For the second time in three years, a local hockey player has wrapped up the season as a national champion.
Selena Falzone, 18-year-old daughter of Dells Ducks Owner Shaun Falzone has spent the last year living in Baraboo but played hockey in Nashville with the AA Jr. Predators, traveling the same road as from RWD varsity player Trevor Slaght.
It was her second season commuting once a month to the country western capital to play hockey. The previous season she lived in the Dallas area but spent this year in Baraboo as the Falzone is in the midst of moving to the area.
Primarily playing on the wing this season, Falzone said in interview she is at least somewhat familiar with every position except goaltender.
As the daughter and sister of hockey players, Falzone naturally developed an interest in the sport at a young age, skating at the age of three and playing her youth hockey first in Chicagoland, then Texas before moving on to the AA squad in Nashville.
Falzone collected three goals and nine points with the Preds and provided a physical presence on the ice for her squad.
Last season, the Preds enjoyed a more successful campaign but lost out in semi-finals at Nationals. This year the team might not have been as successful through the season but saved its best hockey for the end and returned home with a national championship banner for its home arena.
The team’s lone stumble came in its opener at Nationals as the Preds dropped a 4-3 decision against the Idaho Vipers, both in the ‘American’ Division at the USA Hockey 19U Womens Tier 2 National Championship tournament March 30.
The team returned the following day though, shrAugging off its loss and bouncing pack with a 3-1 edge against the Alaska All Stars.
In its round-robin wrap up game on April 1 the Preds clinched a spot in the tournament quarter-finals with a 6-0 shutout against the Anaheim Lady Ducks.
The Preds returned on April 2 and advanced to semis with a 7-5 decision against the South Anchorage Oilers, breaking a 4-4 draw with a 3-1 margin through the final period — a trend that continued through the playoff rounds.
That evening the Preds took the ice again and punched its ticket to the National Championship game with a 6-3 doubling of the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers.
Only the Preds and Arizona Kachinas returned April 3 for the championship game that saw the Nasvhille crew fall behind beford rallying late.
After a scoreless opening period, the Kachinas opened a 2-0 second period cushion and led 3-1 early in the third.
A pair of goals from Heather Ajakie less than two minutes apart. finished off a hat trick with her eighth and ninth of the tournament, pulling the Preds even with still more than 11 minutes to play.
The game winner came from Devon Caveliere on a powerplay with 7:36 to play, putting the Preds in front for the first and only time in the contest.
It was a fitting swansong for Falzone who is stepping away from competitive hockey, at least at the AA level to focus on school. She will graduate high school in a few weeks and while she has been accepted at a couple top schools, including University of Minnesota, she will begin her post high school education at UW-Sauk County in Baraboo.
Still undecided on hockey, Falzone may look to play her final 19U season locally.
The Sauk Prairie peewee ‘A’ Flyers were one of the few teams able to celebrate the end of the season with a win as they wrapped up three seemingly easy wins to claim the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA) State 3A Championship a few weeks ago.
Following is a division by division look at how things went down for all Sauk County teams that participated in Regionals and State Championship Tournaments
At Regionals held Feb. 4-5, the Squirt ‘A’ Division included just one game as the RWD Cheavers collected a 3-1 win against the Flyers at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC).
The win advanced the Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells/Mauston crew to the State 3A Championship as the Region 4 Representative in Rhinelander, WI.
Seeded seventh at the event, the Cheavers opened play at Rhinelander Ice Arena, playing the tournament opener against the second seeded Somerset Spartans early on March 4
A 5-1 loss in that contest sent the Cheavers to the Consolation side of the draw for an afternoon contest against the sixth seeded Oshkosh Warbirds later the same day.
A 4-3 edge in that one advanced RWD to the Consolation Championship contest but the fourth seeded Waupun Warriors spoiled Cheavers’ bid for a plaque and banner with a 5-1 win.
After defeating the Cheavers in its opener, the Spartans defeated third seeded Marshfield with an 5-4 decision in overtime and claimed the state title with a 3-1 win against number five Black River Falls Tigers.
Congratulations to the RWD Squirt ‘A’ Cheavers for a Region 4 Championship and a sixth place showing at State where they met up with both the eventual State and State Consolation Champions.
RWD’s squirt roster includes in numerical order: Jase Uminski; Talon Burton; Joel Dotts; Cole Renneberg; Thomas Bowen Jr.; Elliott Wilcox; Briar Messer; Caleb Backeberg; Bentley Meyer; Jesse Curley and Owen Meyer.
Justin Messer was the team’s Head Coach this season with help from Dustin Curley and Nate Wilcox and Angela Meyer was the team’s manager.
The RWD squirts wrapped up the season with an 18-23-1 record.
Congrats also to the Squirt ‘A’ Flyers who wrapped up a solid 18-10-2 (possibly a few games missing).
The Squirt ‘A’ Flyers includes in numerical order: Henry Zuelke; Bryce Argall; Isabelle Jolicoeur; Kelton Royster; Brayton Bahe; Luke Hager; Teresa Weiss; Mason Ramirez; Milio Donaldson; Oswald Tippery; Joshua Freeman; Cashton Suchla; Jonathon Bromley and Jayden Teague.
Michael Freeman is listed as the team’s Head Coach along with assistants Brett Suchla; John Tippery and Zake Bahe. Team Manager this season was Rachel Tippery.
The Squirt ‘B’ Regional Playdowns included both the Flyers and Cheavers along with the Ice Wolves out of Dodgeville and the Stoughton Vikings.
On Feb. 4 the Flyers Squirts collected a 12-0 win against the RWD Cheavers at SPARC and advanced to the Regional Championship against the Ice Wolves who edged the Vikings 6-5 in its semifinal.
Second round games were not required, top seeded Flyers gaining entry to the State Tournament in Somerset, WI while the Ice Wolves were granted the ‘host’ spot.
The Flyers drew eventual State finalist Somerset Spartans who were hosting the event on March 4, dropping a 5-3 decision and moving to the Consolation side of the draw.
Later the same day, the Flyers earned a 5-4 edge against Marshfield, moving to the Consolation Championship game, but the Waupun Warriors spoiled the run March 5 with a 3-1 edge to claim the Consolation title.
