Crusaders find a way past Eagles for Badger West crown

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Looking to snap a nearly two-year long streak for the visiting Madison Edgewood Crusaders in Badger West Conference play and put themselves into the Conference championship picture, the Sauk Prairie Eagles had it all under control entering the final period Thursday (Jan. 19) at the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC). 

Eagles entered the game with just one conference loss, a 1-0 heartbreaker at LeBahn Arena in Madison on Dec. 3 against the Crusaders who have yet to lose a conference match since the Badger West division was created for the 2021-22 regular season. 

After a scoreless opening period, senior Luke Mast fired his 22nd goal of the season from junior Colin Harrington and freshman Landon Froese 50 seconds into the middle frame. Thanks in part to 17 saves from senior goaltender Kaden Stracke, that lead held up into the final period.

The goal lifted Mast into a share for the overall state points lead with 52j and he is second in state with 30 assists. Stracke is also ranked in the state’s top 10, his .918 Save Percentage seventh best.   

The Crusaders found a way to spoil the night for a packed crowd at SPARC, getting on the board 4:49 into the final frame on a goal by senior Michael Baer and then stealing the win with the game winner scored by freshman Owen Barnet just 3:35 from the third period horn.  

An early powerplay set the tone for the Eagles who looked dominant early in the final period but in the end, the Crusaders held a 16-10 edge in shots in the period and a 33-31 edge overall. 

The win all but clinches a second straight Badger West crown for the Crusaders who have three division matches remaining but sit at 7-0 while the Eagles have just one conference game yet to play and are equally as comfortable in second spot in front of the 5-4 Oregon Panthers and 4-4 RWD Cheavers. 

The Eagles will wrap up its conference schedule Tuesday (Jan. 24) at Monroe’s Stateline Ice and Community Expo (SLICE) and will finish the regular season with four non-conference tests. Next home game for the Eagles will be Friday against the Muskego Co-op Ice Force. 

Despite the loss, goaltender Kaden Stracke (shown here earlier this season against RWD) turned in another solid effort against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders and he is currently among the state’s best in Save Percentage. Photo Courtesy Jessica Othmer

Harrington, Mast lead Eagles past Cardinals

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Colin Harrington’s goal late in the middle period broke a 2-2 deadlock and lifted the host Sauk Prairie Eagles to an eventual 4-2 win at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center on Tuesday (Jan. 17). 

The Eagles scored the first two goals but the visiting Stevens Point Pacelli Cardinals evened it at 2-2 before the end of the frame, setting the stage for Harrington, an Eagles’ junior. 

Senior Luke Mast opened the scoring with an unassisted marker 20 seconds into the match and later set up freshman Landon Froese less than two minutes later to put the host side up 2-0. Junior Karsyn Banta also collected an assist on the second goal.  

Cardinals senior Mason Zielinski got his team on the board 20 seconds later and added another before the end of the period to pull teams even. 

Harrington’s goal came with 1:28 to play in the second period from Mast and Banta and insurance came off the stick of Mast, wrapping up a four-point night from Harrington 7:46 into the third period.  

Brooks McInerney kicked out 21 shots to collect the win in goal for the Eagles and Cardinals junior Carter Herheim stopped 43 shots.  

The Eagles improved its overall record to 13-3-2 and now will prepare for a huge home game Thursday against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders with the Badger West Conference championship on the line. 

Colin Harrington (left, #5) scored the game winner against the Stevens Point Pacelli Cardinals on Tuesday. This photo is from an earlier game against the RWD Cheavers. Photo Courtesy Jessica Othmer

Late goal lifts Golden Beavers into draw with Eagles

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info

A third period goal lifted former conference rival Beaver Dam Golden Beavers into a 3-3 deadlock with the high-flying Sauk Prairie Eagles in their Badger Challenge match at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Friday, Jan. 13. 

The Eagles and Golden Beavers hold down second spot in the Badger West and Badger East respectively and showed there isn’t much separating them head-to-head. Last season, these matches were all held on the same day in Sun Prairie but this season it is up to the respective teams to schedule their contest.  

The Eagles entered the game with a 13-3-2 record, 7-1 in Badger West Conference play. The Golden Beavers were 9-4 on the season including 5-1 in Badger East Conference play. 

