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.

RWD third at Onalaska tournament

After dropping its opening game Friday (July 23), the RWD Cheavers charged back with three straight wins to wrap up third spot at a summer tournament at the Onalaska Omni Center.

Led by a solid group of incoming seniors, it was a fun weekend with Billy Oakes stepping in behind the bench with RWD Head Coach Neil Mattson away for the weekend.

The RWD Cheavers picked up wins in three of four games to claim third place at a tournament in Onalaska July 23-25.

After wrapping up a 2-1 record through three round robin games, the Cheavers finished second in its pool and grabbed a 3-1 win against former Badger North Conference rival Waunakee Warriors in a battle of second place teams Sunday morning.

The Cheavers dropped a 4-0 decision to the Brookfield Stars on Friday night before returning Saturday to earn a 7-1 decision against the Aquinas/Holmen Avalanche in that team’s home barn, then clinching second place with a 4-1 win against the Viroqua Blackhawks Saturday evening.

Friday

RWD Cheavers 1 Brookfield Stars 4

After the tournament Sunday, Oakes said he thought RWD came out a bit flat on Friday, finding its game in the final 15-minutes but already out of it by then as the Stars scored twice in each of the first two frames.

Cheavers were kept off the shot clock entirely through the first period and sophomore Brady Baldwin counted the team’s only goal unassisted on one of four third period shots.

Senior goaltender Cooper Oakes kicked out a dozen shots for the Cheaves and freshman Alex Griebe came on later to save another seven.

Saturday

RWD Cheavers 7 Aquinas/Holmen Avalanche 1

RWD bounced back with a big win Saturday morning, scoring twice in the opening period, including its first just 2:05 into the contest by junior John Scott, his first of three in the game.

Scott also fired the other first period goal, the game winner, late in the period, senior Clayton Pfaff and junior Caleb Eastman counting middle period markers.

Griebe went the distance in goal, turning aside 17 of 18 shot, the only one to get by him coming early in the third.

The Cheavers responded with three more goals, from Eastman, Scott and finally, senior Mitchell Henke. Senior Carter Scully along with juniors Nate Stando and Logan Demars both collected assists in the contest.

RWD Cheavers 4 Viroqua Blackhawks 1

Saturday night, Cheavers blasted off quickly again, Pfaff firing an unassisted regular strength goal before the end of the opening minute and Yevgeny Dedun converted a feed from Baldwin on a powerplay less than a minute later to add the game winner.

Viroqua pulled one back late in the opening period but that was as close as they got, Baldwin and Scott notching unassisted goals in the middle period to put this one away.

Oakes picked up the win in goal for the Cheavers, stopping all but one Viroqua shot.

RWD Cheavers 3 Waunakee Warriors 1

A change in the Badger Conferences for the upcoming season sees an end to 11 seasons as rivalry with the Waunakee Warriors, but seeing those purple jerseys still gets the Cheavers fired up.

That was certainly the case Sunday with a more chippy and emotional contest than the other three.

RWD notched the first goal once again, Eastman relaying a feed from Stando with 3:33 to go in the opening segment, but a goal in the final minute of the second had the Warriors at the break.

The Cheavers came out fired up for the final 15 minutes and despite a trio of third period infractions, it was the Cheavers providing all the offense as well.

Henke sank the game winner from Baldwin and Scott’s fifth of the weekend added insurance a short time later.

Griebe kicked out 22 of 23 to pick up the win in goal.

Many of the Cheavers players will turn their focus to football, soccer or cross country as they prepare for the varsity fall seasons.

Captains practices for both RWD and Baraboo/Portage will kick off in early September at the Lake Delton Ice Arena and the first practice of the 2021-22 regular season will take place in early November.

Hockey close to year-round in Wisconsin

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

It’s a weird summer with the NHL hockey season wrapping up just a week ago but unbelievably, we’re just over a month away from the early days of a new hockey season. Hopefully, a normal one.

The Dells Ducks players will return to the Sauk County area in mid-August and by the end of the month the ice will be in at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.

