‘Coop’ taking his act to the State of Hockey

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

For the past decade or more, the “Coop!” chants have echoed through local arenas, primarily the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA). 

Now the State of Hockey will become aware of the talented goaltender as he officially signed a contract with the Willmar Warhawks of the North American ‘3’ Hockey League. 

After being the man to beat in goal for Polars and South-Central Cyclones teams as a youth hockey player, Cooper Oakes (‘03/Reedsburg) rewrote the RWD varsity Cheavers’ goaltending record book, playing 4,344 minutes in 89 games.  

During that stretch Oakes kicked out 2,144 of 2,357 shots for a Goals Against Average of 2.50 and a Save Percentage of .910. He started his varsity career with a shutout in Wisconsin Rapids in the fall of 2018 and went on to add another 12 goose eggs over his varsity career.  

Cooper Oakes signed his contract to play with the Willmar Warhawks of the NA3HL West Division Sunday, flanked by his parents, Billy and Bretta at Therapy Without Walls on Sunday afternoon. Oakes will attend the main camp in August with the regular season getting underway after Labor Day.

Oakes plans to attend a few camps, including the Dells Ducks’ session June 17-19 in Aurora, IL, but he is locked in with the Warhawks for the upcoming hockey season.  

Oakes made it official, signing with parents and RWD players and coaches at Therapy Without Walls in Reedsburg Sunday (May 29) afternoon. 

In an interview (see video below) at the signing, Oakes said there were several teams in the mix, but the Warhawks became the obvious choice for him. 

“I talked with Coach (Connor) White on the phone several different times now. He seems like a good guy, a great coach and it just seemed like the right fit,” summed up Oakes.  

Coach White said he received a tip on Oakes which he confirmed by checking out some video.

“In this case, I did receive a tip on Cooper and right away felt like there was something there that could help the WarHawks be better both on and off the ice,” said the coach. “Video had later been exchanged and reviewing that video and then speaking to Cooper himself over some phone calls. That just confirmed everything that we had been told and I believed Cooper would bring from a performance, competitive, work ethic, and character standpoint. We are very excited to see Cooper compete in late August when we will begin.”

Along with those in attendance, a special video message from NHL Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr was shown as he personally wished Oakes luck on his next venture.  

The Warhawks were one of six teams in the highly competitive NA3HL West Division. This past season the team finished third in regular season play with a record of 32-14-1. Willmar is a city of a little more than 20,000 population, west of the Twin Cities, about a 5-hour drive from Reedsburg. 

Crossover games with the Midwest Division could see the team visiting Milwaukee, Chippewa Falls and possibly Oregon at some point in 2022-23.

Wilcox fires two for Cheavers to claim Dairyland Classic

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers wrapped up what it hopes is the first of two banners, claiming the championship in its Ultimate Tournaments Dairyland Classic Division over the President’s Day weekend. 

The Cheavers kicked off the tournament Friday (Feb. 18) afternoon with a 4-0 win against the Waconia (MN) Wildcats at Lake Delton Ice Arena returned with an early morning 1-1 draw against a familiar opponent, the Waunakee Wildcats at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA). 

On Sunday morning, the Cheavers wrapped up division play and earned a spot in the championship game with a 3-1 against the Chicago Hawks also at RACA 

Later Sunday, the Cheavers returned to Lake Delton to face the Waunakee crew again, claiming the banner with a 3-2 win. 

RWD Cheavers 4 Waconia Wildcats 0 

Two goals in the first and another pair in the second sent the Cheavers to a win in its opening contest.  

Three goals came from Landen Uminski and Teaghen Geffert notched the other. Ethan Wilcox and Dayne Wagner each collected an assist and Jesse Arnold recorded his second shutout of the season in goal for the Cheavers.  

RWD Cheavers 1 Waunakee Wildcats 1 

A tight defensive battle against a Wildcats team the Cheavers have run into a few times this season saw teams battling to a draw.  

Braxton McGuigan put the Wildcats up with the lone goal of the first period, but Uminski equalized the score in the second from Wilcox and Tyler Krieski early in the second.  

From there it was the goaltenders taking charge, Arnold wrapping up with 10 saves while the Cheavers tested the Wildcats’ keeper with 25 shots.  