The Ice Wolves went to a shootout to capture a 5-4 edge against Marshfield in its opening game but ran into the Spartans in the second round dropping a 9-3 decision. In the third place contest, Barron/Chetek Grizzlies captured a 7-3 win against the Ice Wolves.
Congratulations to the Flyers on a sixth place showing at the State Tournaement. Team members include: Bryce Jacobs; Owen Olson; Carson Lohr; Logan Meyer; William Prohaska; Levi Sadek; Basil Welch; Wyatt Kieffer; Jameson Gray; Everett Meyer; Harper Caldwell; Catharine Marshall and Reid Hart.
Brandon Lohr is listed as the team’s coach along with assistants Tony Hart; Zach Wagner; Michael Kieffer and Paul Jacobs. Danielle Lohr and Natalie Hart shared the team manager duties.
The RWD Cheavers Squirt B roster included: Kaden Whitrock Pyne; Reeve Krus; Knox Ganem; Nash Walker; Tenley Van der Wilt; Brayden Lee; Darby Seep; Amaya Clark; Cooper Simonson; Corbyn Sullivan; Landyn Luke; Christian Shirek; Zander Mathis; Westly Williams; Jaxsen Folgate and Dalton Whitaker. Co-Coaches included Bryton Clark; Barry Folgate; Brad Lee and Eric Neuhauser and Megan Folgate was the team’s manager.
10U Girl’s ‘A’
The Squirt ‘B’ Regional Playdowns included both the Flyers and Cheavers along with the Ice Wolves out of Dodgeville and the Stoughton Vikings.
Monkeys guaranteed a spot in the top four with a 7-0 shutout win against the Eau Claire Mustangs in the second game of the state tournament but dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker against the Lake County Warhawks later the same day, returning the following day and wrapping up third place with a 5-1 win against the Fox River Freeze.
Congratulations to the 10U ‘A’ Monkeys on a third place showing at State and an overall record of 14-12-1 (Possibly missing some results) Team members include: Margaret Nelson; Hayley Chamberlin; Ruth Saltzberry; Callie Lohr; Brooke Schmidtke; Reagan Maier; Mya Goodman; Teresa Weiss; Giullette Melone; Grace O’Connell; Isabelle Jolicoeur; Lola Smith; Margaret Kossen and Ruby Rinabarger.
Jeromy Chamberlin was Head Coach of the Monkeys along with assistants Jed Smith; Derek Rinabarger and Shawn Nelson. Team manager was Julie Goodman.
10U Girl’s ‘B’
As the lone Region 4 representative at the Region 4 10U ‘B’ level, Monkeys earned an auto berth into the State Championship tournament played March 4-5 in Spooner.
As the eighth seed, the Monkeys knew it would take some big efforts to pick up a win on the weekend and Beaver Dam Wildfire, the top seeded team at the event collected a 12-0 win in the third game of the day in Spooner to send Monkeys to the Consolation side of the draw.
Later the same day, Fox River Freeze moved past the Monkeys with a 9-1 win and Green Bay also earned a 4-0 victory in the seventh-place game. All things considered, players may have been disappointed, but this weekend could be pointed to down the road as an experience that made the local 10U squad a better team.
10U ‘B’ Monkeys include Silvia Cassidy; Taylor Ruhland; Londyn Kleist; Maycee Bradley; Nellie Kaderaverk; Raegan Noltner; Eloise Nelson; Olive Nelson; Scarlett Breunig; Charlotte Gesicki; Gracelyn Kleist; Elizabeth Cook; Emily Ramirez and Ella Paul.
Seth Nelson was the team’s Head Coach and Aaron Kaderavek an assistant while Madeline Nelson took on managing duties.
Dave Jolicoeur’s peewee ‘A’ side claimed the state championship in Ashland which has already been reported on.
The team claimed its spot at the state tournament by winning the Region 4 Championship with a 6-2 edge against the RWD Cheavers Feb. 5 at SPARC. The Cheavers moved into the championship game with a 9-2 margin against the Beloit Junior Knights at McFarland the previous day.
The Flyers wrapped up a state championship season with five straight wins, including victories against Marshfield, Black River Falls and Tomahawk at the Ashland event.
Team members included: Haakon Hoeltke; Logan Harrington; Alexander Kirk; Braden Schlough; Brayton Bahe; Natalee Gesicki; Davis Lombard; Bryce Ballweg; Benjamin Freeman; Oswald Tippery, Michael Jolicoeur and Reid Knoll.
Dave Jolicoeur was the team’s Head Coach with assistants Michael Freeman; Jeffrey Harrington and Brian Schlough. Ryan Kirk was the team’s manager.
The RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers also wrapped up a solid season with an overall record of 15-18-2.
Members of the Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers include: Landen Uminski; Kate Brandt; Rainier Scott; Kason Messer; Aaron Belk; Teaghan Geffert; Bryce Horkan; Evelyn Gurney; Jesse Arnold and Noah Backeberg.
Joe Uminski is the team’s Head Coach with Billy Oakes and Jeremy Backeberg also behind the bench. Team manager is Tara Uminski.
The Peewee ‘B’ Flyers were granted automatic inclusion in the State 3B tournament in Waupaca while the RWD Peewee ‘B’ Cheavers were granted a spot as the Region 5 Rep (There was not 3B level teams in Region 5) with a 7-2 win against Stoughton on Feb. 5 in McFarland.
The Cheavers took advantage of the opportunity and earned a 5-3 win against Oshkosh in the final game of the opening round March 11 to move to the Championship side of the draw. Earlier the Flyers suffered a 4-1 loss against Blackhawk and moved to the Consolation side of the tournament.
The Cheavers dropped a 4-1 decision to Somerset Spartans later the same day, denying them a spot in the championship game but instead returned Sunday to face Blackhawk in the third place match. Blackhawk collected th the plaque with a 4-2 doubling of the Cheavers.
The Flyers bounced back from its opening loss, taking out frustrations on the Tomahawk Hatchets 9-2 later the same day.
That pushed the Flyers into the Consolation Championship match but the Ashland peewees wrapped up that plaque with a 6-3 win.
