Bucks and Pucks take over local ice arenas

By Jim den Hollander 



For a second consecutive weekend, Ultimate Tournaments took ice time in all four Sauk County ice rinks for the initial running of the Bucks and Pucks tournament. 

In all, 33 teams from across the American Midwest competed in seven different divisions, wrapping up Sunday with 10 Championship games at the Mite, Squirt and Peewee levels. Below is a brief rundown on each division. 


A half dozen teams competed in ‘Red’ and ‘White’ Divisions wrapping up with finals for all six teams on Sunday (Nov. 21).  

The ‘White’ Division title went to the Junior Ice Dogs out of Vernon Hills, IL who matched a 5-0 win it also collected in round robin play against the Crystal Lake Stingers. 

The ‘Red’ Championship game was also a 5-0 final, the Northern Express Mites from Park Ridge, IL grabbing the shutout against the Team Iowa Renegades, widening the gap after a narrow 3-2  

The Consolation final was an all-Wisconsin battle, the Wisconsin Capitols collecting a 6-4 win against the Mitey Badgers.  

Vernon Hills Ice Dogs


This four-team division saw teams playing round-robin matches Friday and Saturday and wrapped up Sunday with a 9-4 win for Northern Express against Team Iowa, wrapping up a perfect 4-0 weekend including a 6-1 win against the same Team Iowa squad earlier on the weekend.  The Consolation final went to the Crystal Lake Stingers with a 5-0 shutout win against the Ice Dogs.Tw

Northern Express


This division included both a playoff semi-final and final on Sunday. The SHAW (Southern Hockey Association Wisconsin) drew a bye to the championship game with a tie and a win on Saturday and the Ice Dogs avenged an earlier 7-2 loss against Twin Bridges Lightning from the St. Louis area with a 4-3 edge in semis to grab the other spot in the final.  

SHAW collected a 7-3 edge in the Championhship game.  

SHAW Squirts


Another six-team division with two championship games saw the Omaha Jr. Lancers and Glen Ellyn (IL) Admirals capturing the championship banners and hardware. 

The Lancers won two out of three leadup games to reach the final and captured the ‘White’ championship with a 5-3 edge against the Crystal Lake Yellowjackets. 

The ‘Red’ Division provided a championship thriller as regulation time and a five-minute overtime segment couldn’t decide a winner. 

In a shootout, the Admirals finally wrapped it up with a 2-1 margin against the Affton Americans from the St. Louis area. 

The Consolation final was won by the Twin Bridges Lightning with a 3-1 edge against the Waunakee Wildcats. 

Omaha Lancers


This four-team division saw the Huskies Hockey Club from Romeoville, IL avenging an earlier defeat with a 4-2 doubling of Lady Liberty, part of the Affton Americans hockey group, in the championship game. 

The Liberty entered as the top seed, having defeated Huskies by a 2-1 margin earlier in the tournament.  

The Consolation final saw the Admirals collecting a 6-1 win against the Twin Bridges Lightning. 

Romeoville Squirt Huskies

Peewee B/WI Third team  

The Affton Americans rolled through round robin matches but rank into a tougher challenge from Milwaukee Winter Club in the championship game. Winter Club took the banner with a 4-0 shutout, avenging a 5-1 defeat earlier the same day. 

The Consolation final went to the Glacier (Vernon Hills, IL) Ice Dogs capturing a 5-0 shutout win against the Admirals.  

Milwaukee Winter Club Peewees

Peewee B2 

This six-team division wrapped up Sunday with a pair of championship games.  

The ‘Red’ final saw the Crystal Lake Yellowjackets wrapping up an undefeated (three wins, one tie) weekend with an 8-3 victory against the Huskies. 

The ‘White’ Division title went to St. Peters from the St. Louis area saving its only win of the weekend for the right time, a 2-0 edge against Milwaukee Winter Club with a 2-0 shutout. St. Peters collected two ties and a loss in round robin matches while Winter Club took top spot in the division with one win, one loss and one tie. 

Crystal Lake Yellowjackets Peewees
St. Peters Peewees

Ten champs at first Northwoods Showdown

By Jim den Hollander 



While Ultimate Tournaments has a longstanding history in Sauk County, it was a new look event in town for the first time in the 2021-22 season this past weekend. 

All four Sauk County rinks played a part in the Mite-Squirt-Peewee event that saw 34 teams competing and ultimately whittled down to 10 championship games on Sunday in the first Northwoods Showdown Tournament. 

