Lake Delton Ice Arena will be the headquarters of the Annual Ponytail Classic tournament this weekend, featuring 16 teams in three age brackets playing for five championship trophies.
The action kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. at the Lake Delton Ice Arena and will continue through the weekend with some games played in Reedsburg and Baraboo as well.
Teams will be coming from across the Upper Midwest, but locals will be most interested in the Sauk Prairie Monkeys which has a couple teams taking part.
The U12 and U14Monkeys will both team taking on the competition in the U14 divisions. The U12 team will open play at 8:40 p.m. Friday night at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo and the U14 team will play its first game at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Championship games will begin at 10:20 a.m. Sunday at the Lake Delton Ice Arena with the fifth and final championship game starting at 3:30 p.m.
The final official event of the hockey season locally took place with the running of Lake Delton Ice Arena ‘Ice Wars’ held April 9-11.
The event brought together 120 skaters at the Squirt and Peewee level – a unique tournament that saw individual registrations as opposed to teams signing up. While a solid number of locals took part in the event, there was also players from as far away as the St. Louis area involved as well as across Wisconsin and other neighboring states.
The 60 players at each level were split into two groups alphabetically and run through the paces by Dells Ducks Assistant Coach and local skating guru, Anthony Rohde while under the watchful eye of some of the area’s top youth, college and high school coaches. Four coaches at each level ‘drafted’ players during these sessions.
Immediately after the second session at each level, players returned to the ice area where Lake Delton Ice Owner Aaron Kirby announced team members draft style and they proceeded to the ice where they were handed a jersey representing either Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines.
Each team was guaranteed three round robin matches with the top two returning for a fourth to settle the championship.
In the Squirt Division, Team Navy and Team Marines squared off in the Championship game with Team Marines prevailing and the Peewee game saw Team Air Force overcoming Team Marines in the final.
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.
The Lake Delton Ice Arena will be ground zero for a unique eight-way battle beginning Friday night.
The first ‘Ice Wars’ will provide local squirt and peewee players a chance to test their wares with and against players from across the Dairy State.
The brainchild of Lake Delton Ice Arena General Manager, Aaron Kirby, the Ice Wars is a unique tournament which did not involve team, but individual registrations. The tournament is a success before the first puck is dropped with the maximum 60 players and goaltenders reached in both age brackets.
Friday night will see the players put through the paces beginning at 5 p.m. with Evaluation phases. Players will be watched by coaches during their evaluations and then ‘Drafted’ onto one of four teams immediately after – those four teams will go under the names ‘Army,’ ‘Navy,’ ‘Air Force,’ and ‘Marines.’.
There will be four sessions Friday as players take part based on last name – Squirt’s A to M hitting the ice first at 5 p.m. followed at 5:40 p.m. by Squirts N to Z.
The draft will take place at 6:30 with the two peewee sessions starting at 7:15 p.m. and followed up by the draft at 8:30 p.m.
Teams have a chance to play four times on the weekend. The first three being round-robin games with the top two teams in each age group returning for Championship games Sunday at 2 and 3:30 p.m.
The Annual Lake Delton Ice Arena Dells Cup tournament saved the best for last – at least in the opinion of the local fans.
The Peewee ‘B’ Red Championship saw the RWD Cheavers ending the weekend against the same team it opened with but with a more favorable result.
A 5-0 shutout against the Ozaukee Ice Dogs at Lake Delton Ice Arena avenged an opening night 3-2 loss to the same team at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA).
The Cheavers dropped another 3-2 decision to the eventual ‘Blue’ Championship winning West Madison Polar Caps on Saturday night at RACA, but the locals came ready to play Sunday morning, putting its first of two shutouts together with a 9-0 whipping of the Oshkosh Warbirds sending them to the rematch against the Ice Dogs.
Uminski and Kowalski get it done
Sunday’s championship win was a full team effort, but a pair of players stepped up their games in starring roles.
Jordan Kowalski kicked out 30 shots to grab the goose egg in goal for the Cheavers and Landen Uminski notched a hat trick to power the offense, two of them on dazzling rushes that started near his own goal.
One of those rushes came 2:35 into the contest for an unassisted game winning goal.
That lead carried into the second period when the Cheavers doubled its margin with another solo effort provided by RJ Manley.
Manley sent Uminski in for the third goal, near the halfway mark of the final period giving the Cheavers a little breathing room and Uminski wrapped up his hat trick 93 seconds later, all but clinching the win.