RWD Cheavers 3 Chicago Hawks 1  

The Cheavers clinched a spot in the championship game with a win Sunday morning in Reedsburg. 

Wilcox fired the first goal of the game, late in the first period from Wagner and Krieski and Wagner converted a feed from Uminski early in the second with what turned into the game winner. 

The Hawks pulled one back late in the middle period, but Krieski restored the two-goal margin in the final period with help from Wilcox.  

Arnold stopped eight shots to pick up the win while the Cheavers peppered the Hawks’ goaltender with 27 shots.  

RWD Cheavers 3 Waunakee Wildcats 2  

The final brought a rematch with the Wildcats, and they engaged in another close battle Sunday afternoon.  

Teams were tied in the standings, but the Wildcats got the nod as the home team based on goal differential through the preliminary contests.  

That didn’t matter to the Cheavers who played even through the opening frame, opened a 2-1 edge in the second and widened the gap early in the third.  

Uminski’s unassisted goal opened the scoring, and it was Wilcox with another unassisted goal in the second to put the Cheavers up 2-1. 

Another Wilcox goal in the final period, from Andrew Stando widened the gap and turned into the game winner when the Wildcats pulled one back later in the period. 

Arnold kicked out another dozen while the Cheavers fired 33 at the Waunakee goal.  

Three wins and a tie boosted the Cheavers’ overall record to 27-16-2 and they will be looking for another tournament title attending an event in Green Bay this weekend.  

That will leave one more weekend of play before the team heads to the WAHA Peewee 3A State Championship in Somerset. More information on that event will be on these pages in the days ahead. 

The RWD Cheavers won three and tied one to claim the Ultimate Tournaments Dairyland Classic Peewee Division championship at Lake Delton Ice Arena on Sunday afternoon. Peewee Cheavers team members include: Hailey Dietl; Tyler Krieski; Landen Uminski; Ethan Wilcox; Dayne Wagner; Teaghen Geffert; Noah Backeberg; Evelyn Gurney; Andrew Stando; Jesse Arnold and Ethan Pope.

Froese fires 10 to lead Flyers to UT Dairyland Classic title

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

After qualifying for the WAHA Bantam 3A State Championship a few weeks earlier, the Sauk Prairie Bantam ‘A’ Flyers gave a preview, collecting a championship banner at the final Ultimate Tournaments event of the season, the Dairyland Classic. 

Playing in a three-team pool, the Eagles earned a bye to the championship game with a 6-1 win against the Rice Lake Youth Hockey Friday team and a 5-2 edge against the Sheboygan Lakers Saturday afternoon. The Lakers won a semi-final game to move into the other Championship spot and provided a tougher challenge Sunday afternoon before the Flyers captured the banner with a 5-4 edge. 

Flyers 6 vs. Rice Lake 1  

It was a rare event Friday night as the bantams opened at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) but occupied the visitor’s bench in the home barn. 

Landon Froese kicked off a great weekend with two goals in his first game of the weekend, matched by Ben Hanko while Quinn Payne scored once and set up two others.  

Josh Mast fired the other goal and adding an assist with other help coming from Brock Hill and Blayze Caldwell. 

Taitym Banta notched the first of three weekend wins stopping all but one of 16 shots against. 

Flyers 5 vs. Lakers 2 

Froese fired all five goals in this one, including the lone goal of the opening period and two more in the second to carry a 3-1 lead into the final frame.  

Hill and Payne chipped in an assist each and Banta added another win although shots on goal were not recorded in the contest. 

Flyers 5 vs. Lakers 4 

In the championship game Flyers and Lakers were even at 1-1 after the opening period and 3-3 heading to the third. 

The Flyers fired the first two of the final period, the second standing up as the game winner.  

Froese collected three more goals to wrap up a 10-goal, weekend Payne notching a pair and setting up another. Hill had three helpers and Banta picked up another win with eight saves. 

WAHA Qualifier

Flyers 4 Cheavers 2

Earlier, the Flyers clinched its spot at the WAHA Bantam 3A State Championship with a 4-2 win against the RWD Bantam Cheavers in the Region 4 Championship game.  

As the top seed, the Flyers earned a berth straight to the final while the Cheavers used a 2-1 shootout win against Monroe to claim the other spot.  

