Sauk players busy as off season teams start up

By Jim den Hollander
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 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.

Bantam T-Birds take three straight

By Jim den Hollander


The Baraboo T-Birds bantams hockey team has put together a three-game winning streak in the past two weekends.

After grabbing a pair of wins – 5-2 and 10-1 on Jan. 23, the Bantam T-Birds hit the road for a game at the Onalaska Omni Center on Saturday, collecting a 4-1 win against the Onalaska/Holmen Tornado.

Flames 2 @ T-Birds 5

In the first game against the Flames, Reese Olson opened the scoring the lone goal of the first period, from Nathan Gneiser and Bodie Thompson early in the period.

The game was all but settled in the middle frame as the home side increased its margin to 4-1, both teams adding one more in the third.

Jordan Beale scored the first goal of the second period, from Jordan Puzek and Gneiser increased the margin less than two minutes later with help from Olson and Colin Mattson. Another for Olson had the T-Birds up 4-0, from Beale and the Flames finally found a way to the Baraboo mesh.

The Flames added another to get within two and Thomas Sarnow wrapped it up with 26 seconds to play on a feed from Thompson.

Josiah Fanning and Brayden Goyett-Fuller split the work in goal for the T-Birds.


Flames 1 @ T-Birds 10

T-Birds grabbed control of the second game with three unanswered first period goals and by the time the third period got underway the home team owned a 7-1 margin.

Beale fired a hat trick to pace the Baraboo attack, Sarnow and Gneiser both added two goals and an assist. Thompson collected a goal and assist with other goals scored by Wade Zemanovic and Olson.

Fanning picked up the win in goal for the T-Birds.


T-Birds 4 @ Tornado 1

On Saturday, the T-Birds used another quick start, this time a 2-0 first period lead, to grab control.

Beale fired both first period goals unassisted and Sarnow collected a goal and assist in the middle period with a goal for Gneiser and another assist going to Mattson.

Goyett-Fuller picked up the win in goal, unbeaten until the opening minute of the final period when the Tornado hit for its only goal of the contest.

The streak boosts the overall record for the T-Birds to 12-8 and the local squad has won six of its past season games.

This weekend the T-Birds are scheduled to play a pair on Saturday against the Fond du Lac Thunder at Pierce Park Pavilion at 9:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., then wrap up a busy weekend at Sparta in a 10 a.m. contest Sunday against the host Spartans.


Peewee T-Birds crush Knights 12-2

By Jim den Hollander


Baraboo T-Birds peewee hockey team enjoyed a 12-2 margin against Beloit Jr. Knights at Pierce Park Pavilion on Jan. 17.

The game was all but settled in the opening period as the T-Birds notched five unanswered goals and by the time teams started the final period, the home side was up 9-1.

Brody Bjorklund enjoyed a huge game for the locals, firing four goals and setting up another four while Peyton Stelzer and Thomas Sarnow both fired hat tricks, Sarnow adding a couple assists.

The other two goals, and two assists came from Dayana Wade with Abel Littlegeorge collecting a helper.

The T-Birds outshot the Knights 55-20.

Third period rally carries Ice Wolves past Bantam T-Birds

By Jim den Hollander


Baraboo T-Birds bantams made the trip to Dodgeville Jan. 17 and dropped a 9-4 decision to the host Ice Wolves at Harris Park Ice Arena.

The Wolves scored two goals, 20-seconds apart just past the halfway mark of the opening period and carried the 2-0 cushion into the middle frame.

T-Birds got on the board with a Jordi Beale marker, set up by Colin Mattson 3:51 from the end of the second. Dodgeville restored the two-goal cushion with under 30 seconds to play in the frame, but Beale notched another with just over 10 ticks on the clock from Nathan Gneiser and Reese Olson.

An avalanche of third period goals included one from Gneiser and the other from Thomas Sarnow with helpers for Beale, Olson and Wyatt Jost.

Brayden Goyett-Fuller turned in a 24-save effort in goal for the T-Birds who fired 34 against the Wolves’ goaltender.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the T-Birds and leaves them at 9-8 on the season so far.

Thunderbirds fall short against Spartans

By Jim den Hollander


It doesn’t seem likely in a game that saw 11 goals, but the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds varsity hockey team ran into a hot goaltender when it really mattered in a 6-5 loss to McFarland Spartans at Pierce Park Pavilion Jan. 12.

Teams traded the lead back and four times, the Spartans scoring in bunches for the most part to take and retake control of the game.

Junior defenseman Luna Larson opened the scoring jut 2:02 into the contest from senior Campbell Koseor and freshman Dylann Carpenter.