A couple hockey teams have already been on the ice this summer – Sauk Prairie Eagles and RWD Cheavers both taking part in an eight-team mid-summer event in Middleton in June and the Cheavers also held the annual getaway to the Superior area where they played some scrimmage games. Both events though are geared primarily to introduce the newer players to the varsity culture.

In Superior the emphasis is on the team bonding and welcoming new players with an annual canoe trip among the highlights of the weekend.

The RWD team will also be taking part in a tournament in Onalaska July 23-25 and this writer is discovering that is not as unusual as first thought. A couple teams, including Beaver Dam and some Madison area teams scrimmage in a summer league and a quick look at the ice schedule for the Beaver Dam Family Ice Center shows a calendar as jammed in July as it would be in January.

Several youth players and varsity players took part on summer teams out of Tomah or the Madison area and competed into July but many of those have hung up the skates for at least a few weeks before eagerly pulling it down again with excitement in September.

RWD senior Trevor Slaght enjoyed the biggest moment of his hockey life so far winning a USA Hockey National Championship as a member of the Before-and-After Wisconsin Junior Jets in the late Spring and the next eager bunch of skaters, from across the state, will take part in the first step towards a repeat when the Jr. Jets holds a tryout at the Ice Pond in Waunakee this weekend.

Janesville 18U Jets celebrate winning the 2021 Chipotle USA Hockey Tier II 18U 3A National Championship in the traditional way.

The Olympics officially start on Friday in Tokyo…late Thursday here, but competitions are underway as early as Tuesday night, if you like soccer or softball. I am pumped about watching as much as I can. By the time its over, hockey season will be upon us.

Jimmy D’s notes — Summer Project for a Stats-nerd

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Closing in on the halfway mark of compiling statistics on all four Sauk County varsity hockey teams, it seems a good time to tease some of what has come together.

Jimmy D’s Notes — Saukhockey.info

RWD was the first to be complete as far as regular season team and game stats and Baraboo/Portage should be done in the next week. Sauk Prairie Eagles and Badger Lightning will follow in July. Then season by season conference standings and post season stats.

The primary purpose of doing these is to have some interesting background information for pre-game and post-game write ups, but here is some of the interesting things I have come up with.

Please note – I owe a great deal of thanks to wisconsinprephockey.net. Simply put, that is my source for information with almost all game sheets available dating back more than a decade. For RWD and Baraboo/Portage, I have compiled stats going back to 2010-11 when the two teams were formed. Before that, all four teams – Reedsburg, Baraboo, Wisconsin Dells/Mauston and Sauk Prairie ran their own teams and for a few seasons Reedsburg and Baraboo were combined.

In 2010-11, the RWD coalition (with Mauston) was formed as was the Baraboo/Portage squad. Sauk Prairie might go back a little further and I believe the Lightning, a marriage of Baraboo and the Freeze, out of Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells was formed around the same time.

Since the RWD squad was formed, it has compiled a record of 152-88-13. The team has posted only three sub-.500 seasons. In 2014-15, the team compiled its most regular season wins with a 19-3-2 record including 16-straight regular season wins, beginning with a three-run sweep at the annual Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic and lasting to the end of the season, the only non-win a 1-1 draw with Baraboo/Portage.

The Cheavers added three more playoff wins to reach the State Championship quarter-finals.

The longest losing skid for the team was four games, on three different occasions.

The surprising thing so far for both RWD and Baraboo/Portage is the number of ties. It would seem rare for a team to play through eight minutes of overtime without settling a draw, but RWD has just three seasons, including 2020-21 without at least one draw.

To the surprise of nobody, the team’s leading scorer through that stretch is Dylan Brown with 67 goals and 97 assists for 164 points in 60 games, an impressive total for a player who missed most of his junior season.

Derek Pawlak is next on the list and the all time leading goal scorer with 70 goals and 122 points in 71 games. One of the originals, Luke Bjorklund is third highest with 57 goals and 112 points despite playing just two seasons and 46 games under the RWD co-op.

Rounding out the top five is a tie between Jordan Bill (49-58 – 107) and Jordan Brown (47-60 –107). 2021 senior Danny Ely (44-58—102) is so far the only other player to top the 100-point plateau.

Jonathan Zobel leads the team in penalty minutes with 134, just four more than Austin Schyvinck and Zach Clisch was two more minors behind.

