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/.

New look Ultimate Tournaments returns

By Jim den Hollander
Editor/Publisher
Saukhockey.info
Ultimate Tournaments has been a part of the regular hockey season in Sauk County for more than a decade. This year the tournament series will return with its regular dates, including some massive events on Martin Luther King Weekend in January and President’s Day weekend in February.


The tournament offers a unique hockey experience for the teams that attend, with deals offered in the community’s top waterpark resorts, offering a great family weekend with parents and children provided with an exciting experience on and off the ice.


Ultimate Tournaments owner, John Schwarz and Tournament Director Johnny Schwarz also provide weekend jobs for dozens of referees, scorekeeper/timekeepers and directors in more than one location.

The Lake Delton Ice Arena is generally the primary arena on tournament weekends, but Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA), Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo and the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) frequently host games as well. Ice time rentals in Reedsburg, Baraboo and Sauk Prairie directly benefit the youth hockey organizations in all three communities.


Old School hospitality and updates is combined with modern era methods in making the players, parents and coaches up to date on all that is happening. In the arenas, Paper schedule/standings sheets are updated within minutes of the completion of every game and updates are also available online at http://www.ultimatetournaments.com thanks to John Schwarz who uses a home office in Chicago to keep everyone posted, often to events in more than one location on the same weekend. Schwarz’s office is jokingly referred to as ‘Toronto,’ as it serves a similar function to the NHL’s replay center in the Canadian city.


Players have become familiar with the ‘goodies’ provided to team managers at the start of each event, providing some hockey related items to welcome the players to the Dells. Also provided is an information book outlining the many activities available in the Dells and the cloth bag the items come in is a handy piece of equipment the manager can use for the remainder of the season.
While the Dells is the original home for Ultimate Tournaments, Schwarz now runs similar events in St. Louis, Chicago and as of this season, South Bend, Indiana.
The tournaments have some new names and a new look this season. The Dells tournaments will start in with the ‘Northwoods Showdown ‘21 Nov. 12-14 followed a week later by ‘Bucks And Pucks.’


The Martin Luther King Weekend event is once again a double tournament now known as the Glacier King Championship. With an extra day available, this has traditionally seen several Friday to Sunday Divisions along with some that begin Saturday and wrap up on the holiday Monday. This year the events will be run together Jan. 14-16 and Jan. 15-17.
A week after, the Cheddar Cheese Classic will be held Jan. 21-23, 2022 and the Dairyland Classic will also debut in 2022.

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.

Lightning looking to improve in Badger Conference

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Badger Lightning varsity squad is coming off a season of quality as opposed to quantity.

Clearly a team used to play with a short bench, the Lightning compiled a 6-11 record last season and has shown a marked improvement in each of the most recent seasons and ironically, despite playing with just two lines, the Lightning was at its best in the final period, outscoring opponents 26-12 through the final 17-minutes.

With the entire lineup eligible to return this season and maybe five additions on the horizon, the team has the possibility of making another leap in its progress. It’s never easy as the Lightning plays in likely the toughest conference in the state and faces perennial frontrunners like the Cap City Cougars on a regular basis.

The Lightning has a full 24-game schedule for the upcoming season beginning with a tournament on home ice against teams still to be determined. Below is the tentative schedule for the Lightning with Badger Conference tests in bold.

November 26-27 – Home Tournament at Pierce Park Pavilion (two games)

Dec. 3 – vs. Rock County Fury @ Monroe SLICE 7 p.m.

Dec. 4 – vs. Wisconsin Valley Union @ Pierce Park Pavilion 6 p.m.

Dec. 6 – vs. Cap City Cougars @ Waunakee Ice Pond 7:15 p.m.

Dec. 10 – vs. Metro Lynx @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Dec. 13 – vs. Viroqua Blackhawks @ Viroqua Community Arena 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 17 —  vs. Beaver Dam Golden Beavers @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Dec. 21 – vs. Icebergs @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Jan. 4, 2022 – vs. Onalaska Hilltoppers @ Onalaska Omni 5 p.m.

Jan. 6 – vs. Medford Raiders @ Simek Recreation Center TBA

Jan. 7 – vs. Rock County Fury @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Jan. 11 – vs. Cap City Cougars @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Jan. 13 or 14 – vs. Metro Lynx @ Capitol Ice TBA

Jan. 15 – vs. Brookfield Glacier @ The Ponds of Brookfield 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18 – vs. Medford Raiders @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Jan. 25 – vs. Viroqua Blackhawks @ SPARC 7 p.m.

Jan. 27 – vs. Beaver Dam Golden Beavers @ Beaver Dam Family Ice Center TBA

Jan. 28-29 — @ Beaver Dam Tournament – 2 games TBA

Feb. 1 – vs. Warbirds @ Blue Line Family Ice Center (Fond du Lac) 5:30 p.m.

