Engel in familiar spot with Lumberjills

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

As a player, Kaylee Engel found herself in an unfortunately familiar situation in her freshman year with the Northland College Lumberjills in 2020-21.

Kaylee Engel

After honing her craft under the Reedsburg Polars/RWD youth hockey banners, Engel, 19,  played four seasons of varsity with the Badger Lightning hockey club. She appeared in 85 games, scoring 29 goals and collecting 55 points and wrapped up her run with the squad as the team’s captain in 2019-20.

A clear leader by example on the team, Engel did all she could to help a Lightning team that enjoyed limited success.

A worldwide pandemic played havoc for the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) women’s hockey conference. Teams finally took the ice in late January, playing a compacted campaign. For a building Lumberjills squad, that season consisted of nine consecutive defeats.

With limited prep time, the gap between varsity hockey and NCAA Division 3 matches was a steep one for Engel who appeared in all nine games for the Lumberjills but was unable to collect a point on a team that scored just 9 goals and was shutout three times.

The team dropped home and away matches against the UW-Superior Yellowjackets, UW-River Falls Falcons, UW-Eau Claire Blugolds and UW Stevens Point Pointers in regular season play, then dropped a 6-2 decision to the Yellowjackets in playoff action.

Engel had five shots on goal and blocked shot, served one minor penalty and finished the season with a -12 ranking. She was called on to take a few draws in the playoff contest, winning one of three.

Engel realized hockey wasn’t the only reason she was at Northland though and collected a nice perk when she was named to the WIAC Honor Roll along with 34 other members of the Northland Men’s and Women’s hockey teams.

Engel will return to Ashland, Wis. For her sophomore season this fall and the team’s hockey schedule is still to be announced as of today. Watch for Engel to become a more offensive presence on the team with a partial season of experience under her belt.

Varsity fall sports up next but plenty of hockey being played

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Students are likely not pleased but the summer break is nearly over for athletes.

After what seemed to be the busiest summer yet for varsity hockey players, a majority of them will be heading to football fields, soccer pitches, volleyball or tennis courts, pools, golf courses or cross-country running courses for the next few months.

Football practices begin Tuesday while boys’ soccer, girl’s tennis, golf, volleyball, swimming, and cross country for both kicks off a week or two later, depending on the team.

Unofficial captains’ practices for hockey players will likely begin in early September as the ice will be in the Lake Delton Ice Arena by then and SPARC in Prairie du Sac will have floor hockey sessions.

Official first practices for the varsity hockey programs will begin on Nov. 8.

RWD Cheavers

The RWD regular season is scheduled to begin once again against the Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders, this time around at the South Wood County Recreation Center on Nov. 23. Sauk Prairie Eagles will face Onalaska Hilltoppers in its first of two home games to kick off the season on the same night.

Sauk Prairie Eagles

Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds will faceoff on home ice against the Menomonie Mustangs Dec. 1.

There hasn’t been any official information released yet, but the three Sauk County varsity teams will be in a slightly different conference. Gone are the Waunakee Warriors, Beaver Dam Golden Beavers and DeForest Norskies, replaced by the Madison Edgewood Crusaders, Oregon Panthers and Monroe Cheesemakers.

Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds

The Badger Lightning schedule is not available as of today (July 27).

The Dells Ducks will be on the ice a little earlier, beginning with a tryout camp in Crystal Lake, Ill. Aug. 6-8.

Dells Ducks

Players will arrive in town in late August, the players will begin with a week of dryland training and then hit the ice. The team will head to Motown for a weekend of exhibition matches against the Detroit Fighting Irish and Motor City Hockey Team Sept. 10-12.

The following weekend, the Ducks will open the USPHL Premier Midwest-West regular season with games Sept. 17-18 against the Rum River Mallards from Isanti, Minn.

Jordan O’Connor
Kaylee Engel
Jack MacDonald
Julianna Teske

Locals at colleges will begin soon after.

After COVID all but wiped out seasons for a trio of locals last year, they will be looking forward to finally playing a regular NCAA Division 3 campaign this fall.

Kaylee Engel from Lavalle, captain of the 2019-20 Badger Lightning varsity team, will begin her sophomore season with the Northland College Lumberjills while, Jordan O’Connor, a 21-game winner in her senior season with the Sauk Prairie Eagles, will also be back for her second year between the pipes for the UW-River Falls Falcons while Julianna Teske, a Reedsburg resident will begin her sophomore season with the Augsburg Auggies. Regular seasons will begin in late October for all three players.

Former Baraboo/Portage captain, Jack MacDonald will begin his freshman season with the St. Michael’s College Purple Knights in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Purple Knights play out of Colchester Vermont and that season is also scheduled to begin in late-October.

Before you know it, full time hockey will be upon us again.

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.

 

Engel, O”Connor and Teske set to start college campaigns

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Three players with local ties are set to  begin their long-anticipated college hockey careers.

The recently released Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Conference (WIAC) Women’s Hockey schedule shows Badger Lightning 2019-20 captain and Reedsburg resident Kaylee Engel, now with the Northland College Lumberjills will face off against Sauk Prairie’s Jordan O’Connor, one of the top-ranked  goaltenders in the WIAA last season who will begin her own college career with UW River Falls Falcons.

Generally, teams would be closing in on the post season by now with seasons getting underway in the fall, but COVID restrictions put in place by WIAC held things up until now.

Meanwhile, in the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Association, the Augsburg Auggies, including Julianna Teske, a former Reedsburg resident who moved back to town with her family recently.

Teske will also be suiting up for the first time in her college career.

Engel captained and led the Badger Lightning in scoring last season with 14 goals and 23 points. In 75 career games with the Lightning over four seasons, Engel notched 29 goals and 55 points.

While the Jills begin the regular season on Feb. 3 at River Falls, the team will also play a pair of exhibition contests beginning Tuesday (Jan. 26) at UW-Superior Yellowjackets and then Friday at home at Bay Area Civic Center in Ashland, also against the Yellowjackets.

O’Connor played every minute of last season for the Sauk Prairie Eagles varsity squad, compiling a record of 19-4-1 in regular season action, then adding two more in the post season, helping the team reach Sectional semi-finals.

Her 19 wins ranked he second in the WIAA through the regular season and her Goals Against Average and Save Percentage also ranked her among the best.

Jordan O’Connor

Her career stats with the Eagles saw her collect 21 wins in 27 starts with a 1.61 GAA. As a sophomore and junior, O’Connor spent time with the Madison Capitols.

O’Connor is one of three goaltenders on the Falcons, and one of two freshmen.

As this is written, there are no pre-season games scheduled for the Falcons.

Teske spend much of her youth career with the Madison Capitols and moved with her family to Warroad, Minnesota for her freshman year of High School.

Over four seasons with the Warroad Warriors, Teske played 99 regular season games, totaling 26 goals and 71 regular season points along with 20 playoff games where she added seven goals and 11 points. She also played on the Minnesota High School Performance Team in 2019-20, collecting three points in five games.

Julianna Teske

The Aggies are scheduled to begin the regular season against Hamline University on Feb. 6 at Tria Rink in St. Paul, Minn., but they will get an early preview Friday (Jan. 29) on home ice against St. Scholastica and then again, the following night in Duluth against the same St. Scholastica Saints. Both games faceoff at 7 p.m. and the Auggies schedule (https://athletics.augsburg.edu/sports/womens-ice-hockey/schedule) includes a link to watch the games live.

Saukhockey.info wants to wish all three college athletes the best of luck in their upcoming season. Hopefully, local female players watch and see the opportunity to play hockey at the college level is reachable by local athletes.