All of the scoring took place in the first two periods. Teams were even at 2-2 heading to the second where the Flyers fired a pair of unanswered goals to clinch the win. 

Froese fired two goals including the regional championship clincher in the second period and assisted on another.  

Hill added a goal and assist with the other goal scored by Mast. 

For the Cheavers, RJ Manley scored one and set up the other, by Nicholas McPherson. 

Banta enjoyed a big game stopping 35 shots to help his team grab the win despite being outshot 35-23. 

Jordan Kowalski stopped 19 shots in goal for the Cheavers.  

With the win, the Flyers qualified to represent Region 4 at the WAHA State Championship tournament March 5-6. More information on that event will appear on this page in the next few days in one of several state championship weekend previews. 

The Sauk Prairie Bantam ‘A’ Flyers claimed the title in their Bantam ‘A’ Division in the Ultimate Tournaments Dairyland Classic Tournament played out of Lake Delton Ice Arena, Reedsburg Area Community Arena, Pierce Park Pavilion and Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center over the Presidents Day Weekend. Team members (in no specific order) pictured above include: Quinn Payne; Brock Hill; Blayze Caldwell; Taitym Banta; Douglas Jolicoeur; Gavin Goetsch; Landon Froese; Greyden Schomber; AJ Klemm; Josh Mast; Rylan Burch; Carl Weiss; Ben Hanko and Cam McInerney. Photo by Jim den Hollander

Four-goal middle period lifts Eagles over Cheavers 5-3

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

For a third straight season, the Sauk Prairie Eagles have advanced to the WIAA Sectional semi-finals and for a second straight season it came at the expense of the rival RWD Cheavers by a 5-3 margin at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) Thursday (Feb. 17) night. 

The second period, in particular a stretch of 6:08 that saw a 2-1 RWD lead turned into a 5-2 Eagles’ cushion. Of the four goals, Eagles produced one on a powerplay and another shorthanded.  

The Eagles held 18-6 shots lead through the period and carried that lead into the final 17 minutes. A desperate Cheavers team threw all it had at the Eagles in the final frame, but the Eagles showed a proficiency in playing a simple defensive game and breaking up numerous RWD rushes through the neutral zone.  

The final seven minutes the Cheavers found more success penetrating the Eagles’ end and it paid off with the second goal of the night for senior Trevor Slaght with 6:37 to play. That left plenty of time for two more, but the Eagles again mostly kept RWD chances to the outside. 

Senior Micah Hanson fired the game’s first goal, from senior defender Hakon Peterson 3:39 into the game but RWD struck back with two in 55 seconds from seniors Tomas Korndorfer and Slaght to grab its first lead 7:17 into the contest. 

Senior Grant Marsich, junior Caden Brandt and sophomore Brady Baldwin each contributed an assist on the first period markers. 

Peterson fired a seeing-eye slapper from the blue line that found its way past a host of bodies in front and past senior RWD goaltender Cooper Oakes who never saw it until it whizzed past him 92 seconds into the middle period. Senior Hanson and junior Luke Mast had the assists.  

RWD took a penalty, but the Eagles had also assessed one seconds later. Shortly after the Cheavers’ penalty expired, Nick Mast notched an unassisted shorty to put his team in front to stay. 

Senior Erik Peterson doubled the Eagles’ lead from the Mast brothers, senior Nick, and junior Luke just over three minutes later and an Eagles’ powerplay made it a three-goal cushion just under three minutes after that one.  

Hanson fired the power play tally with an assist for Luke Mast.  

The win pushed the Eagles’ overall season record to 19-4 on the season and they advance to the Sectional semis against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders who moved on with a narrow 3-2 edge against the Sun Prairie Cardinals.  

As this is written the date and time are still TBA but the game will likely be Tuesday night at La Bahn Arena in Madison.  

The other Sectional semi-final will match the second seeded Waunakee Warriors against number three Verona Wildcats who are also two-time defending Sectional 3 Champs. 

The Cheavers had one of its most successful seasons come to a sudden end. Even at 5-5 just before Christmas, it was a win against the same Eagles that sent the team on a 14-1 run heading into this one.  