The difference this season is, while the same tournaments will be in the Sauk County area on the same weekends as they always have been, each tournament is now a standalone event as well. For example, the Northwoods Showdown will return next November so it will have its own unique history and traditions. 

Below is a quick look at the highlights for each division. 

Mite D2 Low/D3 High 

The six-team group was divided into a ‘White’ and ‘Red’ Division. After three games each, the Jr. Vipers out of Gurnee IL/Pleasant Prairie, WI captured the ‘Red’ Division title with a 2-0 shutout in the championship game against the Orland Jr. Vikes from the Chicago area, played at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. 

Gurnee/Pleasant Prairie Vipers

The ‘White’ Division title went to the Geneva Cyclones from the Chicago area with a 5-2 margin against the Pekin (IL) Dragons at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA). 

Geneva Cyclones

The Wisconsin Jets captured the Consolation victory, outlasting another Jr. Vikes team in a 7-6 thriller at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo. 

Mite D3 Low/House League 

Another six-team group, this division came down to a pair of Championship games as well. 

The Geneva Cyclones and Highland Park Falcons battled through three exciting periods without settling anything in the ‘White’ Championship game before the Cyclones finally settled it with a 2-1 overtime victory.  

Geneva Cyclones

The ‘Red’ Division saw no goals through the first two periods, but a third period explosion led the Gurnee/Pleasant Prairie Jr. Vipers to a 4-1 Championship win. Both Championship games were played a the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC). 

Gurnee/Pleasant Prairie Vipers

The Division’s Consolation final was won by the West Dundee Leafs with a 3-0 shutout against the Wisconsin Jets.  

Squirt Low A/High B 

This Squirt Division was divided into the Low A ‘Red Division and High B ‘White Divisions. 

On Sunday, the Meramec Sharks from the St. Louis area captured the ‘Red’ Division title with a 5-0 shutout against the Highland Park Falcons at RACA while the ‘White Division crown was won by Kirkwood Stars, also from the St. Louis area with a 5-2 margin against another Meramec team at Lake Delton Ice Arena. 

Meramec Sharks
Kirkwood Stars

The Consolation Final for the Division went to Twin Rinks Sharks from the Chicago area with a 5-0 win against Peoria (IL) Horsepower at RACA. 

Squirt B3/C1 

This four-team division saw the Wisconsin Jets team collecting the championship hardware as they doubled the Kirkwood Stars 6-3 at the Lake Delton Ice Arena and the Consolation honors went to St. Peters Spirit who edged the Affton Americans in an all-St. Louis area contest played at RACA. 

Wisconsin Jets

Squirt C 

The Siouxland Musketeers, from Sioux City, IA wrapped up a perfect 4-0 weekend with a 6-1 margin against the Kirkwood Stars on Sunday and Lake Delton Ice Arena and the Consolation honors went to Twin Bridges Sharks with a 2-1 win against the Meramec Sharks. 

Siouxland Musketeers

Peewee B 

Eagan (MN) Wildcats wrapped up a perfect weekend with a 5-0 win in the Peewee B Championship game against the Kirkwood Stars and Winter Club (Milwaukee) captured the Consolation title with a 2-1 edge against the Peoria Horsepower. Both games were played at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo. 

Eagan Wildcats

Peewee C 

A diverse division with four teams representing four states, saw the Omaha (NE) Hockey Club capturing the Championship with shutout win against the Verona (WI) Wildcats at and the Consolation battle went to the Geneva Cyclones with a 5-3 edge against the Kirkwood Stars. 

Omaha HC Peewees

Ultimate Tournaments will return to the local area again this coming weekend with the first version of the Bucks and Pucks tournament. 

Celebrating Presidents Day Ultimate Tourney style

Ultimate Tournaments took over three Sauk County arena for much of the past weekend, running its second four-day event of 2020 with the Annual Presidents Day Weekend tourney.

The tournament which included Mite, Squirt, Peewee and Bantam divisions was run as usual as a combination of two different three-day tournaments.

The Peewee and Bantam Divisions both started play on Friday evening, wrapping with championship and consolation finals Sunday. The younger divisions both started Saturday afternoon and wrapped up on Monday.

The Lake Delton Ice Arena once again was the tournament headquarters with a full slate of games on all four days, including a bulk of the championship games while Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) and Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) hosted several games as well.


Hodags, Riverdogs claim top honors

The Rhinelander Hodags bantams will host the Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA) 3A bantam state championship March 7-8, playing host to the Sauk Prairie bantam Flyers in the final game of the opening round

Friday night, some of the Flyers’ coaching staff got a chance to see the Hodags in action and they know now the opener will be a tough game as the visiting Hodags grabbed their first of four straight weekend wins with a 6-1 decision against the Meramec Sharks from the St. Louis area.