Hailey Dietl finished it off with her goal 70 seconds from the final horn with an assist for Uminski.
The win came in the sixth game of the weekend for the Peewee Cheavers, but if they were worn out from the play, it didn’t show as they celebrated their banner-winning victory.
Below is a summary of the three round robin games for the Cheavers.
Ozaukee Ice Dogs 3 RWD Cheavers 2
In the opening contest, Kowalski faced 33 shots and stopped 30, keeping his team in the game despite a lopsided 33-17 edge in shots for the Ice Dogs.
Caleb Kundinger scored the lone first period goal for the Ice Dogs before Manley tied it with 6:51 to play in the second period.
That held up until the third period when the Ice Dogs grabbed two early goals, 1:11 apart.
Manley’s second came with just six seconds remaining in the match.
RWD Cheavers 2 West Madison Polar Caps 3
On Saturday night at RACA Manley put the Cheavers on the board before the end of the first minute, from Uminski, but the Caps scored twice in 26 seconds near the middle to grab a lead. Uminski tied it, from Manley, 56 seconds later and teams were even at 2-2 at the end of the first period.
Camden Sauer, grandson of the former UW-Badgers Head Coach Jeff Sauer, fired his second of the game 3:02 into the middle period and it ultimately stood up as the game winner.
Kowalski turned in another 18 saves in the contest but the Cheavers outshot the Caps 25-21 in this one.
Oshkosh Warbirds 0 RWD Cheavers 9
Desperate for a win on Sunday morning, the Cheavers delivered in a big way, settling this one quick with four first period goals. Another four in the second left no doubt.
Uminski started off his big day with a four-goal, two assist game. Elizabeth Haag and Tyler Krieski added two goals each, Haag also collecting an assist. Dietl notched the other Cheavers’ goal and helped out on three others and Ethan Wilcox also picked up a couple assists.
Peewee ‘B’ Blue Championship
West Madison Polar Caps 1 SHAW 0 (ot)
West Madison Polar Caps also avenged an earlier defeat when it met the Southeast Hockey Association of Wisconsin (SHAW) Hockey Timberwolves in the other Peewee ‘B’ final, but it came because of patience.
Teams played through three 12-minute periods without a goal scored and were nearly through the five-minute four-on-four overtime when Nathan Justman launched a hard wrister from the blue line that traveled through a maze of bodies and into the SHAW goal to end the contest suddenly.
The same two teams met on Friday with SHAW opening the event with a 5-2 win, then adding a 3-2 decision against Ozaukee and on Sunday morning, a 3-1 win against Verona Wildcats.
The Polar Caps regrouped from its opening defeat with an 8-1 win against Verona and the Saturday night win at RACA against the Cheavers.
Peewee ‘C’ Championship
SHAW 3 West Madison Polar Caps 2
The Peewee ‘C’ championship game matched the same two teams, but this one was won by the SHAW squad.
Teams were even at 1-1 after a period but SHAW scored the lone second period goal and added another with 4:54 to play. That one became big when the Caps pulled one more back 64 seconds from the final buzzer.
Owen June scored twice, and Luca Davido added the other for SHAW, Jonah Tollefson and Ashton Wedige both scoring for the Polar Caps.
The final wrapped up a 4-0 weekend for SHAW, beginning with a 3-0 win against Ozaukee Ice Dogs on Friday, then continuing with a 4-3 edge against the Caps and a 7-2 decision against Waunakee Wildcats.
Squirt ‘B’ Championship
Pandemic Penguins 10 New Richmond Tigers 3
The Penguins brought together players from the Illinois-Wisconsin border area in a tough season and their new bond paid off at the Dells Cup.
The Penguins trailed the Tigers 2-1 after a period and held a slim 4-3 margin heading to the third before grabbing control with three goals in the opening two minutes of the final frame.
The trend of first round teams meeting in the end continued as these two first squared off Friday night, the Penguins again using some late goals to secure an 8-3 triumph.
The Penguins went to defeat the De Pere Voyageurs 4-2 and got by the Beloit Jr. Knights in its final game.
The Tigers handled the Jr. Knights 8-1 before wrapping up with an 8-3 win against the Voyageurs.
Squirt ‘C’ Championship
Washington County Ice 4 Des Moines Buccaneers 2
The Ice carried a 2-1 lead out of the first period against the Bucs and the one-goal margin was still intact at 3-2 heading to the third. The clincher came with 2:31 to play in the contest.
The Ice were also avenging an earlier defeat as it was the Bucs with a 3-0 shutout margin Saturday night at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.