Congratulations to the RWD Cheavers on a 4th place ranking in State. Team members include: Isaac Howe; Shirlie DeFosse; Nora Walker; Kapri Rabine; Elliot Wilcox; Aria Gada; Cole Renneberg; Jamison Haag; Harlan Folgate; Jase Uminski; Caleb Backeberg; Joseph Patton; Briar Messer and Braydan Potter.
Todd Patton and Jim Polanek are co-Coaches for the ‘B’ Cheavers and Katrina Knight is the team manager.
Congratulations to the Peewee ‘B’ Flyers who wrapped up fifth in state. Team members include: Henry Zuelke; Eli Dillon; Liam Hart; Calder Schakelman; Owen Olson; Reid Hart; William Prohaska; Mason Ramirez; Calvin Kunde; Calvin Russo; Cashton Suchla; JJ Hagen; Mason Cantwell and Jayden Teague.
Jason Teague is the team’s Head Coach with Juan Ramirez and Colin Hagen as Assistant Coaches. Manager duties this season were shared by Amanda Cantwell and Natalie Hart.
12U ‘A’ Girls
The 12U ‘A’ Monkeys earned its shot at state winning the lone Regional contest 9-0 against Sun Prairie. That advanced the Monkeys to play in the Milwaukee area in a tournament hosted by Arrowhead (Lake Country) March 11-12.
The Monkeys opened the event as the fifth seed but suffered a 4-2 loss against Superior Spartans March 11, sending them to the Consolation side of the pool.
The Monkeys bounced back with a 2-1 win later the same day against the eighth seeded Fox River Freeze, then captured the State 12U ‘A’ Consolation plaque and banner with a 3-1 win against the Black Cats ‘Black’ squad.
The Consolation crown wraps up a solid 20-6 record (some game results may be missing) and ranked fifth in state.
Robert Annen Sr. Is the team’s Head Coach with Jess Hansen; Graham Falde and Holly Walker as assistant coaches. Ellie Falde was the team’s manager.
12U ‘B’ Girls
The ‘B’ Monkeys also qualified for the state tournament with an automatic berth, making the trip to Appleton March 11-12.
Seeded sixth at the tournament, the Monkeys drew a tough opener, falling 7-0 to the number 3 Fox River Freeze in the second game of the event March 11. Later the same day, the Monkeys began play on the Consolation side, dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker in double overtime.
The locals dropped their final game at the state tournament as well, the seventh-place match on Sunday against Chippewa Falls.
Congratulations to the 12U ‘B’ Monkeys on wrapping up the season at the state tournament and ranked eighth overall in Wisconsin.
Team members include: Hayley Chamberlin; Carolena Weiss; Reagan Maier; Charlotte Drake; Vivienne Tomlin; Lucy Gibson; Mia Persinger; Sydnee Marks; Eliana Graham; Elle Osborn; Mackenzie Pflieger; Margaret Kossen; Bryn Hommowun; Ruby Rinabarger; Nora Thiering and Catherine Marshall.
Rebecca Hildebrandt was the team’s Head Coach with Jody Persinger; Brandon Hommowun and Matthew Drake also in place as assistant coaches. Team manager duties were shared by Jessica Mijal and Stephanie Osborn.
Sauk Prairie Flyers also earned a direct entry to the state championship as the lone Region 4 rep while RWD was also included as the tournament host.
Play started at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) on March 4 for the WAHA Bantam 3A title.
The host Cheavers dropped a 6-0 opening round decision to Somerset Spartans and the Flyers played the final game of the opening round, falling to the Waupun Warriors 6-3.
Both teams moved to the Consolation side of the tournament later Saturday, RWD advancing to the Consolation Championship game with a 7-0 decision against Black River Falls while the Flyers claimed the other spot with a 7-1 win against Waupaca.
A thrilling all-Sauk County Consolation Championship game went to the Cheavers with a narrow 4-3 margin. The state title went to the Tomahawk Hatchets who doubled Somerset 6-3.
Congratulations to the host and State Consolation champion RWD Cheavers with team members: Jordan Kowalski; Jenna Garbacz; Wyatt Arnold; Ethan Wilcox; Caydence Putz; Cassidy Putz; Matthew Stando; Ethan Pope; Andrew Stando; Molly Stokes; Marley Fischer; Tyler Krieski; Brian Skwara; Payton Kowalski; Olivia Renneberg; Nicholas Warneke; Aiden Knull; Dayne Wagner and Hailey Dietl.
Chris Arnold, Justin Pope and Nate Wilcox were team coaches and Nicole Stokes was the team’s manager.
Congratulations to the Bantam ‘A’ Flyers who wrapped up sixth spot in the state. Team members include: Ethan Goodman; Brody Bjorklund; Benjamin Hanko; Douglas Jolicoeur; Kash Caldwell; Cameron McInerney; Ryker Hovland; Austin Smith; Baryn MacLeish-Breunig; Caden Argall Tucker Cummings; Rylan Burch; Carl Weiss and Rowan Kauss.
Mark Schultz was the team’s Head Coach with Timothy McInerney and Kurt Caldwell as Assistant Coaches and Gregory Sarnow listed as ‘General Staff.’ Kristian Smith was the team’s manager.
14U ‘A’ Girls
The Lake City Whitecaps wrapped up its inaugural season with an auto berth to the State Championship tournament as the Region 4 Rep.
Traveling to the Milt Lunda Memorial Arena in Black River Falls, the Whitecaps opened play March 4 as the eighth seed and dropped its opener 9-2 against the top seeded and eventual state champion Fond du Lac Thunder.
A 9-1 loss against Hayward Hurricanes later the same day sent the area 14U squad to the seventh place game Sunday. A closer game saw the Whitecaps falling 2-1 to Winter Club and wrapping up its first season as the state’s number eight squad.
Roster for the 14U ‘A’ Whitecaps was unavailable on the Sauk Prairie Youth Hockey website.
14U ‘B’ Girls
The 14U ‘B’ squad also earned direct entry to the state championship tournament held March 4-5 in Beaver Dam.
Also seeded eighth, the Whitecaps found the road tough as well, pitted against the top seeded and host Beaver Dam Wildfire who sent them to the Consolation side with a 9-1 decision. The Whitecaps returned later the same day and were sent to the Seventh place contest with a tough Consolation round loss against the Western Wisconsin Stars 5-4.