In goal, Cooper Oakes already owns most of the high marks, with 34 wins, 1,703 shots, 1,538 saves and nine shutouts, including his first game in goal for the Cheavers, a 5-0 goose egg at Wisconsin Rapids Nov. 20, 2018.

Oakes is still chasing, but will catch early in the season, the total minutes, (24:66.05) currently held by Tyler Arneson. Oakes should nab that mark in the second game of the season.

A couple of players with less than two full games of varsity – Logan Sullivan (.952) and Gary Wiles (.938) hold the best save percentage. Among the regulars, Shane Moilanen posted a .930 Save Percentage with three shutouts in 2010-11 and Dylan Stein was .916.

Among the single season highlights in goal was an awesome six-shutout season for Stein in 2016-17.

That’s an example of the stats saukhockey.info will be able to regurgitate through the regular season. Add to that the team’s record against every team it has played in that 11-year stretch and scorers from each game.

Hopefully it adds a little color to the upcoming season.

That’s my excuse for being a stats-nerd.

Scott, Blue Devils wrap up third at Summer Showcase

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Off season hockey rolls on, giving RWD junior John Scott a chance to not only prepare for an upcoming varsity tournament while helping the Wisconsin Blue Devils 16U squad to a solid third place showing at the 2021 Summer Showdown Showcase Tournament.

The tournament brought the Blue Devils squad based out of Tomah, to a familiar venue, the National Sports Center Super Rinks in Blaine, Minn.

Scott collected two goals and two assists over the weekend, getting the team to within a goal of the championship game and ultimately finishing in third spot.

Scott, a forward for the RWD Cheavers was attending his third and final summer tournament with the Blue Devils. Next weekend he will join his RWD teammates at a High School varsity off season event hosted by the Middleton Cardinals at Capitol Ice in Middleton.

The eight 16U teams at the Summer Showdown played in two four-team pools, beginning Friday. Limited ice time in the off-season months means the Blue Devils look to rediscover on ice chemistry each time out and on this weekend, the team was better with each game, beginning with a so/so effort against the Midwest Knights hockey club, playing to a 2-2 draw on Friday (June 11) evening.

John Scott (right) collected two goals and four points for the Wisconsin Blue Devils at the 2021 Summer Showdown Showcase Tournaement at the National Sports Center Super Rinks, Blaine, Minn. this past weekend. Also pictured is Johnny Thrasher, a former RWD varsity player who played with the Blue Devils on the weekend.

The Blue Devils played a tight defensive game with the Magic Selects, an affiliate of the Tier 2 junior Minnesota Magicians out of Richfield, Minn. In the end, the Selects held on for a 1-0 win, but the Blue Devils rallied back Saturday night with a lopsided 6-1 win against the Steel Shots which was good enough to rank second in pool play and advance to the Championship semifinals.

Seeded fourth in the playoff round, the Blue Devils came up against the top seeded Minnesota Freeze, pushing that team to the final buzzer, but ultimately falling 3-2.

The loss pushed the Blue Devils to a Consolation (third place) final against the same Magic Selects it fell to the previous day, but this time it was the Devils racking up seven goals and a 7-0 shutout win.

Meanwhile the Freeze captured the Championship trophy, avenging a Friday night loss to the Global Prospects Academy with a 6-2 win, the team’s fourth straight victory.

Oakes shines for Jets at NAHL Prospects Challenge

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Before embarking on a senior season and adding to an already history-making career as the primary goaltender for the RWD varsity hockey team, Cooper Oakes is getting a look at his hockey future.

Oakes, an ’03 from Reedsburg, attended a North American Hockey League (NAHL) combine in Columbus, Ohio in April and in late May he backstopped a Janesville Jets sponsored 18U team to a pair of wins on a weekend that saw the team wrap up at 3-1 at an event at the National Sports Center Super Rinks in Blaine, Minn.

The team played four times as one of several teams at the NAHL event played while the mother Janesville Jets were playing in their Division semifinal against the Kenai River Brown Bears. The Alaska-based Brown Bears have been using the Minnesota rink as a home barn.

