Crusaders send Eagles to WIAA sidelines in semis

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The final Sauk County team remaining in the WIAA post season was sent to the sidelines Wednesday (Feb. 23) as the Sauk Prairie Eagles were shutout 6-0 by Section 3’s top seed, the Madison Edgewood Crusaders in the Sectional semifinals at La Bahn Arena in Madison. 

The Eagles were looking to solve the Crusaders who wrapped up the first Badger West Conference crown without a loss, including two wins against them in regular season play. 

The job got tougher quick as senior Parker Murn put the Crusaders on the board with the goal that turned into the game winner just 21 seconds into the match. 

Crusaders added another three seconds away from the first period buzzer off the stick of senior Cody Menzel and that 2-0 cushion held up all the way to the final period.  

The Crusaders held a narrow 8-7 edge in shots through the opening 17 minutes and ran it 19-13 by the end of a scoreless middle period. 

The Eagles needed to find the mesh in the final period, but the Crusaders tightened its grip, limiting them to four shots while piling up four more goals to pad its margin.  

The daggers were likely two goals scored 51 seconds apart giving the near a 4-0 cushion 5:37 into the final period. Menzel and senior Aidan Lenz fired those goals.  

First years Matt Richter and Easton Kinsler both scored in the final seven minutes to wrap up the scoring and send the Crusaders to the Sectional Championship game Friday night against the Waunakee Warriors who moved on by knocking off two-time defending Sectional champion Verona Wildcats with a 2-1 margin at the Waunakee Ice Ponds, also on Sunday. 

Eagles’ junior Kaden Stracke faced 31 shots in all, the Eagles firing 17 at sophomore Rowan White who stopped them all.

Winner will represent Section 3 at the WIAA State Championship tournament in Madison next week. 

Thunderbirds fall to Conference leading Crusaders

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds ran into the Badger West’s toughest opponent, making the trip to La Bahn Arena in Madison and absorbing a 10-0 loss at the hands of the Madison Edgewood Crusaders.  

With a few weeks until playoffs, the Crusaders are a good bet to top the seeds in the Section and the senior-heavy Crusaders dominated the shot clock and the score sheet through the first two periods, building a 7-0 lead off a 27-7 margin in shots. 

The Thunderbirds gained some consolation with a more even 8-6 differential on the shot clock, but the host Crusaders tacked on three more goals in the frame as well.  

Seniors Matthew Schachte and Aidan Lenz both fired a pair for the Crusaders to pace the offense. 

The loss came on the heels of the first win in nine games for the Thunderbirds two days earlier and dropped the Baraboo/Portage squad to 3-15 on the season as well as 1-6 in Badger West Conference play.  

The two teams will meet again on Feb. 4 at Pierce Park Pavilion.

Next up will be conference home contest on Tuesday, Jan. 25 against the Sauk Prairie Eagles at Pierce Park Pavilion starting at 7 p.m., the first of the team’s final half dozen games of the regular season. 

Badger West this Week

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

BADGER WEST THIS WEEK 

As Badger West Conference teams wrapped up the pre-Christmas portions of their schedules with a barrage of 13 games between Dec. 13-21. 

Out of the smoke, Madison Edgewood Crusaders emerged as the conference’s championship favorite, the only team still unbeaten in conference play and adding two more games to its current six-game winning streak while Sauk Prairie Eagles, Oregon Panthers and RWD Cheavers have each dropped two out of five to share the runners up spot. 

Another key match saw the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds sliding into fifth with a win against the Monroe Cheesemakers. 

MADISON EDGWOOD CRUSADERS (6-1, Badger West 4-0) 

The Crusaders put itself in the driver’s seat on Monday, Dec. 13, becoming the lone undefeated team in conference with a decisive 10-2 win at LaBahn Arena against the visiting Oregon Panthers. The following night the Crusaders collected a 12-0 shutout against the Monroe Cheesemakers, also at La Bahn. That win was the team’s sixth in a row after a season opening defeat against defending State Champion Hudson Raiders. 

Cody Menzel let the awesome group of seniors on the Crusaders, collecting four goals and eight assists for a dozen points while J.J Wiebusch scored eight while setting up another three for 11 points. Both Wiebusch and Menzel have 26 points in seven games, good enough for a tie for ninth among the state’s top scorers. 