On Sunday the Whitecaps wrapped up a tough weekend with a 5-3 loss to the Ozaukee Ice Dogs to finish as the state’s eighth ranked team.
Members of the 14U ‘B’ Whitecaps include Lili Peekna; Kylie Unseth; Vyvienne Tomlin; Lucy Gibson; McKenzie Teague; Olivia Zuelke; Seneca Ruyle; Mary Marck; Elle Osborn; Lauren Mankowski; Lila Shadewald; Allison Anderson; Violett Fredrickson; Allison Herbrand; Haydee Meyer and Madison Breunig.
Nathan Breunig was the team’s Head Coach with Jason Teague and Rebecca Hildebrandt as assistants. Melinda Teague was the team’s manager.
The Sauk Prairie Peewee ‘A’ Flyers were selected as the top seed for the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA) 3A Peewee State Championship tournament in Ashland, WI this past weekend and went to work making that to be correct.
After moving to the winning side of the draw with a 10-0 shutout against Marshfield peewees Saturday morning, the team returned to the ice a few hours later and earned its spot in the championship game with a 9-5 edge against Black River Falls.
In the championship game Sunday afternoon, the Flyers doubled the Tomahawk Hatchets 6-3 to claim the championship plaque and banner.
The peewees set the table for its state championship with a 29-10-2 record including a 6-2 win against the RWD Peewee Cheavers in their Regional test Feb. 5 to officially qualify for the state event.
Following that, the locals dropped its next three before rebounding from an 8-2 loss against Onalaska with an 8-0 win against the same team on the same day. The Flyers rolled from there with a 6-2-1 run to wrap up the season. Clearly the team was firing on all cylinders heading to Ashland.
“We really felt good about how we were playing last weekend heading into the tournament,” said Coach Dave Jolicoeur in an email interview. “The kids were loose and having fun. We were in a really good spot.”
Flyers 10 Blades 0
The Flyers opened tournament play with a 10-0 win against the Marshfield peewee Blades, a team they had not faced this season.
The game was all but over by the time the first period buzzer sounded as the Flyers pounded the Blades’ goal with eighth unanswered tallies. Single goals in the second and third wrapped it up.
Leading the scoring parade was hat tricks for both Michael Joliceour and Natalee Gesicki. Brayton Bahe chipped in a goal and three assists, Braden Schlough and Davis Lombard both adding a goal and assist. The other goal came from Reid Knoll and Kirk Alexander had a pair of set ups.
The opening round of games eliminated half the field from a shot at the state title and moved the Flyers along with Black River Falls, Somerset and Tomahawk to the Championship semis.
While the team had not faced Marshfield before, Jolicoeur said he and his players were confident heading into the contest.
“We didn’t have any butterflies going into that game. For the core of the 2010’s on this team, it was their third trip to State so they knew what it was all about.
“We also got a look at Marshfield at the Altoona tournament (Jan. 28-29), so even though we hadn’t played the, we got to see them in action before the State Tournament. Coming out strong against them and scoring so early n the first period let us know our kids were ready to make a run at this thing.”
Flyers 9 Tigers 5
Saturday night against the Black River Falls Tigers, the Flyers were a facing a team it defeated 7-5 and 12-6 in exhibition games at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Dec. 3, then 9-5 and 5-3 in Black River Falls Jan. 15.
Once again the team found its offense early, grabbing a 3-0 first period lead. Both teams added a pair in the middle frame and the Flyers outlasted the Tigers in a wild third period with a 4-3 edge to make the 9-5 final.
Logan Harrington set the pace in this one scoring two and adding three helpers for the Flyers. Jolicoeur and Bahe both scored two more, Bahe adding an assist. Kirk, Lombard and Knoll had the other goals with assists for Haakon Hoeltke, Schlough and Gesicki.
Jolicoeur said despite the success againt BRF in earlier matches, the team wasn’t overconfident heading into the game it needed to win to reach the state championship match.
“We were feeling good, but two of our four previous games against Black River Falls were two-goal games with the last of those including an empty netter,” said Jolicoeur. “It’s tough to beat a good team like that five times in a season. They’ve got some talented skaters, especially Brooke Lakowske. She’s tough, if not impossible to contain.”
That win put the Flyers three periods away from a state championship game, going up against the Tomahawk Hatchets, also 2-0 with an 8-2 win against Beaver Dam and a 6-3 doubling of Somerset.
The Flyers previously played the Hatchets at a tournament in Waupaca Jan. 7-8 collecting 8-3 and 8-1 wins.
Flyers 6 Hatchets 3
Tomahawks flipped the script a bit on the Flyers scoring the first pair and carrying a 2-0 cushion to the middle period. Teams were even at 2-2 heading to the third and a 4-1 margin through the final period put it away for the Flyers.
Jolicoeur said the Tomahawk team has bolstered with the addition of defenseman Jake Albert, a member of the 2010 Team Wisconsin team who is double rostered and played with the bantam squad through most of the season.
“He played with the Tomahawk bantam team that won state (the previous weekend,” said the coach. “We knew he’d be a challenge and he factored in an all three of their goals.
“We came out nervous and tight for the championship game and found ourselves down 2-0 after a period. We just told the kids to loosen up and get back to playing hockey. They were scoring nine goals a game (average) coming into the championship game and we knew the goals were going to come.
“By the end of the second period we tied it and never trailed again.”
Bahe scored the goal that would stand up as the state championship winner 8:19 into the period, his second of the contest and Jolicoeur scored his first of a pair seconds later to put his team in cruise control.
“Going up 4-3 and then scoring our fifth 16 seconds later probably took a bit of wind out of their sails,” said Jolicoeur. “Then, about two minues later, we got the sixth which pretty much put a comeback out of reach.”
Kirk and Harrington scored the other goals, Schlough setting up a pair and other assists for Kirk, Jolicoeur, Gesicki and Knoll.
In goal, Benjamin Freeman put in the work, kicking out 26 of 29 shots and picking up the win in all three games.
Coach Jolicoeur is of course pleased with the efforts of his team throughout the season and said as early as the beginning of the season the team was destined for greatness.
“We knew going in that it could be a special year,” said the Coach. Two years ago, the core of this team went into the 2021 State Tournament looking pretty good. We then lost a heartbreaker first game to Somerset 5-4. That was a game we had in hand until we had some emotional and mental breakdowns that began a parade to the penalty box.
