Sauk Monkeys looking for hardware at Ponytail Classic

By Jim den Hollander 


Lake Delton Ice Arena will be the headquarters of the Annual Ponytail Classic tournament this weekend, featuring 16 teams in three age brackets playing for five championship trophies. 

The action kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. at the Lake Delton Ice Arena and will continue through the weekend with some games played in Reedsburg and Baraboo as well.  

Teams will be coming from across the Upper Midwest, but locals will be most interested in the Sauk Prairie Monkeys which has a couple teams taking part. 

The U12 and U14Monkeys will both team taking on the competition in the U14 divisions. The U12 team will open play at 8:40 p.m. Friday night at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo and the U14 team will play its first game at 8 a.m. Saturday. 

Championship games will begin at 10:20 a.m. Sunday at the Lake Delton Ice Arena with the fifth and final championship game starting at 3:30 p.m.  


Hockey Talk Aug. 30 — Ice is in!

By Jim den Hollander


After a somewhat relaxed weekend that included an overnight stay at the Lake Delton Ice Arena Sunday, the Dells Ducks hit the ice for the first time Monday afternoon, taking training camp to the next phase.

Dells Ducks

Dryland workouts have played a part in getting the team in shape for the start of the season, but the on-ice sessions are imperative for preparations, figuring out lines and starting to work on team systems heading into the season opening weekend Sept. 17-18 when the Rum River Mallards pay a visit.

The Ducks will get a tune-up the previous weekend when they head to Detroit for three exhibition matches – two against the Detroit Fighting Irish with on in between against the Metro Jets.

Thanks Billets

For the opening few weeks of the season, the Dells Ducks billets, including Penny Lobentstein, Sharon Fiske, the Morris family the Wilcox family and the Barney family who already provide an essential service for the Ducks family throughout the season, have stepped up, taking a few extra players in during a crisis situation for the team.

The situation will be rectified in the days ahead, but anyone interested in become a billet for the team can contact Aaron Kirby at; Coach Falzone at or Jim den Hollander at

Before and After underway

While the Ducks are working toward their season, varsity and youth hockey players of all levels are on the ice early as well with Before and After teams and tournaments well underway.

Stories on a few of those players have already appeared on and more are on the way as early as tonight.

Hockey Talk Aug. 26 — Handball and hockey logos

By Jim den Hollander


The Dells Ducks wrapped up the fifth day of training camp at the Lake Delton Ice Arena Thursday (Aug. 26, 2021) with some more dryland training including leg exercises, games, including some handball and working on the ice surface in its second day of icemaking.

Lake Delton Ice Arena owner, puts down some water on Wednesday with one of the first floods of the season. Yesterday the owner and players put down the first coat of white paint.

Enough ice was down in the early part of Thursday for Lake Delton Ice Arena owner Aaron Kirby to apply the first coat of white paint with help from team players. A technical issue prevented them from doing a second coat later in the day, but that will be fixed quickly.

Thomas Howell talked on Thursday (Aug. 26, 2021) about how things are going through the first five days of training camp for the Dells at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. An ’04 from Gilmer, Texas, Howell is a returner, looking to take his defensive game to a new level this season as he takes on more responsibility on the Dells Ducks’ blue line.

Kirby and the players are expected to begin work on hand painting the lines and logos on Friday and the team has planned to spend the night at the rink Saturday overnight, giving them a chance to finish work on the ice surface. The reward could be a light skate on Sunday and regular on ice workouts will likely begin on Monday.

Ice rentals are already in place for Tuesday and the Ducks will take up a big chunk of the free ice as they finally prepare for an opponent with 10 days to get ready for a Detroit road-trip Aug. 10-12 to play a pair of games against the Detroit Fighting Irish sandwiching a game against the Metro Jets.

Ducks’ Head Coach Shaun Falzone continues to be pleased with the progress of his squad, now five days into training camp.

The team’s regular season home opener against the Rum River Mallards is now 22 days away.

Hockey Talk Aug. 24 –Ice making underway!

