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).

SouthCentral WEHL squad stays hot in Green Bay

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info  

Coming off a four-win championship weekend at a tournament near Chicago, the South Central 14U team returned to Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) action this weekend in Green Bay. 

The SouthCentral squad which includes defenders Paige Othmer, from the RWD/Badger Lightning/Blue Devils programs, Sarah Hash, from the Sauk Prairie Flyers/Monkeys/Wisconsin Jr. Stars and Tahni Barger from the Sauk Prairie Monkeys/Wildcat Youth Hockey/Sauk Prairie Flyers and forward Reese Olson from the (Baraboo-Portage T-Birds/Badger Lightning/Blue Devils. 

The team made the trip to Green Bay’s Cornerstone Ice Arena to play the NorthCentral/Northeast squad, taking the first game 5-2 and settling for a 2-2 draw in the getaway game. 

In the opener, SouthCentral was led by Anna Phillips from Black River Falls who collected a hat trick, Olson scoring one of the others.  

The second game saw Shelby King from Tomah (TNT/Blue Devils) scoring the first and Othmer connecting for the other.  

The results boost the SouthCentral team to 3-3-2 in League play and 7-3-2 overall. 

The team will carry a six-game unbeaten streak into play next weekend in Baldwin to play the Western Wisconsin team. The two previously met in Verona at the end of August, kicking off the season with a pair of wins for the West squad 3-1 and 6-0. 

SouthCentral celebrates a goal against NorthCentral/NorthEast at Green Bay

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.

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.

Sauk County well represented on WEHL squads

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Wisconsin Elite Hockey League, set up as a way for keen hockey players to prepare for their respective fall seasons, is underway.

Regional teams have been selected and the South-Central Region is well-represented by players from the RWD, Baraboo and Sauk Prairie youth and varsity programs.

South Central U-16

Local organizations are well represented on a pair of u-16 teams with the Brandt twins, Caden and Carsen, incoming juniors with RWD and Carson Zick from the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds all teammates on the U-16 Blue team.

Thor Peterson, a member of the Sauk Prairie Eagles varsity squad is playing on the U-16 Teal team roster.

The Blue team has been the busiest so far, playing a half dozen contests in the second half of August and compiling a record of 5-1.

On August 15, the South-Central squad played a pair of games at the Verona Eagles Nest against the North Central region collecting a 5-2 win in the first before surrendering a 4-3 decision in the second game.

The following weekend in Ozaukee, the South-Central squad took a pair from Southeast Kelly squad by 5-2 and 9-2 scores.

On Sunday, the team was back in Verona, collecting two more wins, starting with a third straight against Southeast Kelly, 8-1, followed up with a 10-2 decision against Northeast.

The team carries a 40-13 edge on the scoresheet into September, getting the Labor Day weekend off before heading to Rice Lake Sept. 12 for a pair against the Western Wisconsin squad.

The U-16 Teal team made the trek to Chippewa Falls for its first two games, Aug. 15, dropping the first but putting in a solid effort to battle the same Western Wisconsin team for a 4-4 draw later.

The team has played four more games – two in Verona against Southeast Grey August 22 and another pair in Stevens Point against Northcentral Sunday but details on those games were not available.

The Teal squad will be on home ice in Verona against Sept. 12 to play both the Southeast Kelly team and Northeast.

South Central U-18

Hakon Peterson, an incoming senior defenseman with the Sauk Prairie Eagles is the lone Sauk County participant on this team which has played three games so far.

Details are so far unavailable on the results of a pair of games played in Verona Aug. 21 against the Southeast Region team and the following day at Verona again, one game against the Northcentral Region team.

The Southcentral squad has another trio of games scheduled to be played at the Champion Center in Appleton Sept. 11-12.

South Central U-18 Girls

Three members of the Badger Lightning are competing with the South Central 18U squad including defenders Signe Begalske and Katelyn Allen from Sauk Prairie and Mallory Ruhland from Elroy.

The team opened its season splitting a pair of games against Southeast in Beaver Dam Aug. 22. After dropping a 3-1 decision in the first game, the team grabbed a 2-1 win in the getaway game.

The U-18’s were scheduled to travel to Baldwin to play Western Wisconsin Sunday, but details on that contest are not yet available.

South Central U-14

There are two South Central teams at this age level, U-14 Teal and U-14 Blue. There are four Sauk County players and all four play on the Sauk County Teal squad.

Three players, Landon Froese, Brock Hill, and Rylan Burch are from Sauk Prairie while RJ Manley plays for RWD.

The team opened its competitive schedule Sunday with a pair of contests at the Omni Center in Onalaska, tying the Western Region team in the first game 3-3 but no details are available for the second contest against the Southwest region entry.

The team will next be in action Sept. 12, playing host to both the Northeast Region team and getting a rematch with the Southwest region squad.

South Central U-14 Girls

The South-Central U-14 Girls are well represented by Sauk County skaters.

Forward Tahni Barger and defense Sarah Hash both split time between the Sauk Prairie Flyers and Sauk Prairie Monkeys while Paige Othmer was a defender for RWD Cheavers as well as the Badger Lightning. Reese Olson played for the Baraboo T-Birds as well as the Badger Lightning.

Paige Othmer of the South-Central U14 girls squad blocks a shot from a Western Wisconsin player in action at the Verona Eagles Nest Sunday. The team will next be in action Sept. 12 at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. Photo Courtesy Jessica Othmer.

The South-Central team opened its season with a pair of home games in Verona Sunday, dropping the first 3-1 against Western Wisconsin. More details will be coming soon on those first two games.

Next up for the South-Central squad will be a pair of games at the Lake Delton Ice Arena Sept. 12, both against the Southeast with faceoffs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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.

Bantam T-Birds take three straight

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

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.