“Give credit to the kids though. They learned from that experience and even being down 2-0 after the first to Tomahawk, they stayed positive and didn’t have those types of breakdowns. They were able to channelize that energy, stay mentally tough and go out and battle their way back into the game.
“That growth and maturity for this team was really a neat thing to experience and a great life lesson for these kids.”
After celebrating at the rink, the Flyers players and families paid a price, with what Coach Jolicoeur called “A white-knuckle driving experience,” returning home through a snowstorm. Plans for a team celebration are currently in the works.
“Winning a State Championship is a special and rare occasion, so we want to make sure we acknowledge it.”
Congrats from Saukhockey.info to all team players, Coach Dave Jolicoeur, Assistant Coaches Michael Freeman, Jeffrey Harrington and Brian Schlough and Team Manager Ryan Kirk.
Ultimately, the Dells Jr. Ducks is hoped to be a spring/summer opportunity for youth hockey players of all ages, but Shaun Falzone, owner of the Ducks USPHL junior hockey team eased in with just a peewee level team this season.
The team made its competitive debut at the Clash of Sticks event in a couple Chicago arenas, the final event in a busy 2021-22 season for Ultimate Tournaments May 27-29.
The team, including players from Illinois, Texas along with Landen Uminski, Noah Backeberg and Evelyn Gurney from RWD, played four times, winning once and finishing fourth in its five-team pool.
The Ducks started out on the Friday night (May 27) at Addison Ice Arena, dropping a 7-2 decision against the Chicago Eagles.
The Eagles led 2-1 after a period and added four more in the middle period before both teams added one in the final period.
The Ducks returned to play two more on Saturday, beginning with a 4-0 shutout win against Wolverines Hockey. Three of the four goals came in the middle period, including the first, scored by Owen Voller with an assist from Uminski who picked up another point with the lone goal of the third period as well.
Later the same day, the Ducks came up short 6-2 against the Glacier Ice Dogs as a 1-1 tie after a period turned into a 4-1 deficit by the start of the third. The Ice Dogs added another before the Ducks finally scored its second in the final period.
The Ducks wrapped up play Sunday with a tough 1-0 loss against the Vipers, the lone goal scored late in the first period. The narrow win was enough to get Vipers into the championship game where the defeated the Eagles 3-2.
After Friday’s opener, all games were played at Fifth Third Arena in Chicago, the practice facility of the Chicago Black Hawks.
By Jim den Hollander Editor/Publisher Saukhockey.info A large number of RWD hockey players have avoided a lull in their schedule by trying out for and making the Western Wisconsin Blue Devils Summer Hockey teams.
Most of the teams attended three tournaments, wrapping up this past weekend. Details on the events were limited, but following is a list of teams that included local players and the details this reporter was able to garner.
’08 Blue Devils
The ’08 Blue Devils began its three-tournament season at the Border Battle Tournament with RJ Manley, a fixture with the Tomah-based squad for several seasons included in the lineup along with Thomas Sarnow.
Manley, an incoming RWD freshman and his teammates started out with an impressive 8-1 win against Blaze (Gold) at Somerset Ice Arena April 22, then returned the following day battling Breakaway to a 1-1 draw in Forest Lake and moving back to the win column with a 5-2 decision against Ice Edge in Woodbury, MN.
The Blue Devils wrapped up top spot in its six-team group with another 5-2 margin on April 24 against the St. Croix Muskies, played in Forest Lake.
At the Shock Doctor Tournament played in the Twin Cities area, the Blue Devils played in the six-team ’08 Upper draw, beginning April 29 with a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Lake Superior Pirates at Brooklyn Park.
The following day, the North Metro Stars doubled the Blue Devils 4-2 but the Devils stormed back with an 8-2 win against FCA Hockey (Blue), both games played in Maple Grove.
In the first of two games Sunday, the Blue Devils were shutout 4-0 by Hockey Haven and they wrapped up a busy weekend, settling for fourth place after a 5-2 loss against the Madison Capitols in the third-place contest.
The team wrapped up the compact season playing this past weekend in the Mountain Dew Blast Tournament, also in the Twin Cities area. No details from that event were available at the time of printing this article.
’09 Blue Devils
A group of players from the Regional Champion RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers stayed united on this team. Tyler Krieski and Ethan Pope both made the trip with the team to the Border Battle Tournament in Hudson. Playing at the AAA level is a giant step for players generally playing in smaller centers and the tournament was primarily a learning experience. After dropping a 10-3 decision against the Eskimos in the first game, April 22, the Devils played twice the following day, doubling the Minnesota Magicians 8-4 before falling 7-3 against Tommy Chicago later the same day. The Blue Devils returned to play Tommy Chicago again Sunday falling 8-3. Scoring details were unavailable. Krieski and Pope were joined by Ethan Wilcox and Hailey Dietl a few weeks later at the Shock Doctor Shootout played at several rinks in the Twin Cities area as well as the final tournament. The caliber was tough again in the State of Hockey, the Blue Devils opening April 29 with a tough 3-1 loss against All Out Hockey and returning the following day for a 5-2 loss against Hockey Factory from Fond du Lac, eventual championships in their 12-team division and a 2-2 draw against Arvada 2009. On Sunday, the team played in the 9th place match but settled for 10th following a 5-1 win against the same Arvada team. The team turned in its best effort at the end, settling for fourth place at the Mountain Dew Blast played at the National Sports Center Super Rinks in Blaine, MN, along with a few others. No game or roster details were available from this event played this past weekend but the ’09 team wrapped up fourth place.