The Ice started paly with a 5-1 win against Beloit Jr. Knights on Friday night at RACA with the Buc following them onto the Reedsburg rink for a 1-0 win against the Oregon Panthers.
The Bucs wrapped up a perfect round-robin set with an 8-2 win against the Jr. Knights while the Ice secured the other championship spot with a 7-2 win against the Panthers.
Next Up – Ponytail Classic
The weekend event was the third and final Dells Cup event of the season at the Lake De
lton Ice Arena, leaving just the Eighth Annual Ponytail Classic. This year, the popular event will feature U-10, U-12, and U-14 Divisions. It was originally scheduled to be the first tournament of the season but was later rescheduled for March 26-28.
The Lake Delton Ice Arena will also host a unique event, the Ice Wars 2021 tournament for both squirt and peewee players. Rather than taking teams, the event will have individual players signing up to play in the April 9-11.
Players will be invited to the Lake Delton Ice Arena March 19 for a 90-minute skating and drill sessions under the watchful eye of high School, junior and college coaches. Following that, players will be drafted onto one of four teams – Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
Players will return for the tournament, representing their respective branches a three-game round robin event followed up by Championship games on Sunday, April 11.
Only 64 players – 15 skaters and a goaltender for each of the four teams will be included and the sign ups are on a first-come, first-admitted basis.
For more information on either the Ponytail Classic or the Ice Wars 2021 event, feel free to contact Aaron Kirby at Lake Delton Ice Arena – email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration forms for the event can be found at www.lakedeltonice.com.
The RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers will be among a full slate of teams playing in one of five divisions at the third Lake Delton Ice Arena ‘Dells Cup’ Tournament of the season this weekend (Jan. 8-10).
Action begins at the Lake Delton Ice Arena at 5 p.m. Friday with the first of 32 tournament games. Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) will also play host to several weekend games but all five championship matches will be played in Lake Delton, beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday.
The Cheavers will be playing in one of the Peewee ‘B’ Divisions, beginning at 8:55 p.m. Friday night in Reedsburg against Ozaukee Ice Dogs, then returning Saturday night, also in Reedsburg at 9:05 p.m. Saturday night against the West Madison Polar Caps
On Sunday, the locals will wrap up at 9:50 a.m. at Lake Delton Ice Arena, the final round-robin match of the event. Championship games will begin at 11 a.m. and if the locals reach the championship game it will be played at either 2:40 or 3:55 p.m.
The only non-Wisconsin team in the tournament will be the Des Moines Junior Bucs Squirt ‘C’ Club. Otherwise, the event sees a nice cross section of Wisconsin-based talent, all looking to hold a championship banner on Sunday afternoon.
Below is a full schedule of the Lake Delton Ice Arena Dells Cup.
The RWD Peewee ‘B’ Cheavers found the going busy but tough on the Dec. 11-13 weekend, dropping two and tying their final game at the Lake Delton Ice Arena’s Dells Cup tournament.
Also thrown in on Saturday was an additional 3-1defeat at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) against the Dodgeville Ice Wolves.
In the tournament, the Cheavers fail to register a goal in the first two games, falling 4-0 on Friday night against the Green Bay Gamblers Peewees and 3-0 against the Southeastern Hockey Association of Wisconsin (SHAW) Hockey Club Saturday afternoon.
In the finale against Waunakee, the Cheavers scored the first two goals, but need a last-minute goal as well to salvage a 5-5 draw with the Waunakee Wildcats.
The Wildcats scored the lone goal of the opening period with what turned out to be the game winning tally early in the first period of the final game of the night at the Lake Delton Ice Arena on the Friday.
Two more in the second period, including a powerplay goal in the final minute widened the margin and the Wildcats clinched it with one more in the final frame.
The Cheavers found themselves back on the ice in Reedsburg early Saturday, then returned to the tournament, engaging in a close match with SHAW that was still scoreless entering the final period.
Shaw notched an even strength goal to take the lead, a shorthanded goal a couple minutes later to pad it and finally, a powerplay goal in the final minute to put it away.
Sunday morning, the Cheavers returned to play Waunakee and finally found the mesh with an unassisted tally for Dayne Wagner in the game’s second minute. Wagner also picked up an assist on the next goal, setting up Noah Mortimer halfway through the period.
The Wildcats pulled one back before the end of the frame and added two more to grab the lead in the middle period.
The Wildcats widened the lead early in the third before Mortimer notched his second and team’s third.