After starting out with a 4-3 (so) win against the Austin Bruins, the Jets dropped a 5-2 decision against the Northeast Generals, then bounced back with a 3-1 win against the Lone Star Brahmas and finally, a 2-0 edge against the Kenai River Brown Bears.

Janesville Jets 4 Austin Bruins 3 (SO)

In the opening game against the Austin Bruins 18U squad, Oakes took the reins from Noah McCrary (‘04/Sun Prairie) in the middle period and helped the team to a 4-3 win in shootout. Oakes Bkicked out all three shots he faced in the shootout.

Regulation goals for the Jets came from Brady Moore (‘04/Eau Claire Memorial); Tyler Steuck (‘04/Janesville) and Eric Horein (‘04/Madison Capitols). The lone goal of the shootout came in the third round from Ben Carlson (‘03/Chippewa Falls).

Janesville Jets 2 Northeast Generals 5

Oakes and McCrary flipped the roles in the second game, Oakes starting the contest and handing off to Mc Cray with the Jets trailing in the second.

The pair combined for 29 saves in the contest with Jets’ goals scored by Pavel Rettig (Waunakee) and Horein.

Generals carried a 2-0 lead out of the first period and extend its lead to 4-1 in the middle frame, both teams adding one in the third.

Janesville Jets 3 Lone Star Brahmas 1

Against the Brahmas, the Jets went with McCrary between the pipes and he stopped 22 of 23 to nail down the win.

Jets trailed 1-0 after a period and charged back for the win with three unanswered in the final frame.

Carter Plante (‘04/Eau Claire) tied the score early with Horein notching the game winner and adding a clincher into an empty Brahmas’ goal with 34 seconds to play.

Janesville Jets 2 Kenai River Brown Bears 0

Oakes got the call for the finale and turned in a perfect effort, blocking all Brown Bears’ attempts in a shutout win.

The game’s first goal came in the sixth minute of the third period from Joe Roemer (‘04/Oregon HS) and Gavin Hruby (‘04/Waunakee) followed up with an insurance tally in the final minute.

Brandt and Zick reach NAHL Prospect semis with 15U Jets

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

A pair of local talented hockey players – Incoming RWD junior Caden Brandt and Carson Zick who will be a sophomore for Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds in 2021-22 took part in the high caliber NAHL Prospects Challenge tournament this past weekend, suiting up for the 15U Janesville Jets.

The event brought together a dozen teams, all under the umbrellas of North American Hockey League teams.

The team put together a 2-1 record in round robin matches and advanced through the Playoff quarterfinals before falling in the semis to the eventual tournament champs.

All games were played at the National Sports Center Super Rinks in Blaine, Minn., Friday May 29 – Sun day May 31.

Janesville Jets 3 Austin Bruins 4

The Jets trailed 3-0 early in the second period but rallied for three goals in the frame to knot the score at 3-3 heading to the final session.

Unfortunately, the only goal in the final period put the Bruins in front again with 8:20 to play in the contest.

David Emerich (‘06/Waunakee) scored twice for the Jets, sandwiching a goal for Grant Halmstad (‘05/Wausau).

Janesville Jets 3 Chippewa Steel 0

A goal in each period and a shutout effort in goal for Grenier Mason (‘05/Milwaukee) evened the Jets’ record.

Halmstad, Joseph Gerbitz (‘05/Green Bay) and David Dina (‘05/Verona) scored the Jets goals in this one, wrapping up play Friday.

Janesville Jets 2 Odessa Jackalopes 1 (so)

This defensive struggle didn’t see a goal until the Texas-based Jackalopes found the mesh early in the second period.

Brandt (‘05/LaValle) set up Will Rotar (‘05/Stoughton) about four minutes later to pull the Jets even and that’s the way it stayed through regulation and overtime.

In the shootout Rotar and Emerich both scored to lift the Jets to a win clinching a spot in the playoff quarter-finals.

Janesville Jets 6 Springfield Jr. Blues 1

The Jets’ collected its most decisive win later Saturday turning a 1-0 first period lead into a 4-1 middle stanza cushion and adding two more unanswered down the stretch.