’10 Blue Devils
This team that also included a trio of members from the Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers attended the same events as their ’09 teammates — Landen Uminski, Noah Backeberg and Jesse Arnold. Also, from the Sauk Prairie Flyers, Logan Harrington played in all three events while Michael Jolicoeur and Braden Slough joined for the final two. At the Border Battle Tournament, the ’10 Devils played its first two games in St. Croix, falling 4-1 in its opening contest against MPH Gold before bouncing pack with a 3-2 win against Blaze (Gold) later on Friday April 22. The Blue Devils stepped across the border to Woodbury and collected a 9-3 win against the Rivertown Muskies (Green) Saturday. On Sunday, the Devils wrapped up in Hudson, dropping a 4-0 shutout against the Eskimos. Scoring details were unavailable. At the Shock Doctor tournament, the local players joined the Blue Devils in the 10-team ’10-Lower’ Division. The team again continued its summer arena tour appearing in two more, beginning with a 4-1 loss against the Wisconsin Jr. Jets in Maple Grove, MN. The remaining games were played at Pagel Rink in Minnetonka, MN. The Devils clearly found it to be like home, collecting a 6-5 win against Arvada 2010 Saturday morning and a 4-1 decision against Rivertown Muskies (Blue) later the same day. An 8-2 win Sunday morning against Hockey Factory Lake Country advanced the Blue Devils into the Consolation Championship game and the locals stayed hot with its fourth straight win at Pagel, 7-4 against the MN Lakers (White). The Blue Devils wrapped up its short Spring/Summer season with a spot at the Mountain Dew Blast this past weekend where the ’10 Blue Devils wrapped up its season with a tournament championship.
U-14 Girls Blue Devils
This division included four locals — Kayla Garbacz and Reese Olson who played as freshmen on the Badger Lightning varsity hockey team this past season along with Paige Othmer and Ryleigh Bychinski who reached the U-14 State Championship match with Tomah’s TNT Squad and will join the Lightning in the late fall. This team first played at the Border Battle Tournament, opening play in Baldwin, WI with a 5-2 loss against the St. Croix Selects Friday April 22, before bouncing back the same day at Woodbury, MN with a 2-0 shutout against Ice Cougar East. The following day, back in Baldwin, the U-14’s played Hometown Hockey to a 2-2 draw before wrapping it up in Baldwin with a 6-0 win against MPH Gold. On May 6 the Devils travelled to the Twin Cities to compete in the Spring Stampede, opening with a 3-0 shutout against Minnesota Hook at the Buffalo Civic Center and following it up with another goose egg, 6-0 against the South DC Tigers at the Super Rinks in Blaine. The Blue Devils moved on to a 4-4 draw in its third game (opponent unclear) at Blaine’s Fogerty Ice Arena, then moved on to Elk River Ice Arena to pick up a 5-2 win against Stampede Green. That moved the Devils into the tournament championship game where they came up just short 3-1 against Northern Elite White. The 14U squad finished it’s summer schedule with a spot at the Midwest Invite Tournament in Appleton May 13-15. In its opening match, the Blue Devils dropped a 3-1 decision against the Green Bay Hornets. Garbacz scored the lone Blue Devils’ marker in the second period. The following day Olson fired a pair and set up another with another goal from Bychinski as the Blue Devils got by the Milwaukee Tuskers 5-1. Later Saturday Hockey Factory Madison handed the locals a 2-0 loss. On Sunday, Othmer led the way with a goal and assist, Olson adding another goal and Garbacz setting up one in a 4-0 shutout against the Fox Cities Bulldogs, wrapping up third place for the Devils.
U-12 Girls Blue Devils
Hailey Dietl did double duty playing for the U12 Girls Blue Devils as well as the ’09 squad. The team played three events as well, beginning with the Ignite the Ice/Trailblazer Tournament April 8-10 in the Twin Cities. Starting out with a 4-3 edge against the Red River Flames (Red) team on Friday night, they found the Red River Flames (Black) tougher on Saturday morning, falling 4-1. Later on Saturday, the Blue Devils responded with a 7-0 shutout win against Hometown Blue. On Sunday, the second seeded Blue Devils collected a 4-1 win agianst Red River Flames which moved them into the tournament championship where they ran into Red River Flames (Black) again, settling for runners up 6-1. Next up was Spring Stampede, May 6-8 also at the Elk River Ice Arena. The Blue Devils opened with an 8-1 win against the Majors and also blew by Blue Army Red 8-0, then played the Railhawks to a 5-5 draw. A 9-1 win in semis against the Majors sent the Blue Devils to a rematch with the Railhawks in the Championship game, but it was the Railhawks hoisting the hardware with a 1-0 win. Wrapping up the season, the Blue Devils played in the U-12 Midwest-Invite in the Madison area, wrapping up the season in style with five straight wins and a championship trophy. In the first game, the Devils downed Hockey Factory, Fond du Lac 7-1 on Friday at McFarland Community Ice Arena. On Saturday, the Devils earned a 3-2 edge against Milwaukee Tuskers at Verona’s Eagles Nest, then returned to McFarland for a massive 13-0 shutout against Them Girls. A 9-2 win in McFarland against the Hornets send the Devils to the championship game where it was joined by Dietl who played for the ’09 team in Minnesota on the same weekend. Dietl scored twice and set up the other, leading the Devils to a 3-0 win in the championship game against the Tuskers. Brooke Lakowske was on the receiving end of the pass from Dietl for her goal and returned the favor with assists on both Dietl markers.
’11 Blue Devils
Rainier Scott, a member of the RWD Squirts played for the ’11 Blue Devils who attended the same three events as the older Blue Devils’ teams, beginning with the Border Battle April 22-24. The competitition was tough for the ’11 Blue Devils who dropped four games. The first three, an 8-1 loss against the Guardians (Gray), 6-1 against the Blaze (Gold) and 8-1 against the OP Predators were played Friday and Saturday at St. Croix Rec Center and the final game, a 6-3 doubling by the MN Magicians was played in Hudson. At the Shock Doctor event April 29-May 1, the Blue Devils played in the 10-team U-11 Lower Division. After opening with a 4-3 win against the Wisconsin Titans at the Pagel Rink in Minnetonka Friday, the team moved to Eden Prairie Saturday, dropping an 8-1 decision against the Majors and settling for a 5-5 draw against MN Steel. On Sunday, the U11’s wrapped up the weekend, dropping a 7-4 decision to the Wildcats, also at Eden Prairie. Like the others, the U-11 Blue Devils finished the schedule at the Mountain Dew Blast which currently has no details available.