Wildcats added another with less than six minutes to go, but Wagner’s second with 2:30 to play, from Mason Mattson made things interesting and Wagner finished off his hat trick with another unassisted goal 26 seconds from the buzzer. (That goal is shown below).
Ice Wolves 3 @ Cheavers 1
After the late Friday game, the Cheavers hit the ice early Saturday afternoon against the Dodgeville Ice Wolves.
All four goals in this game came in the final period, Mason Mattson blanking the Ice Wolves on 19 shots through the first two periods.
The Ice Wolves found a way to the mesh early in the third and added another with 6:05 to play, but Wagner’s goal 13 seconds later had the Cheavers back to within a goal.
Samuel Larson, who fired the second Dodgeville goal, added another with 65 seconds to play in the game to secure the win.
Mattson ended up with 27 stops while the Wolves limited the Cheavers to just 17 shots.
The rough weekend dropped the Cheavers to 2-7-3 on the season and continues a winless skid dating back to the end of November.
The RWD Squirt ‘B’ Cheavers are still searching for its first ‘W’ of the season, but they are gaining a ton of experience.
The team experienced its busiest week of the season so far, suiting up five times, including four at the Lake Delton Ice Arena’s latest ‘Dells Cup’ series tournament. While the competition proved tough in those contests, the Cheavers got away from that intensity for a home game at Reedsburg Area Community Arena, battling to its second tie of the season with a 3-3 stalemate against the Dodgeville Ice Wolves.
Here is a look at the team’s busy weekend.
Friday, December 11
RWD Cheavers 1 Waunakee C2 Yellow Wildcats 3
The Wildcats scored a pair in the first frame and carried a 3-0 cushion into the third but the Cheavers gained some satisfaction, shattering their opponents’ shutout bid when Caleb Backeberg buried one from Kapri Rabine 8:40 from the final horn.
Saturday December 12
RWD Cheavers 3 Dodgeville IceDogs 3
SHAW Red 11 RWD Cheavers 0
On Saturday, the Cheavers took on the Ice Dogs in Reedsburg and the visitors grabbed a 1-0 first period lead and doubled its margin near the halfway mark of the second.
Jamison Haag responded with an unassisted goal 22 seconds later to trim the lead to one and Kaelyn Tyler set up Rabine for the tying goal less than two minutes later. Teams were still even at 2-2 heading to the third.
Garrett Mancuso fired his second of the contest for the Ice Dogs with 8:16 to go but Tyler collected her second assist of the game just over two minutes later, this time Cole Renneberg pulling the trigger.
Aria Gada kicked out 11 shots in goal for the Cheavers.
Back at the tournament, the locals ran into a tough Southeastern Hockey Association of Wisconsin (SHAW) team and dropped a lopsided decision.
After scoring four in the opening period, SHAW racked up another five in the middle session with a running clock helping as much as possible.
Shots were not kept for this contest, but there is little doubt Gada was the busiest player in this contest.
Sunday December 13
RWD Cheavers 2 Waukesha Warhawks 6
RWD Cheavers 2 Black River Falls Tigers 3
The Cheavers finished play at the tournament against another tough team out of Waukesha before wrapping it all up back at RACA against Black River Falls.
After scoring the only goal of the first period, the Warhawks tripled its margin in the second before a pair of carbon copy goals – both scored by Renneberg after set ups from Briar Messer – pulled the Squirt Cheavers to within a goal late in the second period.
The Warhawks responded with its fourth goal just 11 seconds after Renneberg’s second tally, then added a couple more in the third to complete the win.
Back in Reedsburg, the visiting Tigers fired all three of its goals in the first period, an unassisted goal for Messer getting the Cheavers on the board as well.
An unassisted marker from Jase Uminski with 2:49 to play in the contest opened the door for another tie, but the Cheavers couldn’t net the equalizer. Gada once again kicked out a dozen shots from the blue paint for the home side.
Squirt Cheavers sit at 0-9-2 and have another shot at getting the elusive win before Christmas when they host the Sun Prairie C1 Cardinals at RACA Saturday at 3:15 p.m. and the West Madison Polar Caps at RACA Sunday at 8 a.m.
The RWD Squirt B Cheavers continue its search for its first win of the season, enduring a couple tough decisions this past weekend.
After a season opening tie against the Sauk Prairie Flyers ‘B’ Squirts at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA), the locals have dropped its next five contests, including this past weekend as the visiting Waunakee ‘C2’ Yellow Wildcats squad collected a 6-1 at RACA Saturday and the Cheavers fell 10-1 at Viroqua on Sunday.