Aidan Lenz, another senior, collected three goals and four assists in the two games and senior Parker Murn had six set ups.  

In goal, sophomore Rowan White stopped all but two of 39 shots, boosting his overall Goals Against Average to exactly two, good enough for a tie for eighth best in the state. 

OREGON PANTHERS (7-4, Badger West 3-2) 

The past stretch was an up and down run for the Panthers who started out with its first conference defeat, brushed aside by the host Crusaders 10-2 before bouncing back with a 5-1 win the following night on home ice against RWD. A 3-2 loss against St. Mary’s Springs from Fond du Lac carried the team into a second conference loss, 7-1 at Sauk Prairie. 

The key to beating the Panthers in this stretch seems to be shutting down the high-flying team leaders that remain the state’s top scorers so far. Of course, it is one thing to know that task and another thing to get it done. 

The 10 goals in four games this week is easily the lowest scoring stretch so far, but the Panthers will be looking to recapture that touch at a tournament over the Christmas Break.  

Senior Joe Roemer picked up seven assists to lead the way, sophomore Andrew Jicha collecting five goals and an assist and junior Kyle Rohrer adding three goals and two assists while junior Simon Dosher scored once and assisted on three.  

Rohrer (20-26-46), Jicha (23-19-42) and Roemer (6-33-39) hold down the state’s top three spots. While Rohrer leads the state in points, Jicha is the state’s leading goal scorer and Roemer has the most assists. 

SAUK PRAIRIE EAGLES (5-2, Badger West 2-2) 

The Eagles, like the Crusaders, haver started the season a little slower than other teams due in part to a couple games being postponed. 

The Eagles dropped a 2-1 decision at RACA in Reedsburg against a desperate RWD team on Friday (Dec. 17) and bounced back as the desperate team itself with a 7-1 victory at SPARC against the Panthers on Monday.  

The Eagles wrapped up its busiest stretch of the season so far with a 7-5 win against McFarland in non-conference play at SPARC on Tuesday. 

The Eagles put up 15 goals through the stretch, junior Luke Mast leading the charge with three goals and eight assists for 11 points. Senior Nick Mast scored six and added an assist while senior Hakon Peterson scored a pair and added four helpers. Senior Erik Peterson chipped in two goals and four assists. 

In goal junior Kaden Stracke appeared in the first two goals, stopping 41 of 44 shots against. 

RWD CHEAVERS (6-5, Badger West 3-2) 

The Cheavers fell to 2-2 in Conference and 4-5 overall with the loss in Oregon but bounced back with a 2-1 win at RACA against the visiting Eagles and climbed over .500 once again with a non-conference win at Tomah against Tomah/Sparta on Tuesday night. 

Defense and goaltending were key for the Cheavers, especially in the two wins that saw senior goaltending Cooper Oakes stopping 55 of 56 shots in goal and picking up the goose egg in Tomah. 

Offensively, the Cheavers got two goals and four assists from senor CJ Pfaff, two goals from senior Caden Brandt, two assists from senior Grant Marsich and a goal and assist from junior Carsen Brandt. 

BARABOO/PORTAGE THUNDERBIRDS (2-7, Badger West 1-2) 

After starting out with a postponed game against the Eagles, Thunderbirds dropped a pair of games against some tough non-conference opponents but sandwiched them with a 2-1 win at Pierce Park Pavilion against the Monroe Cheesemakers on Saturday. 

The losses came against Janesville Bluebirds, a 9-0 loss in Janesville and an 8-2 loss against Onalaska/La Crosse at the Omni Center. 

Scoring has continued to be a tough area for the Thunderbirds who picked up the win but scored just four goals in three games.  

Seniors Gabe Fitzwilliams and Oliver Scanlan both scored a goal and added an assist with other goals added by sophomore Carson Zick and first-year Nathan Gneiser. Junior Peyton Sloan drew assists on two of the goals.  

MONROE CHEESEMAKERS (1-11, Badger West) 

The Cheesemakers dropped all three games played this season, running its current losing skid to eight games. 

The first two were both Badger West matches, a 12-0 loss to the Crusaders at La Bahn Dec. 14 followed by another loss at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo against the host Thunderbirds on Saturday. Wrapping up the week was a 6-2 loss against Kenosha Thunder at SLICE on Tuesday (Dec. 21). 