Feb. 4 – vs. Icebergs @ Mandt Community Center (Stoughton) 7:15 p.m.

Feb. 8 – vs. Onalaska Hilltoppers @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Feb. 11 – vs Black River Falls Tigers @ Pierce Park Pavilion 7 p.m.

Thunderbirds to open at home Nov. 23

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Baraboo Thunderbirds are looking to approach the .500 plateau this season for the first time since 2015-16 and will get its regular season started on Nov. 23.

The team’s first of 22 scheduled contests will take place at Pierce Park Pavilion against the visiting Blackhawks. The Thunderbirds will also play the Middleton Cardinals on home ice four days later before opening the Badger West season with a trip to RACA to face its biggest rival, the RWD Cheavers on Dec. 7.

The conference schedule is more front loaded this season than it normally is and the Thunderbirds will play four of it’s 10-confrence matches with its first test against the Edgewood Crusaders coming on home ice Dec. 11, followed by a third straight conference game, at SPARC against the Sauk Prairie Eagles Dec. 11.

The Thunderbirds will take part in a four-team tournament for a second straight year, hosted by the Arrowhead Warhawks, starting Dec. 29-30. The regular season is scheduled to wrap up on Feb. 10, 2022 at the Waupun Community Center against the Waupun Warriors

Below is a look at the Baraboo Thunderbirds varsity regular season schedule as printed on the school’s athletic website. Games and times are subject to change.

Note – As this is written, there are no return conference matches scheduled against Oregon or Edgewood, so there is likely two more conference games to be added.

Baraboo Thunderbirds 2021-22 Varsity Schedule

Confeence games in bold

Nov. 23 – 7 p.m. vs. Viroqua Blackhawks @ Pierce Park Pavilion

Nov. 27 – 7 p.m. vs. Middleton Cardinals @ Pierce Park Pavilion

Dec. 7 – vs. RWD Cheavers @ RACA

Dec. 11 – vs. Edgewood Crusaders @ Pierce Park Pavilion

Dec. 14 – vs. Sauk Prairie Eagles @ SPARC

Dec. 16 – vs. Janesville Bluebirds @ Janesville Ice Skating Center

Dec. 18 – vs. Monroe Cheesemakers @ Pierce Park Pavilion

Dec. 21 – vs. Onalaska Hilltoppers @ Onalaska Omni Center

Dec. 29-30 – Arrowhead Warhawks Quadrangular @

Jan. 4, 2022 – vs. Black River Falls Tigers @ Pierce Park Pavilion

Jan. 8 vs. Oregon Panthers @ Pierce Park Pavilion

Jan. 11 – vs. RWD Cheavers @ Pierce Park Pavilion

Jan. 13 – vs. McFarland Spartans @ McFarland Community Ice Center

Jan. 15 – BADGER CHALLENGE vs. Badger East opponent @ TBA

Jan. 25 – vs. Sauk Prairie Eagles @ Pierce Park Pavilion

Jan. 28 – vs. Mosinee Indians @ Pierce Park Pavilion  

Feb. 1 – vs. Monroe Cheesemakers @ State Line Ice & Community Expo (SLICE)

Feb. 8 – vs. Aquinas/Holmen Avalanche @ Pierce Park Pavilion

Feb. 10 – vs. Waupun Warriors @ Waupun Community Center

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.

Badger Lightning gets hot at right time

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Badger Lightning varsity hockey team has turned in some solid efforts this season but frequently come away without a win.

That changed on Saturday, for sure the best day of the season so far for the Lightning who put together a pair of impressive wins against the visiting Medford Raiders and Northern Edge out of Rhinelander.

Most impressive was the 7-1 win against Northern Edge, the same team that turned away the Lightning on a Northern road trip 3-2 on December 12.

The Lightning started out the day with an early morning 5-1 decision against the Raiders and in between, the Raiders fell 10-2 to Northern Edge in a round-robin event.

Medford Raiders 1 @ Badger Lightning 5

In the first game, the Lightning built a 2-0 first period margin with goals from junior Signe Begalske and sophomore Mallory Ruhland, the first one unassisted and the other with set ups from sophomores Kayla Capener and Bella Bowden.

Teams played through a scoreless middle segment and Capener padded the lead with a third goal on a feed from junior Carson Blosenski.

Sophomore netminder Kaitlin Elder was beaten just once on 13 shots and that came 4:02 into the final period to get the Raiders within a pair.

Bowden restored the three-goal cushion from Capener and Ruhland less than three minutes later, then added another, from Capener 3:43 from the final buzzer.

The Lightning enjoyed its best offensive outing of the season, peppering the Raiders goaltender with 56 shots.

Northern Edge 1 @ Badger Lightning 7

The wrap up game to decide the unofficial round robin winner turned out to be no contest.

Begalske opened the scoring again with the lone opening period goal, from Capener on a Lightning powerplay.