By Jim den Hollander


The Ducks are well into training camp now with 24 days to go before the season opener.

Dells Ducks

After a run to start things off, the team did a lot of competitive dryland games which helped with both conditioning and team bonding.

The best news of the day came from Lake Delton Ice Arena owner Aaron Kirby who flipped the switch on the compressors to officially begin ice making at the rink a few days early. The temperature had already dropped substantially by noon and the process of flooding will likely begin tomorrow (August 25).

Kirby expected the players could test the ice for the first time on Monday (Aug. 30), giving the team a couple weeks to prepare for some exhibition tests in Detroit Sept. 10-12. The regular season will open a week later with the first two of eight straight home games to open the campaign, against the Rum River Mallards.

Hockey Talk Aug. 21 — Ducks Training Camp — Day 1

By Jim den Hollander


The Dells Ducks officially opened the 2021-22 season Saturday (August 21) with what will certainly be remembered as their easiest day of the campaign.

Ducks open training Camp – Day 1

The opening day for Ducks players involved paperwork, orientation and an opening meeting with players, parents and billets on hard at Bobber’s, a primary sponsor for the Ducks once again.

Coach Falzone talks to the players. families and billets at Bobber’s on the opening day of training camp for the 2021-22 season.

Sunday will be the team’s first ‘workout’ with testing and a field trip to Devil’s Lake. The team will do strictly dryland training for first week or so, part of the training including helping Lake Delton Ice Arena owner Aaron Kirby with installing the ice, beginning late in the first week. The process will take about a week with the rink ready for practices about Sept. 3.

Jack Kopfstein, a Dells Ducks rookie from California became the team’s first ‘Shoe Check’ victim of the season just minutes into the team’s first get together of the season at Bobber’s. Luckily his teammates helped him out on the chorus.

The Ducks will prepare for a trio of pre-season tests Sept. 10-12 in Detroit with the pair of games against the Detroit Fighting Irish and one against the Metro Jets from nearby Fraserville. The regular season will open the following weekend with a pair of home games against the Rum River Mallards from Isanti, Minn.

Seth Stoutenburg, a rookie with the Ducks in 2019-20 is back with the club for the 2021-22 season. The Roseville, Minn. native returns to the team as a third-year junior veteran.

Ducks Birthdays

A pair of former Dells Ducks celebrated birthdays today (August 21). David Kaplan turned 24 today and Cory Schwarz is also celebrating his 24th Birthday.

, David David Kaplan

Kaplan was an Assistant Captain and played a big part in the team’s USP3HL National Championship in the spring of 2016. He scored 25 goals and collected 46 points in 46 games that season before making the jump to Tier 2 with the Kenai River Brown Beas of the NAHL the following two seasons. In the fall of 2018, Kaplan moved to Superior, Wisconsin as a member of the Superior Yellowjackets in the NCAA Division 3 WIAC Division. He will return in September for his senior season with the Jackets.

Cory Schwarz

Schwarz began his junior career with the Chicago Cougars but moved to the Dells for the 2016-17 campaign, scoring 14 goals and collecting 29 points in 44 games with the Ducks. He later spent time in Wisconsin Rapids and back in Chicago the following season before moving on to Illinois State University where he just wrapped up a three-year college run this spring.

The Ducks want to wish a Happy Birthday to family members, David and Cory!

Jimmy D’s Notes — Hockey talk Aug. 19

By Jim den Hollander


Our goal here beginning Sept. 1, is to have daily items. Some days will be harder than others and in an effort to get something started here are a few random tidbits for today – Aug. 19, 2021.

Danny Roe was in town at the beginning of last season to take part in the team’s first Alumni game at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.

Danny Roe

To start with, we want to wish a Happy 27th Birthday to Danny Roe. A native of Montana, Roe came to the Dells Ducks in 2013 and played 30 games, collecting seven goals and 15 points . He finished the season in the Western States Hockey League, but returned to the Dairy State playing three seasons with the Marian University ACHA squad and later, played some with the Fond du Lac Bears in the Great Lakes Hockey League, a senior circuit.