Cheesemakers scored three goals in the week. Junior Seth Brandt scored the lone goal in Baraboo from senior Josh Haight. Scoring details for the Onalaska game were not available at press time. 

Badger West this week

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

A busy week of Badger West head-to-head matches set up a crucial week ahead filled with big matches as the six teams hit the halfway mark on the conference schedule.  

Key game of the week saw the Madison Edgewood Crusaders making its home ice debut with a 6-1 win against the Sauk Prairie Eagles giving the visitors its first loss and first loss in what ended up being the lone game of the week for both teams.  

The Crusaders remain undefeated in conference play and enter this week with the Panthers as co-leaders entering their head-to-head battle on Monday (Dec. 13) which will be part of next week’s conference summary. 

The Panthers enjoyed a big week, starting with an 8-0 win at SLICE against Monroe Cheesemakers Monday and also including a 9-8 edge against Big Eight leading Janesville Bluebirds on home ice Tuesday. 

A scheduled meeting between the Eagles and Panthers was postponed and will now be played on Dec. 20. 

RWD hit the conference win columns with victories against both Baraboo Portage on home ice Tuesday and at SLICE in Monroe Thursday but wrapped up the win with a tough non-conference loss to Baldwin on Saturday. 

The Thunderbirds also dropped a pair of non-conference matches, both at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo while the Cheesemakers lost a pair of conference matches as well as a road game against Muskego 

MADISON EDGEWOOD CRUSADERS (4-1, 2-0 Badger West) 

SAUK PRAIRIE EAGLES (3-1, 1-1 Badger West) 

These two are included together as their lone game of the week was against each other.

After dropping its season opener, the Crusaders have now racked up four straight including conference matches against both RWD and Sauk Prairie. 

It’s starting to look like this team could be in for a special season with an awesome group of seniors leading the way.  

J.J. Wiebusch was in on five of the six (2g, 3a) against the Eagles and has put up 15 points in the team’s four wins. Parker Murn and Cody Menzel both collected four points in the game and Aidan Lenz had three set ups. 

In goal, sophomore Rowan White and freshman Hayden Reuhl have combined on the 4-1 record, stopping all but 11 of 118 shots against so far.  

For the Eagles, the Mast brothers, senior Nick and junior Luke both played a part in the lone goal, and they have combined on 27 points through four games for the Eagles.  

After playing Oregon on Monday, the Crusaders will stay home to entertain the Cheesemakers Tuesday wrapping up the team’s pre-Christmas schedule. They have yet to play Baraboo/Portage and those two teams will meet twice in the second half of the schedule. 

The Eagles are scheduled to entertain Baraboo/Portage at SPARC on Tuesday and will be at RACA in Reedsburg to play RWD. The Eagles will remain busy, the moved game to Dec. 20 leaving them with still five games to play before the break. 

OREGON PANTHERS (6-1, 2-0 Badger West) 

The offensively gifted Panthers continued to wreak havoc on opposition goaltenders this past week, scoring another 17 goals and racking up two more wins.  

After the 8-0 shutout at SLICE Monday, the team played at home Tuesday and an equally impressive Janesville Bluebirds team its first loss 9-8 on Tuesday.  

The Oregon team, ranked among state coaches as one of the top Division 2 teams in the state, rolled into Tuesday’s game with 59 goals through its first seven games – an average of more than eight per match. The Bluebirds rolled in undefeated through its first three games with 29 goals scored so the 17 goals in the game was likely no surprise.  

The trio of forwards – junior Kyle Rohrer, sophomore Andrew Jicha and senior Joe Roemer continued their season opening barrage combining for 30 points in the two games.  

Rohrer notched eight goals and five assists in the two games and entered this week as the state leader with 41 points. Jicha had two goals and six assists and is currently second in state with 36 points while Roemer picked up two goals and seven helpers and currently sits third with 32 points so far. 

The Panthers are scheduled to start the win making the trip to LaBahn Arena Monday in a battle of the only two teams undefeated in conference play so far.  After hosting RWD the following night, the Panthers will wrap up the week with a non-conference contest against Fond du Lac Warbirds on Saturday in Oregon. Wrapping up the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule, the Panthers will travel to Sauk Prairie on Monday, Dec. 20. 