Teams were even at 1-1 after a period as senior Luke Mast opened the scoring from freshman Josh Mast and junior Colin Harrington with 5:47 to play in the period only to have senior Alex Woods tie it for the Golden Beavers 1:32 later. 

The Eagles took control 3-2 in the second with goals from senior Landon Clary and freshman Landon Froese. Luke Mast set up both with another assist for Harrington. Junior Jacob Lont countered with the long Beaver Dam marker in between the two Eagles’s goals. 

Woods fired his second of the game just five seconds from the third period horn to pull the Golden Beavers even and teams were scoreless through an eight-minute overtime period.  

Shots were almost even as well, Eagles’ senior goaltender Kaden Stracke stopping 34 while junior Henry Vick kicked out 35 for the Golden Beavers.  

The Eagles were scheduled to move on to play a non-conference home game against Stevens Point Pacelli on Tuesday, then face a huge conference test against the Edgewood Crusaders on Thursday. 

Tourney showing vaults Eagles into second half

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

Following an unbeaten showing at the annual Madison area Holiday hockey tournament, the Sauk Prairie Eagles rolled into the second half of the season looking to build on an already successful season.  

A 4-1-1 stretch has the Eagles in the hunt for a top tier playoff seed and a shot at at least a share of the Badger West Conference title. 

The Eagles began play at the holiday tournament with a 7-1 win against the Ashland Oredockers, an independent team that rolled into the event with a 4-2 record on Dec. 28. 

The Eagles outshot the Oredockers 47-18 and after surrendering the game’s first goal in the third minute, responded with seven straight markers.  

The following day, Cedarburg Bulldogs from the North Shore Conference faced off with the Eagles who bounced them by a 9-1 count. The Eagles put this one away turning narrow 2-1 cushion after a period into an 8-1 margin with six unanswered middle period goals. 

Wrapping up the event, the Eagles battled Madision Memorial Spartans to a 2-2 draw. After a scoreless first period, freshman Landon Froese opened the scoring in the second, then added the lone third period tally to pull the Eagles even at 2-2 against the Sparts who rolled into the contest with a 7-2 record and a five-game winning streak. 

Building off that momentum, the Eagles faced off with the Sun Prairie Cardinals dropping a 5-3 decision at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Jan. 3. 

Teams were even at 1-1 after a period and 3-3 heading to the final frame before the Cards scored a pair, including a shorthanded empty netter to clinch it with 73 seconds to go. 

On Friday the Eagles returned to Badger Conference play and improved their record to 6-1 with an 8-1 decision at SPARC against the visiting Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds.  

The Eagles led 4-0 after a period and carried a 7-1 cushion into the third. 

Finally, at SPARC Tuesday (Jan. 10) a goal from junior Colin Harrington 20 seconds from the final horn lifted the Eagles to their second win against the RWD Cheavers this season and a 7-1 conference record. The goal was the third of the period for the Eagles who rallied all the way back from a 4-2 deficit. 

Leading the offensive charge was senior Luke Mast who racked up 25 points with nine goals and 16 helpers, vaulting him to third in the state with 18 goals and 44 points. He could become the second player in team history to move past the 200 points plateau as he currently sits at 71 goals and 172 points through 72 games played. 

Luke Mast (left) looks for a way past RWD defender Carsen Brandt during their game at SPARC Tuesday night. Mast is on a torrid offensive pace that could be highlighted with him becoming the second player in team history to reach the 200-point plateau. Photo Courtesy Jessica Othmer.

Freshman Froese chipped in nine goals and 13 points while Harrington added four goals ande nine points. Junior Karsyn Banta notched a goal and six points and senior Landon Clary scored four and added an assist.  

Freshman Josh Mast scored once and set up three others and junior Thor Peterson fired three goals in the six-game stretch. Other goal scorers included senior Blake Howery and sophomores Gunnar Nachreiner and Connor Grant while junior Garret Mittelsteadt picked up an assist. 

Game winners came off the sticks of Peterson, Harrington, Howery and Froese. 