Several RWD seniors played their final varsity contest, but at least a few will likely take part in the seniors tournament in a few weeks with the luxury of having some of the Eagles’ rivals as teammates. 

Rivals since they started out in youth hockey, Sauk Prairie Eagles senior Nick Mast and RWD senior Trevor Slaght met for an emotional sendoff at center ice following what will likely be their final game against each other. Unseen in the picture is RWD senior Grant Marsich standing behind. Mast will likely play as a teammate to the other two for the first time in a few weeks at the annual Seniors Tournament.

Cheavers move past Thunderbirds with 8-2 win

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The ‘second’ season got underway Tuesday (Feb. 15) for most teams in the WIAA and out the gate, RWD Cheavers and Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds engaged in battle for the third time this season. 

The visiting T-Birds did its best to keep things close, but in the end, the Cheavers couldn’t be stopped, scoring four unanswered third period goals to turn a close 4-2 contest into an 8-2 win and a berth in the Regional championship round on Thursday night. 

Thunderbirds’ best chance was a close, low scoring contest and while the Cheavers held a substantial margin on the clock counter, Thunderbirds’ senior Andrew Schaetzl made his final varsity game a big one, in particular through the first two periods.  

RWD held a 17-9 edge through the opening 17-minutes, sandwiching the lone Thunderbirds’ tally to carry a 2-1 lead into the second period.  

T-birds rallied to tie it early in the second, but the Cheavers added two more including one 39-seconds from the end of the period that provided the momentum for a lopsided final frame. 

Senior forward Trevor Slaght fired that last minute goal in the second, his second of the game. He added two assists as well while linemates senior C.J. Pfaff (1g, 4a) and junior Caden Brandt (2g, 3a) both enjoyed big nights as well to wrap up a 14-point night for the line. 

The team’s other high-octane line – senior Tomas Korndorfer, junior John Scott and sophmore Brady Baldwin also made their presence felt. All three scored in the contest, Baldwin adding two assists and Scott setting up one. 

Senior defenseman Grant Marsich adding an assist and senior goaltender Cooper Oakes stopped 24 shots to pick up his 19th win of the season in goal. 

Seniors Gabe Fitzwilliams and Oliver Scanlan have carried the load on offense for the Thunderbirds all season long and it was Fitzwilliams burying both goals with an assist for Scanlan on one. The third member of the line, sophomore Carson Zick helped out on both goals for the Thunderbirds.  

Schaetzl who has become accustomed to a heavy workload between the pipes for the Thunderbirds, stopped 41 shots and kept his team in it through 34 minutes. 

The fourth seeded Cheavers are 1-0 in the post season and 19-6 overall, advancing to the Regional Championship game Thursday (Feb. 17) at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) against number 5 Sauk Prairie Eagles.  

Winner of that contest will move into the Sectional semi-finals next week against either Madison Edgewood Crusaders or Sun Prairie Cardinals. 

The Baraboo Thunderbirds saw its 4-20 season come to an emotional end.  

Scott scores five to lead Squirt Cheavers past Wildcats

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD Squirt ‘A’ Cheavers bounced back from a narrow defeat against the Madison Patriots Saturday (Jan. 29) with a pair of wins against the Waunakee Wildcats Sunday.  

On Saturday, teams combined for 13 goals but unfortunately for the locals seven of those came off Patriots’ sticks. On Sunday the Cheavers earned a narrow 2-1 lead against the ‘C’ Wildcats then followed it up shortly after with a more comfortable 8-2 decision. 

All three games were played at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA). 

Patriots 7 @ Cheavers 6

The Patriots outlasted the Cheavers in a wide-open contest by a narrow margin.  

Regular goaltender Jase Uminski took a turn as a skater and collected three goals along with an assist to pace the Cheavers’ attack. Briar Messer chipped in a pair of goals, Rainier Scott scoring the other goal and collecting an assist.  

Elliot Wilcox stopped 23 shots in goal for the Cheavers.  

Wildcats 1 @ Cheavers 2 

After the wide-open contest Saturday, the Cheavers came out on top in a defensive battle in the first of two Sunday games.  

Teams were even at 1-1 after a period, Cole Renneberg scoring for the Cheavers on a feed from Scott.  

That tie held up until the final period when Brayden Potter notched the game winner and Renneberg picked up the assist. 

Uminski kicked out 12 of 13 in goal for the Cheavers. 

Wildcats 2 @ Cheavers 8 

The RWD Squirts, led by a five-goal explosion from Scott, collected an easy win in its final game of the weekend. Messer, Renneberg and Potter each added a goal and assist, and Wilcox also helped on one. 

Uminski turned in a 16-save effort to pick up his second win of the day in goal for the Cheavers.  

The focus turns to Regionals this weekend as the squirt Cheavers, along with all the other RWD contingent will be looking to punch a ticket to the State Championship tournament. More information on that will be in a related story to be released shortly. 

Wagner’s nine point day paces Peewee Cheavers

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers stayed hot, rebounding from its first loss in seven games the previous weekend with 16 goals in two wins on a Mississippi Valley swing Sunday. 

After collecting a 9-4 win against the La Crosse Flames at Green Island Ice Arena, the Cheavers stopped at the Panther Den in West Salem on the way home, collecting a 7-2 win against the West Salem Panthers.  

Cheavers 9 @ Flames 4  

Six third period goals turned a close game into a cakewalk for the Cheavers who led 1-0 after a period and 3-2 heading to the final period. 

Tyler Krieski scored the first two for the Cheavers and ended the game with three goals and an assist. Dayne Wagner and Andrew Stando both scored twice, Wagner assisting on one and Stando setting up a pair. Ethan Wilcox and Teaghen Geffert both collected a goal and assist, and Ethan Pope also had a helper.  

Jesse Arnold stopped 17 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Cheavers.  

Cheavers 7 @ Panthers 2  

Wilcox donned the pads for the second game and kicked out 10 of 12 to pick up the win in goal.  

The Cheavers helped him out jumping into a 4-1 first period lead and extending the margin to 5-2 in the middle frame. 

Wagner, Landen Uminski and Geffert each fired a pair in the game, Wagner adding three assists to wrap up a nine-point road trip. Krieski scored the other and picked up an assist.  

The Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers have gotten hot at the right time, picking up wins in eight of 10 since putting up the 2022 Calendar. Overall, the team sits at 18-11-2. After a couple weeks on the road the team returns home for a busy weekend as it goes through final preparations before Regionals the following weekend. 

The team will play a rare game at the Lake Delton Ice Arena playing the Waunakee ‘B’ Wildcats at 9:30 to start a three-game day. The other two games, at 2 and 5 p.m. will be against the La Crosse Flames at Reedsburg Arena Community Arena (RACA). 

Sunday the Cheavers will play two more at RACA against at 10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. against the Madison Patriots. 

Squirt ‘A’ Cheavers take second in West Salem

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD Squirt ‘A’ hockey team rolled to a second place showing at a tournament in West Salem with a win, shootout loss and regulation loss along the way. 

After opening with a 7-2 win against the Waupun Warriors Saturday (Jan. 22), the Cheavers engaged in a thriller with the Iowa Heartlanders, who rallied late to tie it then captured a 5-4 win in shootout to break Cheavers hearts Saturday night. 

On Sunday, the Cheavers wrapped up play against the host West Salem squad who held off the Cheavers for a 3-2 edge. 

Cheavers 7 Warriors 2  

The opener saw a bit of a slow start for the Cheavers, even with the Warriors at 1-1 after a period but up 3-1 heading to a five-goal (4-1 Cheavers) third period.  

Briar Messer paced the Cheaver attack with a hat trick and an assist while Rainier Scott notched a pair of goals. Brayden Potter chipped in a goal and assist, and the other goal came from Jamison Haag. Jase Uminski handled the work in goal and earned praise from Head Coach Justin Messer in a post-tournament report for his stellar work between the pipes in all three contests.  

In the opening game, the Cheavers held a 28-7 edge in shots on goal. 

Cheavers 3 Heartlanders 4 (so) 

In its second game, the Cheavers carried a 3-1 lead out of the opening period but saw it trimmed to 4-3 in the middle frame. The Heartlanders struck for the only goal of the final period to send the game to overtime and a shootout where the Iowa squad fired the only goal.  

Scott notched the first two goals of the game for the Cheavers, both unassisted and the other two came from Cole Renneberg with help from Messer on the first one. 

Uminski kicked out 21 of 25 shots in the game as the Heartlanders held a 25-18 edge overall. 

West Salem 3 Cheavers 2  

On Sunday the Cheavers returned for a final contest and once again took control early with the lone goal of the first period off the stick of Haag, unassisted. 

All the remaining goals came in the second period, including the game winner fired in the final minute of the session giving West Salem its first and only lead of the contest. 

Cheavers’ second period marker also came from Haag on a feed from Renneberg. 

The weekend contests leave the team with an 11-10-1 record so far and this weekend, the final games of prep before the Regionals will see the team on home ice three times at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA). 

On Saturday the Squirt Cheavers will take on the Madison Patriots ‘B’ at 3:30 and they will play twice on Sunday, against Waunakee Wildcats‘C’ at 1:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.  

The RWD Squirt ‘A’ Cheavers celebrated a second place showing at a tournament in West Salem this past weekend. Cheavers players include (in no specific order) Jase Uminski, Caleb Backeberg, Cole Renneberg, Elliot Wilcox, Briar Messer, Brayden Potter, Nora Walker, Rainier Scott and Jamison Haag. Team Coaches include in back from left: Jeremy Backeberg, Head Coach Justin Messer, Nate Wilcox and Joe Uminski.

Oakes latest addition to Team Tracy

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Goaltender Cooper Oakes became the latest in a growing list of quality RWD varsity seniors to be honored by ‘Team Tracy’ on Jan. 20.  

Playing the final home game of the regular season at RACA (one more will be played at Lake Delton Ice Arena Feb. 8), the RWD Cheavers held a brief ceremony at the end of the opening period to present the ‘Team Trophy’ plaque, named in honor of Tracy Jones, a hockey enthusiast, youth hockey volunteer, coach, manager, and hockey parent who passed away after a courageous battle against Cancer, Dec. 22, 2015. 

Cooper Oakes accepts Team Tracy honor from RWD varsity Head Coach Neil Matson.

Oakes, known for much more than being a solid goaltender, is a popular figure with all RWD Cheavers fans for his efforts both on and off the ice, making him an obvious candidate for this honor.  

Oakes is the seventh player and second goaltender to collect the honor, following the first recipient of the award, Mike Olson (2015-16).  

The following season, Chris Jones, oldest son of Tracy was named for the honor in a season that saw him score 34 goals in 23 games, one of the highest single-season totals in the team’s 12-year history. 

Ben Horzewski was next to receive the honor, a solid contributing forward in all four years he played on the varsity team, Horzewski collected 69 points in 71 games with the Cheavers and currently sits 10th on the team’s all-time scoring list.  

In 2018-19, Ben Jones, another son of Tracy, was named as the winner in a solid senior season that saw him put up 22 points to wrap up a 50-point career with the team.  

In 2019-20, Thomas Pfaff was the team’s captain and leader, receiving the fifth spot on the plaque in a season that saw him put up 28 points to wrap up his own 86-point career, good enough for seventh spot on the overall list.  

Last season, Connor Schyvinck became the first defenseman to collect the honor. A great 200-foot player, Schyvinck finished his four-year run with 42 points, among the highest total for a blue liner. 

All six of these athletes impressed Head Coach Neil Mattson with their efforts in and out of the locker room.  

Oakes is four games from finishing an amazing high school run as a four-year starter in goal. His 14 wins this season rank him second in state behind only the 15 wins collected by Dante Desidero of the Waukesha Wings. He enters play next week with a 2.05 Goals Against Average and a .926 Save Percentage, both just a good game or two away from moving into the state’s top 10. 

A three-sport athlete, Oakes has said his primary spot is hockey and he is looking to continue to play, likely at the junior level and ultimately as a college athlete. 

Chris Jones on hand for the ceremony, said he was confident it would be Coop getting the award. Several years ahead of Oakes as a player, Jones said the young goaltender was no secret. 

“Cooper’s always been someone you knew about,” said Jones. “Growing up through youth hockey he was always a strong goaltender. I knew his dad through youth hockey and yeah, he has always been a strong hockey player. It’s no surprise he’s the player that won it tonight.” 