RWD CHEAVERS (5-5, 2-1 Badger West) 

RWD picked up a pair of big wins to climb over .500 both in conference and overall, but a tough 5-3 loss against the visiting Baldwin-Woodville Hawks on Saturday was a bit of a spoiler.  

RWD has shown itself to be well balanced so far, collecting 19 goals in the three games played while allowing just one in the two conference matches.  

Junior Caden Brandt and senior CJ Pfaff both collected eight points in the two wins while senior goaltender Cooper Oakes kicked out all but one of 30 shots faced and picked up a shutout. Brandt’s 19 point have him in a tie for ninth in state.  

The team has collected at least a point from 14 players in its first eight games.  

BARABOO/PORTAGE THUNDERBIRDS (1-5, 0-2 Badger West) 

A tough 8-0 loss against conference rival in Reedsburg was sandwiched between a pair of non-conference losses Monday against Madison LaFollette East Lakers (6-3) at Pierce Park Pavilion Monday and Thursday (10-4) against Brookfield Stars.  

The team was missing eight players due to illness, injury or other reasons against the Cheavers, and the team has not had a full lineup on the ice yet this season.  

Seniors Oliver Scanlan and Gabe Fitzwilliams have tried the lead the squad, both scoring in both non-conference matches, Scanlan ending the week with three goals and Fitzwilliams with two. The other goals came from junior Luke Schweda and freshman Jordi Beale. 

Thunderbirds have dropped four in a row and face a tough assignment Tuesday making the trip to Sauk Prairie to play the Eagles and staying on the road Thursday for another tough game against the Bluebirds, then returning home to Pierce Park Pavilion Saturday to face the Monroe Cheesemakers. 

MONROE CHEESEMAKERS (1-8, 0-3 Badger West) 

A rough week for the Cheesemakers saw the team dropping conference losses to both Oregon (8-0) and RWD (8-1) and wrapping up the week with an 8-1 loss on home ice against the Muskego Co-op Ice Force. The losses stretched the team’s current losing streak to five games and they have dropped their first three Badger West matches.  

Junior Nolan Bodenstein and sophomore Wyatt Janecke scored the Cheesemaker goals. The week ahead will be tough as well, beginning with a conference match at La Bahn Arena in Madison against the Crusaders Tuesday and a Saturday contest at Pierce Park Pavilion against Baraboo/Portage to wrap up the first half of the conference schedule. 

Eagles stay with Crusaders everywhere but scoreboard

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info

The Sauk Prairie Eagles saw its three-game season opening winning streak coming to a sudden end in Madison Tuesday (Dec. 7) night at La Bahn Arena with a 6-1 Badger West Conference loss to the Madison Edgewood Crusaders.  

Both teams were coming off wins in their opening conference tests the previous week, the Eagles whipping the Monroe Cheesemakers 9-0 and the Crusaders getting by the RWD Cheavers 4-1. 

The first period was promising, but at the same time rough for the visiting Eagles as they outshot the host Crusaders 11-4, but exited the period trailing 3-0.  

The Crusaders added another in the second period before senior Nick Mast got the Eagles on the board, with help from junior Luke Mast and senior Hakon Peterson. The Crusaders responded again just over a minute later and carried the 5-1 cushion into the third period.  

Seniors J.J. Wiebusch (2g, 3a), Cody Menzel (2g, 2a), Parker Murn (1g, 3a) and Aidan Lenz (3a) paced the Crusaders’ offense and the other goal came from senior Nick McCann. 

Overall, the Eagles matched the Crusaders with 30 shots apiece.  

The Eagles fall to 3-1 on the regular season and 1-1 in Badger West Conference games this season while the Crusaders climb to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in Badger West.  

The loss to Edgewood raises the importance somewhat of the next game for the Eagles who entertain the 6-1 (2-0 in Badger West) Oregon Panthers on Thursday night at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC). 

Eagles fans may want to circle Jan. 11 on their respective calendars. That’s the day the Crusaders will play a visit to SPARC. This game may not have gone the way of the Eagles, but they showed in the contest they can stay with this team and on home ice, they should make a more formidable opponent. 

Badger West This Week — game on in Conference

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

BADGER WEST THIS WEEK (Nov. 29 – Dec. 5, 2021) 

The Badger West entered the first round of head-to-head conference matches in the second full week of the season and early results were mostly lopsided.  