In goal, Kaden Stracke rolled up a 3-1-1 record with 115 stops on 127 shots, including 40 of 42 in the draw against Madison Memorial. Overall, his Save Percentage for the stretch was .911. Senior Brooks McInerney got some relief work in the tournament and picked up the win against Baraboo, stopping 16 of 17 through five periods’ work for a save percentage of .941. 

The Eagles head back into action Friday (Jan. 13) with its Badger Challenge match against the Beaver Dam Golden Beavers and after a road-heavy opening to the schedule, the Eagles will get the pay off with six of their final eight games on home ice at SPARC. 

Carrying a 12-3-1 record into the home stretch, the key match will be next Thursday when they put their 7-1 conference record on the line against the unbeaten (in conference play) Madison Edgewood Crusaders looking for a share of the conference title. 

Harrington pair leads Eagles by Cheesemakers

By Jim den Hollander
Editor/Publisher
Saukhockey.info
Sauk Prairie Eagles junior Colin Harrington opened and closed the scoring, leading his team to a 4-2 win at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Tuesday (Dec. 13).


Playing on home ice for the first time since Nov. 29 and just the second time in eight regular season games, the Eagles and Cheesemakers played through a scoreless first period before Harrington opened the scoring just nine seconds shy of the 10-minute mark in the middle period.
Senior Luke Mast and freshman Landon Froese picked up the assists, but the lead lasted just 1:50 before junior Wyatt Janecke evened the score for the Cheesemakers. Froese notched an unassisted goal just 18 seconds later to put the home team in front once again.
Cash Anderson pulled the Cheesemakers even again 1:33 into the final period but the Eagles responded quickly again, Mast sinking the game winner on a feed from sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner 26 seconds later.
Harrington added the insurance marker exactly a minute after Mast’s goal with assists for Mast and junior Garret Mittelsteadt.


Senior goaltender Brooks McInerney picked up the win for the Eagles stopping 23 of 25 and senior Xander Obert kicked out 29 in goal for the Cheesemakers.
The win boosted the Eagles to 7-2 overall and helped them stay close to the front running Madison Edgewood Crusaders in conference play, the Eagles now 4-1 at the halfway mark of the schedule.
Next up for the Eagles is a return match with the Oregon Panthers on Thursday night. The Eagles defeated the Panthers 4-2 on home ice Nov. 29 and make the trek to Oregon Thursday to begin the second half of its conference schedule. The Panthers enter the game 4-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play.

Crusaders find way past Eagles despite Stracke brilliance

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

A battle of the last two undefeated teams in the Badger West Conference at Le Bahn Arena in Madison Thursday totally lived up to expectations.  

The Madison Edgewood Crusaders managed to stay undefeated in league play since the Badger West was formed at the beginning of last season, but thanks to some standout goaltending from Sauk Prairie Eagles’ senior Kaden Stracke, it was far from easy.  

Stracke stopped all 43 shots sent his direction in Madison before sophomore Dylan Lenz found a way past him 2:38 into overtime, lifting the host side to a 1-0 win. Crusaders’ junior Rowan White kicked out all 26 he saw to collect the shutout and push the Edgewood side to 3-0 in conference play this season. 

Meanwhile, the Eagles fell to 3-1 in conference play and 5-2 overall with the end of a four-game winning streak. 

The Crusaders held the edge in shots in each period, but never dominated in a wide-open contest. After a 13-8 margin through the opening 17 minutes, both teams put on after-burners in a 28-shot second period, 16 for the home team. Edgewood controlled the third period with a 12-6 edge and all three overtime shots came off Crusader sticks. 

The Eagles will look to break back into the win column on Tuesday (Dec. 13) when they host Monroe Cheesemakers who are also 5-2 on the season so far but 1-2 in conference contests.  

The game will bring the end of a four-game road trek for the Eagles and just the second game at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) this season. It will be a short-lived respite though with the Eagles back on the road for games in Oregon Thursday and McFarland Dec. 20 before wrapping up the pre-Christmas portion of the schedule back at SPARC Dec. 22 against DeForest. 

Circle Jan. 19 on calendars as the Crusaders will visit SPARC for the return match in what is shaping up to be a critical Badger West contest.