Roe was a force on top of the blue paint when he played for the Ducks in 2013-14.

Ducks open training Camp

The Dells Ducks 2021-22 players will be arriving in town over the next 24 hours if they haven’t arrived already. Players, family and billets will be at the Lake Delton Ice Arena for an orientation day Saturday and the team will begin dryland workouts on Monday. Part of the first week’s activities will be assisting Lake Delton Ice Arena Owner Aaron Kirby with installing the ice for this season. The Ducks also did the same last season.

Up next Recaps of College campaigns

Over the next week or so, we will highlight the freshman hockey seasons for Kaylee Engel, Jordan O’Connor and Julianna Teske, Sauk County residents who began their respective college careers in the WIAC and MIAC Conferences last season.

There won’t be a lot of details as the NCAA D3 seasons were cut short due to the effects of the pandemic. Watch for game by game coverage of all three this season.

Ducks tryouts and conditioning this weekend

By Jim den Hollander


The Dells Ducks will be taking its first step towards opening the 2021-22 USPHL Premier regular season starting Friday with a combination tryout/conditioning camp in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Dells Ducks

Head Coach Shaun Falzone will be introducing his new skaters to the returners in eight sessions and nine hours on the ice at the Crystal Lake Ice House. Players won’t have a lot of time away from the rink to get acquainted as they hit the ice twice Friday night, four more times Saturday and two more before breaking camp on Sunday.

After this weekend, players will head home for a final couple weeks before returning to Sauk County for the season on Aug. 21.

The opening week of camp will see players doing dry land workouts and also helping Aaron Kirby with the installation of ice at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. The ice is expected to be in and ready when the second week of camp starts.

The team will head to Detroit for a trio of exhibition contests Sept. 10-12 and the team will begin the 2021-22 regular season the following weekend against the Rum River Mallards.

Any local high school aged players interested in testing themselves against The Ducks in Crystal Lake can sign up for $75 for the nine hours of on ice sessions. For more information, contact Head Coach Shaun Falzone at 630-715-5199 or email

Sauk players busy as off season teams start up

By Jim den Hollander
It is surprising how long the hockey season is, even at the local level.
This has been a crazy couple years for everything and as hockey fans, we have gone from not being able to watch our heroes on television to seasons ending at crazy times. We should be halfway through the opening round of the opening round of the post season – at least in a normal year we would be. Instead, we are about a month from the start of a post season that will carry us into July.
If the 2021-22 regular season begins on a normal schedule, the teams playing in the Stanley Cup will have 5-6 weeks off before returning for training camps for what will be another long season with a break in February 2022 for the Winter Olympics which NHL players will be participating in.
Locally, the final event was Ice Wars, a unique event at Lake Delton Ice Arena that brought together players from across the Midwest as well as a solid contingent of locals.
Aaron Kirby, owner of Lake Delton Ice was the organizer of the event that saw individuals at the squirt and peewee level signing up. However, several others have continued playing, with the Blue Devils AAA squad, out of Tomah, the Wisconsin Junior Stars out of the Madison area and the Janesville Jr. Jets.
Local players also played in the peewee Kohlman Cup tournaments recently, representing WAHA Region 4.
Articles on all of these events will appear in this space over the next few week as well as updates on the Dells Ducks junior hockey team, and some looks back at the 2020-21 varsity seasons for RWD, Baraboo/Portage, Sauk Prairie Eagles and the Badger Lightning, as well as a look back on the college seasons for local players.
Also, a summer of research and compilation will see much more statistical information and points of interest for the varsity and junior teams in the season ahead.
I recently made a connection that should see my varsity stuff get a lot more views and I am excited about that.
This past season I took to a new level and it became recognized across the county. I am looking forward to the off season allowing me to get set for this fall a more organized and wider blanket coverage on all hockey in Sauk.
I am also dusting off another website/facebook page I had sort of shelved to dedicate more time to Sauk Hockey so it should be a fun summer.