Oregon Panthers and Madison Edgewood Crusaders both enjoyed two-win weeks while the Sauk Prairie Eagles won its only game and remain the lone undefeated squad in the group. The RWD Cheavers picked up a big win but dropped its conference opener while the Monroe Cheesemakers and Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds both dropped a pair.  

All six teams will play key conference matches in the week ahead so the conference championship picture will begin to take shape.  

OREGON PANTHERS (4-1-0, 1-0 Badger West) 

A wild 20-goal contest saw the Panthers opening conference play with a 14-6 edge against the visiting Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds on Thursday (Dec. 2) and following it up with a 6-2 win the following night, also on home ice against former Badger South rival, McFarland Spartans. 

Those results give the Panthers an overall 42-19 edge on opponents through five games and the trio of Andrew Jicha, Kyle Rohrer and Joe Roemer have combined for 79 points, holding down the top three spots in the state.  

Week ahead – A three-game week begins and ends with conference matches. The Panthers were scheduled to play at Stateline Ice and Community Expo (SLICE) on Monday and wrap it up with a visit to the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Thursday night. In between, the Panthers will play host to the Janesville Bluebirds on Tuesday.  

MADISON EDGEWOOD CRUSADERS (3-1, 1-0 Badger West) 

The Crusaders had most of the week to practice and prepare for Friday and Saturday matches, opening its Badger-West Conference schedule with a 4-2 win at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) on Friday night and adding another 4-1 decision against the Madison Memorial Spartans at Hartmeyer Ice Arena on Saturday.  

The wins give the Crusaders a three-game winning streak and the trio of J.J. Wiebusch, Cody Menzel and Aidan Lenz were in on all four goals against RWD. They combined for 16 points in the two games.  

Week Ahead – After four on the road to open the season, the Crusaders have three in a row at LaBahn Ice Arena but just one this week, Tuesday against the visiting Sauk Prairie Eagles. 

SAUK PRAIRIE EAGLES (3-0, 1-0 Badger West) 

The Eagles played just once this past weekend, traveling to SLICE and opening Badger West for an overwhelming 9-0 win against the Monroe Cheesemakers, giving the Eagles a total of 24 goals through its first three contests. 

The Mast brothers, senior Nick and junior Luke are off to strong offensive starts, combining on 25 points so far and junior goaltenders Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInerney shared the shutout in Monroe.  

Week Ahead – The Eagles have a massive week ahead playing both other first round conference winners. On Tueday the Eagles will be at LaBahn Ice Arena to face the Madison Edgewood Crusaders and on Thursday, the Eagles host the Oregon Panthers at SPARC. 

RWD CHEAVERS (2-3, 0-1 Badger West) 

The Cheavers opened the week with a big 5-4 overtime win against the visiting Onalaska Hilltoppers, the first regular season win against Onalaska since the RWD program was formed in 2010. Despite another solid effort, the Cheavers came up short against the Crusaders on Friday, snapping a two-game winning streak and putting the team under .500 once again.  

RWD has been outscored 16-14 through five games and led offensively by junior Caden Brandt in on 10 of their goals.  

Senior goaltender Cooper Oakes has stopped 193 of 209 shots for a .929 Save Percentage to rank among the state’s best puck stoppers.  

Week Ahead – After a big rivalry game at RACA against the Thunderbirds Tuesday night, the Cheavers will make the trip to Monroe Thursday to face the Cheesemakers and wrap up a busy week with a non-conference duel against Baldwin-Woodville Hawks on Saturday in Reedsburg. 

BARABOO/PORTAGE THUNDERBIRDS (1-3, 0-1 Badger West) 

The 14-goals against at Oregon might be the most allowed in a game since the Badger/Portage Co-op was founded in 2010, but the six goals for in the same game was easily the team’s best offensive showing in a crazy game.

The Thunderbirds have endured a season’s worth of adversity with injuries and illness hampering the lineup but senior forwards such as Gabe Fitzwilliams and Oliver Scanlan have been contributing.  

Week Ahead – Thunderbirds have already opened a busy week, dropping a 4-1 non-conference decision to Madison LaFollette-East at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo Monday and travelling the following night to its conference test at RACA in Reedsburg. 