Caden Stracke, shown here in an earlier game in Reedsburg, stopped 43 of 44 shots at LeBahn Ice Arena in Madison before the host Edgewood Crusaders found a way past for a 1-0 overtime win on Thursday (Dec. 8). Photo Courtesy Jessica Othmer

Clary lifts Eagles to overtime win at RACA

By JIm den Hollander
Editor/Publisher
Saukhockey.info
The Sauk Prairie Eagles stayed undefeated in Badger West Conference play as Landon Clary notched an overtime game winner lifting the guests to a 4-3 win Tuesday night at Reedsburg Area Community Arena.


While the win boosted the Eagles to 3-0 in conference matches and 5-1 overall, the host RWD Cheavers fell under .500 at 2-3 and 0-2 in Conference — both league losses coming in overtime.
Both teams are looking to find their way without their top offensive threats as seniors Caden Brandt of the Cheavers and Luke Mast of the Eagles are both out with injuries. The loss of Brandt might not be as permanent though as tests after the game in Oregon found a bad sprain opposed a broken or fractured bone.


In this game, the Eagles went to work early, junior Garret Mittelsteadt connecting for the first goal of the night in the second minute, from junior Karsyn Banta and Colin Harrington. Senior Blake Howery added another for the Eagles from junior Steven Romaker just before the 10-minute mark, but RWD sophomore Kaden Uminski struck back just 35 seconds later converting a feed from freshman RJ Manley to get the Cheavers within a goal.
That held up until late in the middle period when RWD senior John Scott notched his fourth of the season, unassisted to even the score. Sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner put the Eagles in front again before the end of the period with help from Harrington and freshman Landon Froese.
Senior defenseman Lukas Vana scored the lone third period goal from junior Brady Baldwin setting the stage for the overtime frame.
Senior Landon Clary stepped up as the overtime hero for the Eagles with his unassisted goal in the sixth minute.


Senior Kaden Stracke collected the win in goal for the Eagles, his fourth of the season with 25 saves on 28 shots while sophomore Alex Griebe kicked out 23 shots for the Cheavers.
The Eagles have played all but one game so far this season on the road and will get a chance to face one more tough road test Thursday at LeBahn Arena in Madison when they square off with the Madison Edgewood Crusaders.
This game has added importance as the Eagles and defending conference champion Crusaders are the lone undefeated teams in conference — the Eagles at 3-0 and the Crusaders with two wins.
The Eagles will finally play in front of friendly fans on Tuesday (Dec. 13) when they host the Monroe Cheesemakers at the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) but then head on the road for another pair.
The Cheavers will look to get their own conference season on track Saturday when they travel to Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo for a 7 p.m. faceoff against the host Thunderbirds, then return home for a Tuesday night contest against the Crusaders and a Friday game against the Cheesemakers, taking them to the halfway mark of their Badger West Conference schedule.

Froese sinks overtime winner for Eagles

By Jim den Hollander
Editor/Publisher
Saukhockey.info
Freshman forward Landon Froese fired his second of the game with 5:13 to play in overtime, lifting the Sauk Prairie Eagles to a 5-4 road win at the Onalaska Omni Center Thursday (Dec. 1) night.


The win came in the first game without senior Luke Mast in the lineup and it was an impressive victory against the always strong Onalaska/La Crosse Hilltoppers.
Sidelined with a wrist injury, Mast, who finished among the state leaders in scoring last season had 136 career varsity points.
Hilltoppers hit the board first for the Hilltoppers 8:59 into the contest but Froese fired his first of the contest 25 seconds later from sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner.


Junior Thor Peterson continued that trend later in the period, responding to the second Hilltoppers’ goal again 25 seconds later with his unassisted goal.
Junior Colin Harrington gave the visitors their first lead with a shorthanded goal, unassisted with just over five minutes to play in the opening period.
After a scoreless second period, the Hilltopers pulled even 6:29 into the third and this time it was 31 seconds before Harrington’s second put the Eagles in front again with a set up from junior Garret Mittelsteadt.
For the Hilltoppers, junior Noah Gillette scored twice and senior Carter Hayes notched the other before Gavin Shuster evened it up again with 7:26 to play.
That set the stage for Froese with another unassisted marker in the extra period.
Senior goaltender Kaden Stracke played a big part in this one, stopping 39 shots for his third win of the season in the Eagles’ crease and sophomore Josh Pogreba had 24 saves for the Hilltoppers.