’12 Blue Devils
Briar Messer, another member of the RWD Squirt ‘A’ squad played for the ‘U12 Blue Devils which opened its season at the Border Battle event April 22-24 as well. The Devils started on the Friday in Somerset dropping a 3-1 decision against the Guardians (Gray), then headed to Woodbury on the Minnesota side of the border, battling the Ice Hawks to a 3-3 draw Saturday morning. Back in Somerset later Saturday, the Devils collected an 8-1 win against Lake’s Elite and they wrapped up play Sunday with a 6-3 doubling of Blaze (Gold). At the end of April at the Shock Doctor tournament, the ’12 Blue Devils played all games at Shakopee Rink, starting out with a 7-0 win Friday against. the Daggers. On Saturday, Devils collected an 8-1 win against the B-E Bombers (Red) but suffrered a 5-1 loss later in the day against the Fox City Bulldogs. On Sunday, the Devils suffered a 9-1 loss against the AAA Velocity who later claimed the division championship while the Blue Devils moved on to down the Wisconsin Jets 5-1 and wrap up third place. Like many of the other Blue Devils teams, the ’12 squad finished at the Mountain Dew Blast this past weekend, wrapping up the spring schedule with a third place showing.
’13-14 Blue Devils
Jase Uminski, Owen Meyer and Bentley Meyer played a part for the ’13-14 Blue Devils who attended the same three events as the other Blue Devils teams. At the Border Battle, April 22-24, the ’13 Blue Devils won four straight games, beginning Friday with a 7-6 edge against the Blaze (Gold) squad in Hastings, MN. On Saturday, the Devils pounded PH Grit 10-3 and downed the Guardians (Gray) 5-2, both games played in St. Croix. The team wrapped up top spot with a rematch and a 9-3 win against Blaze (Gold). Blue Devils were one of 16 teams at the Shock Doctor Shoot Out and got the tournament off to a great start with a 7-0 win against the WI Jr. Jets at Eden Prairie Friday followed by a 6-3 decision against Ice Edge (Blue) Saturday at the same rink. Later Saturday, the Blue Devils dropped an 8-1 decision against the MN Lakers at Braemar Arena in Edina. Those results put the team into a 7th place battle against the same Guardians (Gray) team it played a few weeks earlier. The Devils clinched the spot with a 5-3 edge. Last weekend, the ’13 Blue Devils finished the schedule at the Mountain Dew Blast, reaching the championship game.
The Sauk Monkeys were represented by both 10U teams at State Tournaments this past weekend including the 10U ‘B’ squad as a tournament host.
While seven other 10U ‘B’ teams visiting Sauk for the weekend, the ‘A’ Monkeys made the short trip to Stoughton’s Mandt Community Center for their event.
For the youngest of the Monkeys, the learning curve has been steep this season and they were unable to take advantage of home ice advantage against three tough opponents, including a tough 8-1 loss in its opener against the eventual State Championship winning Beaver Dam Wildfire Saturday (March 5).
The loss moved the host Monkeys to the Consolation side of the draw and they were back on the ice later the same day, taking the Fox River Freeze to overtime before succumbing 3-2.
The Monkeys returned Sunday for the Seventh Place contest and again pushed the Chippewa Valley Girls Hockey Association to the final buzzer and coming up just short 5-4.
The tough weekend assignments wrapped up a 9-24-1 season record for the local squad.
The 10U ‘A’ Monkeys got things off to a solid start in Stoughton, collecting a 3-1 win in its opener against the Chippewa Falls/Eau Claire Area Stars and sending that team to the Consolation side of the draw. The Stars bounced back with two wins to claim the tournament’s Consolation title.
Meanwhile the Monkeys moved to the Championship side and ran into the Southern Hockey Association of Wisconsin (SHAW) 10U squad and missing out on a State Championship berth by one goal in a 5-4 loss.
On Sunday, the Monkeys returned for the Third Place contest ultimately settling for fourth after a 7-0 loss against the Lake Country Warhawks.
The Monkeys 10U ‘A’ squad wrapped up its season with a 13-18-2 overall record.
Both Sauk Prairie Flyers Bantam teams made the trip to their respective State Championship tournaments this past weekend both the Bantam ‘A’ and Bantam ‘B’ Flyers returning home with Consolation Final hardware.
Both also faced a tough opening round opponent, going to the Consolation side of the draw with tough losses to eventual State Championship finalists.
The procedure was the same at every state tournament played last weekend, each team playing twice on Saturday and returning for one final match on Sunday.
In Shawano at the WAHA State 3A Championship tournament, the Bantam ‘A’ Flyers dropped a 5-2 decision to Ashland before bouncing back with a 7-3 decision against Marshfield Youth Hockey Blades. In the Consolation Championship game, the Flyers handled Waupun by a 7-2 score.
The Ashland bantams moved to the State Championship game before falling 3-2 against Tomahawk.
The weekend results wrapped up the WAHA season for the Bantam ‘A’ Flyers who posted a record of 25-13-1.
The Bantam ‘B’ Flyers were moved up from the WAHA State 3B to 3A Championship event facing some tougher caliber teams, due to a lack of teams at the 3B level.
After dropping a 4-2 decision to the River Falls Wildcats in its opening game the Flyers rebounded with a 6-2 win against the New Richmond Tigers.
That advanced the Flyers to the State Consolation Final where they handled the Mosinee Pride by a 6-4 score.
Flyers 2 Wildcats 4
The Flyers played the Cats even through a period, both teams scoring once. The Wildcats notched the lone goal of the second then outscored the Flyers through the final 15 minutes by a 2-1 margin.
The first period Flyers’s goal came from Tucker Acker on a feed from Jacob Wilhelm and the other Flyers’ goal was scored by Caleb Chetwood with an assist for Lucas Rehlinger.
Ethan Goodman handled the work in goal for the Flyers, stopping 29 of 33 shots.
The loss moved the Flyers to the Consolation side of the draw.
Flyers 6 Tigers 2
In the second-round game, played later on Saturday, the Flyers jumped in to a 3-1 first period lead and never looked back, adding one more unanswered marker in the second and outscoring the Tigers 2-1 down the stretch.
Slater Denu opened the scoring for the Flyers and set up the other two first period goals, scored by Ryan Flynn and Ryan Jorgenson before wrapping up his own hat trick with both third period goals.
The second period goal came from Chetwood with help from Greyson Dunn. Flynn and Dunn both collected assists as well.
Goodman stopped a dozen of the 14 shots he faced to help move the Flyers into the Consolation Final.