On Thursday, the Thunderbirds will play a non-conference game against the Brookfield Stars at Pierce Park Pavilion.  

MONROE CHEESEMAKERS (1-5, 0-1 Badger West) 

The Cheesemakers dropped its Conference opener on the road 9-0 against the Sauk Prairie Eagles Thursday and fell 7-2 against KMMO (Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago/Oconomowoc) at SLICE Saturday. 

The losses dropped the Cheesemakers to 1-5. Seth Brandt scored both goals against KMMO. 

Week Ahead – The road will stay tough for the Cheesemakers with the Oregon Panthers scheduled to pay a visit Monday and RWD will be in Monroe for a Thursday night test. The Cheesemakers will hit the road Saturday wrapping up a three-game week against the Muskego Co-Op Ice Force at Wilson Ice Arena in Milwaukee. 

Crusaders clinch in in final period against Cheavers

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD varsity Cheavers dropped its first conference test of the season despite a gritty effort and yet another standout performance between the pipes.  

Outshot 17-5 through the opening period, senior goaltender Cooper Oakes kept everything out of the RWD net and teams were still scoreless heading to the second.  

The visitors put up another 15-7 margin on the scoreboard and broke through with a pair of middle period markers, but in between was junior John Scott’s first goal of the season, from sophomore Trey Lariden, keeping the game close at 2-1 with a period to play.  

The Crusaders finally pulled away with two goals in the opening seven minutes of the final period.  

Seniors J.J. Wiebusch and Aidan Lenz both scored a pair for the Crusaders while assisting on one for the Crusaders and senior Cody Menzel had three assists. All three played for the Team Wisconsin 18U team this fall.  

The loss dropped the Cheavers to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in Badger West Division play while the Crusaders improved to 2-1 and opened conference play with a win. 

Tomas Komdofer made his varsity debut with the team Friday and the defense corps is expecting a boost in time for Tuesday’s contest. 

The Cheavers will be on home ice again Tuesday for the always exciting rivalry contest against the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds at 7 p.m. The Crusaders were scheduled to play Saturday night at Hartmeyer Ice Arena against the Madison Memorial Spartans and also faces a big conference match Tuesday on home ice at LaBahn Arena in Madison against the 3-0 Sauk Prairie Eagles. 

Badger West this Week

Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

BADGER WEST THIS WEEK 

The Badger West Division is now one week old in WIAA Hockey play and preparing for its first week of head-to-head conference matches. 

Facing tough opposition could have played a part in the division opening the season with a 7-7 record so far and the only undefeated team of the half-dozen is the Sauk Prairie Eagles who scored 15 goals in its first two contests, both wins. 

Oregon Panthers picked up with three games in three days at a holiday event in Sheboygan, winning the first two by lopsided scores.  

Madison Edgewood Crusaders also opened at a weekend event in Verona, grabbing a split in two games played.  The Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells (RWD) Cheavers dropped an opener in Wisconsin Rapids before splitting a pair at a weekend tournament in Somerset.  

The Monroe Cheesemakers got an early start, dropping a pair before grabbing its first win against Beloit Memorial and the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds opened its regular season Saturday with a loss against Middleton Cardinals on home ice.  

SAUK PRAIRIE EAGLES (2-0-0) 

After opening on home ice Tuesday (Nov. 23) with a 7-5 win against the always tough Onalaska Hilltoppers, the Eagles were equally as impressive in its first road test, taking an 8-2 win at Madison Ice Arena (MIA) against the host Madison West Regents.  

The Mast brothers, senior Nick (5g, 3a) and junior Luke (2g, 5a) have led the way offensively and Hakon Peterson is close behind with five points (2g, 3a).  

OREGON PANTHERS (2-1-0) 

The Panthers held off its start to the season until Friday, but then played three games in three days, beginning with a 7-2 win against the Brookfield Stars and a 10-0 whitewash against the Whitefish Bay Storm. The Ashwaubenon Jaguars ended the streak on Sunday with an 8-5 win against the Panthers.  

With 22 goals in its first three games, the Panthers enter conference play as a team that can score consistently. 

Leading the charge is junior Kyle Rohrer who slides into a share of the state scoring lead with his 18 points (6g, 12a) and sophomore Andrew Jicha (10g, 7a) is just one point behind. Joe Roemer (2g, 10a) has also been a steady contributor. 

Junior Josh Kean has been in the blue paint for all three games and stopped 68 of 77 shots so far. 

MADISON EDGEWOOD CRUSADERS (1-1-0) 

The Crusaders also waited until the weekend to get the season underway. It doesn’t get any tougher than facing the defending state champ in the opener as the Crusaders dropped a 7-2 decision against the Hudson Raiders Friday but rallying back with a 5-1 win against the Chippewa Falls Cardinals on Saturday. 

Senior JJ Wiebusch has been in on five of his team’s seven goals (3g, 2a) so far and Cody Menzel has four points (2g, 2a) while senior Aidan Lenz has collected three (1g, 2a). 

RWD CHEAVERS (1-2-0) 

Entering the season at Wisconsin Rapids Tuesday night, the Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells/Mauston squad held a 2-0 lead early, but the Red Raiders who held a wide margin in shots finally pulled back with the game winner in a 3-2 win coming late in the contest.  

From there, the Cheavers moved on to a weekend event in Somerset, dropping its opener 2-1 against the Eau Claire North Huskies Friday before finally breaking into the win column with a 5-3 margin against the host Somerset Spartans on Saturday. 

Senior goaltender Cooper Oakes has been a key factor, turning aside 122 shots in three games and posting a Save Percentage of .938 out of the gate.  

Offensively, junior Caden Brandt has collected six points (1g, 5a) and Brady Baldwin has picked up four (3g, 1a) while senior CJ Pfaff has been consistent with a point in all three games (1g, 2a). 

MONROE CHEESEMAKERS (1-2-0) 

Compared to the other teams in the Badger West, the Cheesemakers got off to a quick start, dropping a 4-2 decision to Whitefish Bay Storm on Nov. 19 and falling 8-3 against the Middleton Cardinals on Tuesday before finally breaking into the win column with a 4-2 doubling of the Beloit Memorial Purple Knights. 

All three games were played on the road and the Cheesemakers have one more road test before finally playing on home ice.  

Senior Blaze Janecke has been a bright spot in the lineup for the Cheesemakers in on six (5g, 1a) of the team’s nine goals and sophomore goaltender Kyle Theorin backstopped the win, stopping all but two of the 42 shots he faced in Beloit. 

BARABOO/PORTAGE THUNDERBIRDS (0-1)

Thunderbirds were the final Badger West team to hit the ice, dropping a 7-0 shutout against the Middleton Cardinals Saturday night at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo.  

Senior goaltender Andrew Schaetzl was the busiest man in the game facing 46 shots and stopping 39. 

Conference matches ahead 

All six teams will enter the Badger West Conference fray this week, but a few teams will have another test along the way.  

On Tuesday night, the RWD Cheavers will entertain the Onalaska Hilltoppers while the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds travel to Tomah/Sparta.  

The Cheesemakers will be at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) for its fourth straight road test Thursday night and the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds will face its first conference test at Oregon Ice Arena against the host Panthers.  

On Friday, the final two teams will match up as the Madison Edgewood Crusaders will make the trip to Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) against the host Cheavers. Also Friday, the Panthers will play host to the McFarland Spartans in a non-conference match.  

The week will wrap up with a pair of non-conference battles as Monroe Cheesemakers finally play in front of friendly fans at State Line Ice and Community Expo (SLICE) against the KMMO (Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago/Oconomowoc) hockey club while the Madison Edgewood Crusaders travel across town to Hartmeyer Ice Arena to tangle with the Madison Memorial Spartans. 

Team Wisconsin 18U gets back into win column

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

After enjoying a rare weekend off, the Team Wisconsin 18U squad including Erik Peterson, a senior with the Sauk Prairie Eagles, returned to Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League play and snapped a seven-game winless streak. 

TW played four games on home ice at Chippewa Falls, beginning with a pair of wins against Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine (6-3, 7-4), the first on Friday (Oct. 15) night and the other early Saturday. Later Saturday, the team grabbed its third win of the weekend, taking the first of two against Twin Cities Orthopedics 2-1. TCO denied the Wisconsin squad a weekend sweep, taking the final game of the weekend 10-4. 