Brandt led the charge scoring twice for the Jets and Zick (‘05/Baraboo) added a third period assist to help the cause. Other Jets’ goals came from Gerbitz, Emerich, Reid Post (Chippewa Falls) and Lars Brotzman (‘05/Verona).

Janesville Jets 1 New Mexico Ice Wolves 4

Just four teams returned Sunday for tournament semi-finals including three from the Jets’ round robin Division.

While the Jets squared off with the Ice Wolves, Chippewa Falls and the Jackalopes squared off in the other semi.

Brandt fire his team’s only goal, tying the game at 1-1 late in the second period, but the Ice Wolves recaptured the lead 51 seconds later with the game winning tally.

The Ice Wolves went on to claim the tournament championship with a 6-1 win against the Chippewa Steel.

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.

 

Jets charge back to reach final four

By Jim den Hollander

Publisher/Editor

Saukhockey.info

The Janesville Jets U-18 squad pulled off another thrilling win at the 2021 Chipotle USA Hockey Tier II 18U National Championship tournament in Green Bay Sunday afternoon.

Down 4-1 in the third period, the Jets rallied back with four goals including the game winner scored by Boone Mathison (’02 senior Tomah) giving the team its only lead of the contest against the Cheektowaga Rec Hockey Warriors with 22 seconds to play in regulation.

The win ran the team’s record to 4-0 at the tournament and pushed the Jets into the final four of 32 teams that started the event on Thursday.

Calvin Grass (’03 junior Fond du Lac Springs) stepped up as the latest offensive leader in a weekend full of them, scoring three times for the Jets and Sam Brennan (’03 Eau Claire Memorial) fired the other Jets’ goal.

The Jets are scheduled to hit the ice at 6:30 p.m. Sunday (May 2) against the Tri-Valley Blue Devils from California in the semi-final contest. Winner of that game will move on to the Championship Monday at 11 a.m. against either the Green Bay Bobcats or Orland Park Vikings from the Chicago area.

Jets down Jags to wrap up pool title at USA Hockey Nationals

By Jim den Hollander

Publisher/Editor

Saukhockey.info

The Janesville Jets, including RWD junior forward Trevor Slaght punched its ticket to the quarterfinals at the 2021 Chipotle USA Hockey Tier II 18U National Championship tournament in Green Bay with a 6-3 win against the Igloo Jaguars Saturday afternoon.

The win against the New Jersey-based squad at the Resch Olympic Pavilion, one of three ice surfaces at the Cornerstone Ice Arena in De Pere, not only clinched a spot in the final eight for the Jets but left them as the ‘Olympic’ Pool top seed as they collected eight of a possible nine points in three round robin matches.

The game saw just 37 total scots on goal, 19-18 in favor of the Jets who carried a 2-1 lead out of the first period and expanded it to 5-1 in the middle frame with three goals in the first five minutes of the period.

Boone Mathison (’02 Tomah) paced the offense with a three-goal game and added an assist while Isaac Frenette (’02 senior Chippewa Falls) put together a third big game with four helpers. Slaght chipped in a goal and assist to match Adam Franken (’03 junior Oregon) and the other goal came from Mason Manglitz (’02 senior, Onalaska) who, like Frenette, contributed in all three contests.

John Schroeder (’03 University School) went the distance in goal for the Jets who move on to play the Cheektowaga Rec Hockey Warriors Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Hilliard/Weyers Arena, also at the Cornerstone complex.

The Jets moved through its round robin matches with relatively easy victories against both the Warriors and Pittsburgh Predators while showing amazing resilience battling back from one-goal deficit and ultimately capturing a 6-5 shootout against the Minnesota Moose to grab top spot in the ‘Olympic Pool.’ The Moose finished second with a 1-1-1 record.

The Warriors, playing in the ‘USA’ Pool finished in second, grabbing a 3-0 shutout in its opener against the Littleton (Colo.) Hawks Thursday before stumbling 5-2 against the Green Bay Bobcats Friday, then wrapping up the berth with a 5-1 win against Team Ohio.

The quarterfinal winner will return to the ice for a 6:30 p.m. match against either the McKinney (Texas) North Stars or Tri-Valley (Calif.) Blue Devils for a berth in the National Championship contest to be played at 11:15 a.m. Monday.