Flyers 6 Pride 4
On Sunday, the Pride and Flyers were even at 2-2 after a period and still knotted at 3-3 heading to the final period.
The Flyers finally grabbed control with two goals in the opening 2:36 of the final period, then matched then another in the middle of the period before Mosinee added one more in the final six minutes.
This time it was Chetwood with the hat trick to wrap up a five-goal weekend with goals in all three contests. Denu fired a pair and Tyler Jorgenson fired the Flyers’ first goal of the contest. Gavin Krueger chipped in three assists with others for Jacob Wiegmann and Flynn.
Goodman backstopped the win with 26 saves, including 14 of 15 in a wild third period.
The Bantam ‘B’ Flyers’ weekend record finished their season at 22-11-1. It was the final youth event for Chetwood, Flynn, Wilhelm, Acker and Denu who will all move under the Eagles’ umbrella next season.
By Jim den Hollander
The RWD Peewee A Cheavers, closing in on their trip to the WAHA Peewee 3A State Championship tournament in Somerset March 12-13 got another tournament test this past weekend.
Looking to add to hardware collected as champions at the Ultimate Tournaments Dairyland Classic in all the local rinks the previous weekend, the Cheavers won two of three at a tournament in Green Bay last weekend (Feb. 26-27).
After opening the event with a 6-2 win against the Ozaukee Ice Dogs Saturday morning at Cornerstone Community Center, the Cheavers hit the ice again Saturday afternoon, falling by the same 6-2 margin against eventual tournament champion Escanaba (Michigan) Hawks.
The loss Saturday afternoon snapped a six-game unbeaten string for the Cheavers, and they went right back to work starting a new streak Sunday with a 4-0 win against the Iron Kings, another Michigan-based squad.
Cheavers 6 Ice Dogs 2
In the first game, the Cheavers carried a 2-0 lead out of the person and had the game in hand with a 6-1 cushion heading to the third.
Landen Uminski paced the offense with a three-goal game, Ethan Wilcox scoring twice and setting up another and Tyler Krieski scoring the other, along with two assists.
Evelyn Gurney and Andrew Stando picked up assists as well and Jesse Arnold picked up the win in goal with nine saves.
Blake Atchison kicked out 23 shots for the Ice Dogs.
Cheavers 2 Hawks 6
The Cheavers gained some consolation in the knowledge they played the Hawks closer than any other team as the Hawks collected their second win of the week and claimed the title with a 12-4 margin against the host Green Bay squad.
Hawks were up 4-0 after a period and 5-1 after the middle frame, both teams adding one more in the third.
Hailey Dietl fired the first RWD goal, unassisted and the other game from Uminski with a feed from Wilcox.
Arnold kicked out 19 shots in the contest while Bryce Bichlor stopped six to pick up the win for the Hawks.
Cheavers 4 Iron Kings 0
The Cheavers shrugged off the loss to the Hawks and went back to work Sunday, collecting the 4-0 shutout against the Iron Kings.
The game winner came in the first period and the other three goals all game in the middle period.
Krieski and Uminski scored two goals each, Krieski adding an assist. Other assists were credited to Dayne Wagner, Noah Backeberg and Ethan Pope.
Arnold picked up his third shutout of the season and second in the past two weeks with eight saves, Aubree Moore stopping 16 for the Kings.
The 2-1 win boosted the Cheavers’ overall record to 27-17-2 and the team is an impressive 6-3-1 in its past 10 games.
The Cheavers were ranked fourth at the tournament based on some points system used for the event.
The final chance to catch the Cheavers on home ice will be this weekend as they get some tough tests on home ice at Reedsburg Area Community Arena Saturday, playing the Sun Prairie ‘A’ peewees Saturday (March 5) at 10:45 a.m. then return for a 4:45 ‘B’ test against the Waunakee ‘B’ Wildcats at 4:45 p.m.
On Sunday, the Cheavers will play the Tomah ‘A’ peewees at 9:15 a.m.
Officially, Sauk County and WAHA Region 4 will be represented by the Sauk Monkeys 14U ‘A’ squad at the WAHA 14U A State Championship tournament in Baldwin at the United Civic Center this weekend.
However, there is a bit of overlap as the Tomah-based TNT 14U squad includes a couple Reedsburg area players who double rostered with the RWD bantams this past season.
Playing in Region 6, TNT earned its berth collecting a thrilling 3-2 overtime/shootout win against the Western Wisconsin Stars.
The 14U Monkeys collected an automatic berth in region 4 but faced tough challenges along the way to prepare for this event.
The Monkeys and TNT are both on the bottom half of the draw for the eight-team tournament that begins Saturday in Baldwin. The Monkeys will start out with a tough test against the Hayward Hurricanes 14U girls (5-10-0 – Incomplete) at 11:30 a.m. followed by TNT against Milwaukee Winter Club (14-16-2).
Winners of these two contests will meet in a semi-final match at 8:15 p.m. and the other two will square off at 6:30 p.m. On the other side of the draw are the Central Wisconsin Storm (24-12-3), Fox River Freeze (16-11-2 – Incomplete), River Falls BlackCats (No statistics available) and the Elmbrook Valkyries (No statistics available).
All eight teams will play twice on Saturday in Baldwin, then return Sunday for finals, beginning with the seventh-place game at 10 a.m. and wrapping up with the WAHA 14U State Championship game starting at 2 p.m.
All 12 games from the United Civic Center in Baldwin will be available online on LiveBarn.
Included on the 14U ‘A’ Monkeys are Mary Marck, Jordyn Schmid, Emma Diehl, Amelia Hahn, Claire Wiler, Lillian Freeman, Aubree Christian, Sophia Gesicki, Sophia Vest and Izzy Laufenberg.
Included on the TNT squad are Reedsburg area players Paige Othmer and Ryleigh Bychinski along with Charlotte Hanna, Anna Phillips, Samantha Berra, Hailey Jordan, Piper Mathison, Reanne Long, Ally Ritter, Shelby King, Camryn Steele, Alexa Lowe, Kaylan Hanson, Marah Noth, Alizah Hayes, Bella Arne, Alexa Moore, Jessie Berg, Jada Rave.
Saukhockey.info would like to wish both the Sauk Monkeys 14U and TNT 14U squads good luck in Baldwin this weekend.