By Jim den Hollander
One Sauk County team was destined to fall on the opening night of the WIAA postseason with fifth seeded Sauk Prairie Eagles hosting the 12th seeded Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds on Tuesday (Feb. 14).
The Eagles prevailed at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) by an 8-1 score and pounding the Thunderbirds cage with 70 shots.
Burke Schweda was, as usual, the busiest player on the ice, kicking an awesome 62 shots but at the opposite end of the ice was Luke Mast, one of the top offensive players in the state this season.
Mast, a senior, played a part in all eight Eagles’ goals, scoring one and helping out on the other seven.
Four of those goals came from junior Colin Harrington who also added an assist while freshman Landon Froese notched a hat trick and set ups on three others. Sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner and freshman Josh Mast collected an assist apiece as well.
Kaden Stracke stopped all but one of the 14 shots he faced to collect the win in goal.
Senior Peyton Sloan fired the final Thunderbirds’ goal of the campaign on a feed from sophomore Colin Mattson.
This was likely the final game for the Thunderbirds for a while as there are discussions underway of the team merging with another program for the 2023/24 campaign. The Thunderbirds wrapped up 2022/23 with a 4-21 record
The Eagles advanced to the Sectional quarter-finals, scheduled to play the fourth seeded Madison Memorial Spartans at Madison Ice Arena Thursday night.
Spartans earned its spot in the quarters with a 9-0 win against DeForest Norskies on Tuesday night.
The Eagles and Spartans met at the Holiday tournament Dec. 30 and played to a 2-2 draw.