After round robin wins against the Sun Prairie Cardinals (4-1) and Northbrook Bluehawks (7-2) from the Chicago area, the Hodags need an overtime goal in its rematch with the Cardinals to claim the Bantam B Red Division crown 4-3. The Consolation final saw Northbrook avenging a 4-1 round robin play loss to the Sharks with a 4-2 victory.

The Bantam B White Division matched two Chicago Riverdogs teams and two from the Pleasant Prairie Patriots.

Parity was evident in this area as the Riverdogs (Gilner) squad earned a spot in the championship game against Patriots (Walls) having tied each other 5-5 in their round robin contest. Walls’ team actually had two ties in its three round robin games but the final belonged to Riverdogs (Gilner) who dominated with a 6-0 win.

The Consolation match saw Patriots (Melnick) grabbing a 5-2 win against the Riverdogs (Lynch).


Final an all-Riverdogs match

The five-team Peewee House Division including two Chicago Riverdogs teams and they ended up going head-to-head in the championship game. Each team played four round robin games with only the top two moving on to a fifth game.

Both Riverdogs (Clark) and Riverdogs (Seestadt) collected round robin wins against the Pleasant Prairie (Wis.) Patriots and the St. Peter’s Spirit (Mo.)  The Kirkwood Stars, a St. Louis area squad battled Seestadt’s peewees to a 2-2 draw and Clark’s team to a 2-2 tie but missed its shot at the final with a rough start, dropping its first game of the weekend 5-1 to the Patriots.

The Riverdogs played to a draw in their head-to-head match but it was Seestadt’s team hoisting the hardware following a 4-0 shutout win in the championship game.


Panthers, Stars and Riverdogs take home Squirt hardware

There were three divisions of Squirts all together – four teams in a Squirt B/House Division and six others divided into two three-team Squirt B pools.
In the House Division, Franklin Park Panthers from the Chicago area wrapped up four straight wins to take home top honors.

After 6-1 wins against both Meramec Sharks and Kirkwood Stars from the St. Louis area and a 5-1 decision against the Sabres from Bolingbrook (near Chicago), the Panthers met the Sabres again in the championship game, collecting a 5-0 win.

Sharks and Stars battled to a 5-5 draw in the all-St. Louis area Consolation final.

The Squirt B Division divided six teams into two divisions crowing a ‘White’ and ‘Red’ Champion.

In the Red Division, the Elmhurst Chiefs wrapped up three straight round robin wins to earn a spot in the championship match, but the Kirkwood Stars avenged a narrow 4-3 loss to the Chiefs in their first game of the weekend, claiming the win in a wild championship game with a 7-6 margin.

The White Division crown matched the Chicago Riverdogs (Burke) and Franklin Park Panthers in the championship game, also pitting a pair of teams that met in their respective first games, a 7-4 win for the Riverdogs. The Riverdogs also claimed the title, but the 3-2 edge showed a closer and tighter contest with goaltenders counted on heavily.

Closest of the three finals might have been the Consolation game, the Affton Americans from the St. Louis area holding on for a 1-0 victory against Riverdogs (Wilkoff).


Coyotes and Phantoms wrap up trophies

The Mite B Division featured four Chicago area teams and it was the Darien Phantoms dominating with a four-win run to the championship trophy.

The Phantoms opened the tournament with a 5-0 win against the Elmhurst Chiefs Saturday, then rolled to a 6-1 margin against the Glacier Avs from Vernon Hill Sunday and a 6-1 decision against the Stallions early Monday.

The Phantoms matched its 5-0 win in the championship game against the Chiefs while the Avs outlasted the Stallions 5-4 in the Consolation match.

The five-team Mite B/House division saw the Arctic Fury from Orland Park roll through its four round-robin games, beginning with 7-2 wins against both the Chicago Riverdogs and Kankakee Coyotes on Saturday followed by a 4-2 doubling of the Bensenville Chiefs Sunday and a 5-0 goose egg against the Pleasant Prairie (Wis.) Patriots early Monday morning.

The Coyotes nailed down the other championship game spot scoring six in each of its three games after dropping its opener to the Fury. The six was good enough for a 6-1 win against the Patriots and a 6-4 decision against the Riverdogs while settling for a 6-6 draw against the Chiefs.

The Coyotes turned the tables on the Fury in the championship game through, sinking an overtime game winner for a 5-4 edge.