Bowden’s third of the day was the game winner, 56 seconds into the second period from Begalske and Capener and Ruhland also notched a middle period goal with help from Capener.

Bowden’s second came 3:14 into the third period, from Capener, a couple minutes before the lone Northern Edge shot to beat freshman goaltender Alyssa Gada.

Blosenski, Capener and Begalske rounded out the scoring with assists for Capener and Ruhland.

The Lightning held a 31-26 edge in shots in the contest.

The wins boosted the Lightning’s overall record on the season to 4-10 with one game remaining tonight (Feb. 2) in Black River Falls against the 3-5 Tigers.

Capener has 20 assists on the season so far – fourth best total in the state and her 31 points is sixth best. Bowden’s 15 goals ties here for seventh best total in state and she has 20 points.

 

 

 

 

Spirited rally in finale could build momentum for Thunderbirds

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds begin the 2020-21 WIAA varsity hockey tournament tonight (Feb. 2, 2021) with a chance to erase a tough memory from last season.

Thunderbirds wrapped up its regular season with a spirited albeit unsuccessful come from behind effort against Marshfield that showed what the team is capable of.

Down 4-0 early in the second period at Pierce Park Pavilion to the visiting Marshfield Tigers, the Thunderbirds began a long uphill slog back into the contest before ultimately falling 7-6 in overtime.

Earlier games saw the Thunderbirds capture a 5-2 win against the Janesville Bluebirds at Pierce Park Pavilion Jan. 21 before dropping a 7-3 decision two nights later to the Onalaska Hilltoppers, also on home ice.

Janesville Bluebirds 2 @ Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds 5

Teams played through two periods without a goal, but made up for that in a wild seven-goal third period.

Bluebirds hit the scoreboard first 4:13 into the final period but Campbell Koseor evened the score 40 seconds later from Oliver Scanlan and Gabe Fitzwilliams.

Luke Schweda gave the Thunderbirds its first lead from Alex Rietmann and Kyle Poole with 10:01 to play and goals by Fitzwilliams and Peyton Sloan 25-seconds apart clinched it near the halfway mark of the period. Assist on those went to Scanlan, Koseor, Schweda and Carson Zick.

Fitzwilliams fired a secod with 87 seconds to play, from Scanlan and Rietmann and after opening the scoring, the Bluebirds finished it off with 31 seconds to go.

Andrew Schaetzl collected a 28-save win in goal for the T-Birds who outshot the Bluebirds 33-30.

 

Onalaska Hilltoppers 7 @ Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds 3

The Thunderbirds stayed with the Hilltoppers through the opening 17 minutes and led 1-0 after a late opening period goal scored by Schweda from Koseor and Luna Larson.

After an early second period goal for the Hilltoppers, Koseor had the Thunderbirds up again, from Scanlan and Larson.

The rest of the middle period belonged to the Hilltoppers who fired 22 shots at Schaetzl and grabbed a 4-2 lead  by the start of the third.

A 3-1 margin down the stretch carried the Hilltoppers to the win, Larson collecting his third point of the night with an unassisted goal to break up a stretch of six Hilltoppers goals.

Schaetzl faced 46 Onalaska shots while the Thunderbirds tested the visiting goaltender with 27.

Marshfield Tigers 7 @ Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds 6 (ot)

Ultimately it was another seven goals against and another loss to end the regular season, but the Thunderbirds showed the kind of heart and resiliency that could carry it to a positive start to the post season. Short version – This team doesn’t quit.

A crazy game saw teams combine for more than 100 shots on goal including 16 in a wild overtime period that ended with 2:36 to spare.

Tigers held a 16-10 edge on the shot clock through a period but more importantly built a 3-0 margin on the scoreboard. Things were just getting started though.

Tigers added another and when Fitzwilliams finally found an opening six minutes into the period, from Koseor and Scanlan, the Tigers quickly responded, restoring its four-goal cushion 45 seconds later.

Larson collected an unassisted goal just over a minute later and Koseor cut the gap to a pair in the final minute of the period from Fitzwilliams and Zick.

An unassisted Zick goal had the Thunderbirds within a shot and Fitzwilliams’ second of the contest tied the game 5:41 into the final period with help from Kosero.

Larson’s second gave the Tbirds its first and only lead of the contest with 2:35 to play, from Fitzwilliams and Zick but a shorthanded goal just seven seconds from the final buzzer robbed the Thunderbirds of a big celebration.

Tigers held a 21-14 edge in shots in a back and forth third period but Thunderbirds held a 9-7 margin in the extra frame.

Burke Schweda and Schaetzl shared the work in goal, combining to face 58 shots on the night while the Thunderbirds triggered a season high 43 the other way.