“I didn’t know he was winning it ahead of time, but kind of had a gut feeling that it would be him.” 

Jones recalls his big senior season with the team and modestly handed much of the credit to his linemate that currently leads all RWD scorers. 

“A lot of it comes down to who I was playing with,” said Jones with a chuckle. “I felt that I just kind of got into a zone and was able to find the net. Playing with Dylan Brown, he makes it real easy to play hockey.” 

Jones had a great touch though as a finisher and the two were perfect for each other. 

“Dylan could make any pass and he just told me to get to the net,” said Jones.  

Tracy’s own personal mandate was primarily to make sure everyone had a chance to play the game she loved, and this writer was lucky enough to be a co-coach with Jones for a season a decade ago. The team excelled at having a good time despite a long time between ‘W’s, which is what goes into this award. 

“Yeah, Sportsmanship, Character development, all that,” agreed Jones  

“I remember that season you coached with her, it was Squirt ‘B’ I think. I definitely remember that year and it wasn’t about wins and losses it was about making sure everybody was being coached and being developed as opposed to just going out there and trying to win games.” 

Jones graduated from UW-Madison with a Chemistry degree in December and was recently hired to a job in Verona doing pharmaceutical coding. 

He pulled out the skates for the first time in a couple seasons to play in the annual RWD Alumni tournament in December.  

“I would like to play more. COVID definitely messed things up for men’s leagues and stuff like that, but I would like to get out and play a little more.” 

The annual presentation of the ‘Team Tracy’ honor is a great excuse for Jones to see his alma mater in action again and of course, to honor his mother. 

“It’s always good to see the other players that have won it and just have that night to remember and be recognized.” 

Oakes joins the prestigious list now and hopefully will get a chance to make an annual visit as well as the list grows by one each season. 

Oakes is another player that Tracy would have been proud to cheer on at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena. 

Five of the seven members of ‘Team Tracy’ posed together during a brief ceremony held between periods at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena Thursday night. From left are Mike Olson; Thomas Pfaff; Cooper Oakes; Ben Horzewski and Chris Jones. Others not in attendance were Ben Jones and Connor Schyvinck.

Big win for Cheavers’ seniors in RACA finale

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Just 48 hours after seeing its nine-game winning streak come to an end, the RWD varsity Cheavers started another with an 11-1 whipping of the visiting Monroe Cheavers on an emotional final night at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA). 

The final night on the schedule saw senior goaltender Cooper Oakes kicking out 13 of 14 Monroe shots and laying claim to the prestigious ‘Team Tracy’ Tracy Jones Plaque (see related story) in a brief ceremony between the first and second periods. 

A 4-2 loss at La Bahn Ice Arena in Madison snapped a nine-game winning streak dating back to Dec. 14 but if there was a pity party, it sure wasn’t evident a RACA Thursday as the home team went to work with three goals in the final seven minutes of the opening period and never looked back.  

The Cheavers carried a 7-1 cushion into the final period and piled on another four down the stretch.  

The team’s leading scorer, senior Clayton Pfaff enjoyed another big offensive night with two goals and three assists while linemates; senior Trevor Slaght added four goals and junior Caden Brandt collected three assists.  

Senior Tomas Korndorfer fired his second hat trick in three games to pace, junior John Scott and sophomore Brady Baldwin both chipping in a goal and assist as the team’s primary two lines both continue to stay hot. 

The d-corps got involved as well, senior Grant Marsich, junior Logan De Mars and sophomore Iszak Elder each picking up an assist in the contest.  

The Cheavers held a 36-14 edge in shots.  

The win boosted the team’s overall record to 14-6 with four games yet to play. The team will hit the road for its next three, it’s final conference test at Sauk Prairie against the host Eagles Feb. 1, followed by the team’s second weekend trip to the northern part of the state this season, playing Hayward Hurricanes and Ashland Oredockers Feb. 4-5. 

The team will wrap up its regular season at Lake Delton Ice Arena honoring its seniors for a second time Feb. 8 against the Janesville Bluebirds. 

The team’s seniors were playing on home ice at RACA, the primary home base for the squad for the final time in regular season play. The team’s 14-6 record to date though should guarantee at least one more chance to play in RACA rink in the post season.