Wildcats 6 @ Cheavers 1
The Wildcats fired the lone goal of the opening period and added another before Cole Renneberg fired the lone Cheavers goal with 3:12 to play in the middle period. Two goals in the final 90 seconds of the period widened the gap to 4-1 for Waunakee and the Wildcats added another pair in the third.
Jamison Haag kicked out 22 shots in goal for the Squirt Cheavers.
Cheavers 1 @ Thunder 10
On Sunday, the host Thunder settled things quick with a half-dozen unanswered first period goals but the Cheavers held them off the board through the middle frame before the Thunder added another four in the third.
Jase Uminski collected the lone goal for the Cheavers in the third period after taking a pass from Elliot Wilcox.
This weekend – Dells Cup
The Squirt Cheavers will face its busiest weekend so far when it faces off at the Dells Cup this weekend, beginning at 5 p.m. today (December 11) against Waunakee Wildcats in the tournament opener.
The Squirt Cheavers will be back on Saturday to face Southeastern Hockey Association of Wisconsin (SHAW) Red Timberwolves Saturday in a 4:20 p.m. contest, then wrap up Round Robin play against Waukesha White Warhawks at 9:10 a.m. on Sunday.
The RWD Peewee ‘B’ Cheavers continued to make its way through a tough schedule starting and finishing this past weekend with a pair of 4-4 draws with some tough losses in between.
The Cheavers played three of the four games at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA), beginning with a 4-4 saw off with the Tomah/Sparta Peewee ‘B’ Titans squad followed by a 7-4 loss against Sun Prairie/Beaver Dam C2 Cardinals on Saturday (December 5).
The following day started with a trip to Viroqua where RWD dropped a 6-1 decision against Viroqua Peewee ‘B’ Thunder but wrapped up with a return home and a 4-4 draw with the same Sun Prairie/Beaver Dam C2 team it fell to the previous day.
Titans 4 @ Cheavers 4
This thriller saw the visiting Titans grab a 1-0 first period lead before the Cheavers struck back with a pair of unanswered second period goals. A flurry early in the third had teams even at 3-3 and the Cheavers took a lead near the halfway mark but the Titans rallied to tie it again with 89 seconds to play.
Dayne Wagner fired two for the Cheavers while Andrew Stando added a goal and assist, the fourth goal an unassisted marker for Noah Mortimer. Aiden Knull also collected an assist in the game and Mason Mattson kicked out 15 saves for the Cheavers.
Cardinals 7 @ Cheavers 4
In the second game of the day, the Cheavers ran into a tough Cardinals team that turned a narrow 2-1 lead into a more decisive 5-2 margin in the middle period.
Wagner notched another two points with a goal and assist with other goals for Knull, Vladimir Barabash and Andrew Stando, Matthew Stando adding an assist.
Mattson turned in another 15-save effort in goal.
Cheavers 1 @ Thunder 6
In Viroqua, the home team build a 3-0 first period lead before Jenna Garbacz connected on the lone Cheavers’ goal, unassisted in the middle period.
Another three in the third put it away for the home team.
Mattson handled 19 of 25 in goal for the Cheavers.
Cardinals 4 Cheavers 4
The final game of the weekend saw the Cheavers rally back from a four-goal deficit to salvage a 4-4 draw against the Cardinals who fired all four of its goals in the middle period.
Andrew Stando found the mark for the Cheavers 2:01 into the final period, converting a pass from Wagner and it was Stando again with the tying goal just 51 seconds from the final buzzer, unassisted.
In between were two goals from Mortimer, the second with 1:06 to go, just 15 seconds before Stando notched the equalizer. Stando also collected a set up on the first Mortimer goal, the second set up by Knull.
Mattson turned in his best effort of the weekend with 20 saves, including all 10-shots he faced in the first period.
Weekend tourney in Lake Delton
The ‘B’s will switch its base to the Lake Delton Ice Arena this weekend to take part in the Peewee Division of the Dells Cup tournament.
After starting out Friday with a 9:40 p.m. game against the Green Bay Bobcats followed with a game Saturday at 3:10 p.m. against Southeastern Hockey Association of Wisconsin (SHAW) Timberwolves and finally, the Waunakee Wildcats at 8:10 p.m. Saturday night.
The Peewees will also cram one more in Saturday with a 12:30 p.m. contest at RACA against the Dodgeville Ice Wolves.