 

Overall – 7-11

Regional Final vs. Sun Prairie Cardinals

The Thunderbirds have had had some drastic highs and lows this season, but if inspired as it clearly was in the second half of the game against Marshfield, the team will not be outworked.

A blue-collar squad, the Thunderbirds are probably best suited for a close physical type contest, but again, the team showed it can go wide open with anyone as well.

The Cardinals sat our most of the regular season – at least as far as WIAA competition goes. There are four games listed on its official 2020-21 schedule, all played in the final week of the season and all losses.

Last season, the Thunderbirds played host to an opening round contest as well and had difficulty finding the mesh in a 3-1 loss to Madison Memorial. That shouldn’t be a problem tonight. The Thunderbirds were shutout twice this season, but both of those were in the first half of December and the Thunderbirds have collected 17 goals in its last four games.

Winner of this contest moves on to play top seeded Madison Edgewood on Thursday, but a nice perk for the Thunderbirds is that game is also scheduled to be played at Pierce Park Pavilion.

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.

 

Lightning hope late season lessons help in playoffs

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Badger Lightning has shown – in stretches – a vast improvement in both offensive and defensive play this season but continue to struggle to find the elusive ‘W’s.

The past three games saw the team dropping a 4-2 decision on home ice against the Warbirds from Fond du Lac on Jan. 19, then hitting the road for a disappointing 3-2 loss against the Brookfield Glacier a team it defeated at Pierce Park Pavilion earlier this season.

Finally, just 24 hours after the opening round WIAA Sectional playoff seeds were announced, the Lightning faced off against the Onalaska Hilltoppers who they will meet on the road Thursday (Feb. 4) in its opening round playoff contest.

Warbirds 4 @ Badger Lightning 2

Once again, the primary damage was done in the opening period as the Warbirds scored twice in 56 seconds near the middle of the period to carry a 2-0 lead into the middle frame. In their earlier meeting a few weeks prior, the Warbirds scored five unanswered first period goals, then held on for a 5-2 win.

The other two Warbirds goals came on clean ice inside of the opening minutes of the second and then third periods.

Freshman goaltender Alyssa Gada played a key role in keeping the Lightning close facing 37 shots in the first two periods and despite an 18-6 edge in the second, the Lightning seemed to grab some momentum in the late minutes, following a goal by sophomore Bella Bowden about halfway through the period.

Junior Signe Begalske and sophomore Kayla Capener assisted on the goal. The Lightning still trailed by a pair entering the third and any thoughts of a comeback were stifled by another early goal for the Warbirds.

Bowden’s second, with Begalske and Capener on the set ups again, came early enough to give the Lightning a chance and they threw all they had at the Warbirds keeper, outshooting its guest 14-11 down the stretch. However, Gada was still the busiest player on the ice, stopping 44 of 48 Warbirds’ shots.

Badger Lightning 2 @ Brookfield Glacier 3

The middle game of the stretch saw the Badgers dominant on the shot clock, but unable to convert that into goals.

Both teams fired seven shots in the opening period and Glacier fired the lone goal of the frame. Despite a massive 18-3 advantage on the shot clock, in the middle period, the whole got a bit deeper for the Lightning with the host Glacier again notching the only goal of the frame.

The door finally got pushed open in the final period for the Lightning who needed just 37 seconds to tie the contest with goals from Capener and Bowden. Both picked up an assist and Mallory Ruhland also helped.

The Glacier snatched the win away and broke Lightning hearts with a goal jut 66 seconds from the final buzzer.

 

Gada kicked out another 17 shots in the contest while the Lightning held a 37-20 edge overall.

 

Onalaska Hilltoppers 4 @ Badger Lightning 1

The Hilltoppers doubled the Lightning in shots 44-22 and held a double-digit to single-digit edge in each period, but the game seemed more even, in the second and third periods. The Lightning at times had the Hilltoppers locked inside their blueline for long stretches but didn’t get many shots on goal out of it.

All but one of the goals came in the opening period, Capener slamming on e home from he slot area with assists for Begalske and junior Carson Blosenski.

The Lightning looked to have something good happen early in the third to get back into it and instead the Hilltoppers notched the game’s final goal in the opening 30 seconds to put a stranglehold on the win.

The loss to Onalaska dropped the Lightning to 2-10 on the season so far.

The Lightning prepares for the much more important rematch with the Hilltoppers at the Omni Center in Onalaska Thursday, with a round-robin event at Pierce Park Saturday (Jan. 30) with games against Medford Mustangs (0-9) who they have not played yet this season at 10 .a.m. and against Northern Edge from Rhinelander at 4 p.m. In an earlier meeting at Rhinelander in December, the host Edge held on for a 3-2 with Bella Bowden out of the Lightning lineup.

On Tuesday, the Lightning will travel to Black River Falls, facing off in its final regular season game against the host Tigers at Milt Lunda Memorial Arena at 7 p.m. That game can be seen on LiveBarn.