Ironically, with the win, the Eagles have one more win at the Omni Center (2) than at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC). The other win came in the season opener against the Avalanche.
This win came in the first of four-straight road games for the Eagles. The next three for the 3-1 (1-0) will be Badger West Conference match ups at Pierce Park Pavilion against the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds Saturday (Dec. 3), Tuesday at Reedsburg Area Community Arena against the RWD Cheavers and Thursday at LeBahn Arena against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders.
Next home game for the Eagles will also be a conference game as the Monroe Cheesemakers pay a visit Dec. 13.

Mast, Harrington pace Eagles past Panthers

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

On paper they should be about even, but the Sauk Prairie Eagles continued its run of Badger West Conference wins against the Oregon Panthers Tuesday night with a 4-2 doubling in their home opener at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC). 

The Eagles now have three straight wins against the Cats since Badger conferences were realigned to start the 2021-22 campaign. 

Senior Luke Mast and junior Colin Harrington paced the Eagles with two goals apiece in a game the home side never trailed.  

A powerplay solo effort from Mast opened the scoring 7:32 into the match put the Eagles on the board, but Oregon senior Simon Dosher tied it up five seconds from the end of the opening period.  

Mast’s second put the Eagles in front again 7:48 into the second but the Panthers rallied back again, this time just over two minutes later.  

Harrington notched the eventual game winner to give the Eagles its third and final lead of the night 82 seconds from the end of the middle period and he added insurance near the three-minute mark of the final period. The final Eagles’ goal was the only one with set ups, Mast and sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner collected the assists. 

For Mast, the three-point contest gives him five goals and eight points just three games into the season. 

Senior Kaden Stracke stopped 23 shots to collect his second win of the season while Oregon junior Nate McAlpine made 19 saves. 

The Eagles moved to 2-1 on the season with the win and 1-0 in Badger West play while the Panthers fell to 1-1 and 0-1 in league play. The Panthers will play its first home game Friday, entertaining the RWD Cheavers in another conference battle.  

The Eagles will go back on the road for its next four games, beginning Tuesday (Dec. 1) at the Onalaska Omni against the Onalaska/La Crosse Hilltoppers with a 7 p.m. puck drop. Following that the Eagles will play Badger West Conference matches Saturday at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo Saturday, at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) Tuesday (Dec. 6) and LeBahn Arena in Madison against the Edgewood Crusaders Thursday, Dec. 8. 

Next home game will be Dec. 13 at SPARC against Monroe Cheesemakers, another conference tilt. 

Eagles’ late rally falls just short in Middleton

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Eagles made things interesting with a solid third period but ultimately fell short Saturday, doubled by the host Middleton Cardinals at Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena. 

The host Cards held a solid advantage through the first 34 minutes, outshooting its guest 40-22 and building a 3-0 lead despite some nice work between the pipes from Eagles’ senior Kaden Stracke.  

The Eagles flipped the script in the final period, outshooting the Cards 17-14 down the stretch and getting two goals in 78 seconds to get within one late in the contest. 

Junior Brady Engelkes fired the lone goal of the opening period for the home side with second period goals coming from junior Cam Semrad and senior Hayden WiLmmer.  

Landon Froese likely won’t forget the first goal of his varsity career, the freshman converting a feed from junior Colin Harrington and senior Luke Mast with 3:05 to play.  

Sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner pulled the Eagles within one, from senior Landon Cleary made the game much more interesting, but Middleton senior Drew Sjowall put it away with his empty netter 46 seconds after the Nachreiner tally. 

Stracke stopped 50 of 53 shots for the Eagles with one shot into an empty cage. At the other end, senior Cam Haynes handled 37 of 39 in a wide open contest.

The Eagles fell to 1-1 with the tough loss while the Cardinals look strong out of the game, defeating powerhouse teams Waunakee Warriors and Onalaska Hilltoppers by a combined score of 19-2 before taking on the Eagles who will open its Badger West Conference season against the 1-0-0 Oregon Panthers Tuesday in its home opener at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC).