffs will begin the following weekend and Ducks will be on the road.