The lead lasted just 1:24 as the Spartans struck for its first of three goals in 3:54 to grab control of the match.

Thunderbirds rallied back though as Larson continued his strong game, setting up junior Kyle Poole with 6:08 to play in the contest and adding the tying goal himself, from junior Courtney Dunnett with 1:56 to go, sending teams to the locker room even at 3-3. Junior Oliver Scanlan also picked up an assist.

Dunnett’s goal, from sophomore Luke Schweda and Pool gave the T-Birds another lead 59 seconds into the middle period but the Spartans tied it up just before the three minute mark and teams were once again even at the end of the middle frame.

Two goals in the opening three minutes of the third period gave the Spartans a 6-4 cushion and the Thunderbirds spent the rest of the game throwing all it had at the McFarland team trying to draw even.

Thunderbirds held a narrow 22-21 edge in shots heading to the third, but pounded the McFarland goal with 19 third period shots trying to get back into this game.

Ray Wheaton, in goal for the Spartans denied them until senior Gabe Fitzwilliams found a way past, Larson assisting for his fourth point of the contest. That goal came just 12 seconds from the final buzzer though and didn’t give the Thunderbirds enough time to put together the tying goal.

The loss dropped the Thunderbirds to 5-8 in regular season play.

Beale holds hot stick in weekend wins for Bantam T-Birds

By Jim den Hollander


Baraboo Bantam T-Birds wrapped up a couple wins this past weekend with some solid performances from Jordi Beale at Pierce Park Pavilion

Beale scored twice in each game as the T-Birds rolled over Verona Wildcats by a 6-2 count on Saturday (Jan. 9) then handled West Salem Panthers 7-2 on Sunday.

In the opening contest it was the Wildcats on the board first, but Thomas Sarnow fired a pair of first period goals for the T-Birds to put them up 2-1 before the end of the opening period. Beale set up the first goal and Wade Zemanovic picked up an assist on the other one.

Three unanswered middle period goals settled this one, Bobby Meeker scoring the first 3:58 into the period and others added by Bodie Thompson and Beale in the final 5:02. Sarnow and Nathan Gneiser collected assists.

Beale wrapped up the Baraboo scoring from Meeker early in the third and after opening the scoring, the Wildcats wrapped it up with the game’s final goal with 6:21 to play.

Josiah Fanning started in goal for the T-Birds and allowed just one goal before Brayden Goyett-Fuller came in to wrap up in the third period.

Against the Panthers on Sunday, Sarnow fired an early goal again, from Beale, but the visitors responded just 37 seconds later. Thompson notched another with 95 seconds to go in the period giving the home side a 2-1 lead after a period once again.

Beale fired the game winner, from Sarnow 13 seconds into the second and added another a little more than four minutes later with help from Meeker.

Gneiser added another second period goal with Meeker and Reese Olson collecting third period tallies. Both third period goals came on set ups from Beale and Colin Mattson assisted on Gneiser’s goal.

Fanning played the first period in goal for the T-Birds with Goyett-Fuller taking over in the third.

The wins snapped a two-game skid for the T-Birds and boosted the team’s overall record to 8-7. This weekend, Waunakee ‘B’ Wildcats will be at Pierce Park Pavilion for a game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and the locals will hit the road to Harris Park Ice Arena to meet the Dodgeville Ice Wolves on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

Froese fires two for Flyers in 3-0 over Cheavers

By Jim den Hollander


The RWD bantam Cheavers and Sauk Prairie Flyers ‘A’ bantams gave a preview of a possible Regional meeting next month with their first meeting of the season Dec. 19 at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA).

The Flyers captured a 3-0 shutout win with a goal in each period but the game appeared close enough to see Flyers get the nod as a favorite to get the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA) Region 4 state championship bid, but not with an overwhelming edge.

Of course, Baraboo/Portage T-Birds and Monroe Avalanche bantams will have a say in it as well.

Landon Froese was the key man on the ice in this once scoring the game winner in the first period, adding insurance in the second then setting up Brock Hill for the clinching tally in the final frame.

The Eagles did outshoot the RWD crew 27-9 in the contest though, improving its own record to 7-7 before dropping its next two, at Tomah later the same day and at Monroe the following day.

The Cheavers fell to 13-3 but rubbed away memories of that defeat with a 4-3 win on home ice against Verona ‘B’ Wildcats at RACA the following day.

Both the Flyers and Cheavers have dropped lopsided decisions to Monroe so far this season but it unclear at this time if that is a bantam squad or perhaps a bantam/midget mix.

Below, Landon Froese fires the first and game winning goal against the Cheavers