Team Wisconsin 6 Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine 3  

On Friday night, the visitors hit the scoreboard first but TW owned a 2-1 edge after a period and matched the same total in both the second and third.  

Josh Austin (Senior – St. Mary’s Springs Ledgers) paced the TW attack with three goals, Callan Buddinger (Notre Dame Academy Tritons) adding two and setting up another three and Ian Engel (Senior – Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha Rockets) scored the other. Peterson picked up a minor penalty in the contest. 

Brian Fixmer (Senior – Chippewa Falls Cardinals) turned in a stellar performance between the pipes, stopping 43 shots to lead the team to a win in a wild 88-shot contest 

Team Wisconsin 7 Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine 4  

After grabbing a 2-1 first period lead on Saturday morning, TW all but settled this one with a four-goal second period explosion and a 6-2 lead heading to the third. 

Jon Wiebusch (Senior – Edgewood Crusaders) fired two goals with other TW markers added by Parker Murn (Senior – Edgewood Crusaders); Hunter Bill (Junior – Notre Dame Academy Tritons); Colton Jamieson (Junior Cretin Durham Hall MN); Peyton Platter (Senior – Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes) and Aidan Lenz (Senior – Edgewood Crusaders). 

Adam Prokop turned in another awesome performance in goal for TW, stopping 53 shots helping TW pick up the win despite a lopsided 57-33 edge in shots for the opposition. 

Team Wisconsin 2 Twin Cities Orthopedics 1 

After 13 goals in the first two games, TW engaged in a defensive battle later Saturday. The Orthopedics scored their lone goal in the first period, Tyler Dale (Senior – Waukesha Wings) tying it with his second period tally and Kade Smigaj (Junior – Stevens Point Panthers) sinking the game winner in the opening minute of the third. 

Fixmer collected his second win of the weekend, beaten just once on 31 shots. 

Twin Cities Orthopedics 10 Team Wisconsin 4  

The final game of the weekend proved one too many for the Dairyland squad who fell behind 4-0 in the first period and trailed 6-0 before counting its first goal in the middle period.  

Austin, Smigaj, Wiebusch and Lenz counted the Team Wisconsin goals.  

With the weekend games, Team Wisconsin boosted its record in league play to 5-8-4 and its overall record to 9-9-4. 

The team will head to New Hope, MN for its final three regular season games Saturday and Sunday with League playoffs getting underway the following weekend. 

Peterson and TW run into some tough competition

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info  

Team Wisconsin 18U hockey team was the host team but sure didn’t have much of a home ice advantage this past weekend.  

The team faced a couple of tough opponents in Upper Midwest High School Elite League play, battling the first place MAP South Hockey team to a 6-6 draw in its first game at Chippewa Falls Ice Arena on Friday night, but falling to the same opponent 4-1 on Saturday morning. 

Next up was the Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep team who were simply too tough, handing TW a 4-1 loss Saturday and returning for a 4-2 decision on Sunday. 

MAP South 6 Team Wisconsin 6  

In the first game, Team Wisconsin appeared on its way to a big win, but three goals in the game’s final five minutes lifted the visiting MAP South team into a draw.  

Team Wisconsin scored the game’s first three goals and never trailed in the contest.  

Leading the offense was Aidan Lenz with two goals and Jon Wiebusch who set up three. Both will be seniors with the Edgewood Crusaders this fall. 

Other TW goals came from Kade Smigaj (Junior – Stevens Point Panthers); Hunter Bill (Junior – Notre Dame Academy Tritons; Isaac Rentmeester (Senior – Notre Dame Academy Tritons) and Peyton Platter (Senior – Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes). Erik Peterson, a senior with the Sauk Prairie Eagles picked up an assist on the game’s third goal. 

MAP South 4 Team Wisconsin 1 

In the first game, Team Wisconsin appeared on its way to a big win, but three goals in the game’s final five minutes lifted the visiting MAP South team into a draw. 

After leading most of the way in the first game, TW found itself down early in the rematch and never caught up. MAP carried a 3-0 lead out of the opening period and after a scoreless middle frame, both teams fired one in the third.  

Josh Austin (Senior – St. Mary’s Springs Ledgers) scored the lone Team Wisconsin goal. 

Shattuck St. Mary’s 5 Team Wisconsin 2 

Team Wisconsin opened and closed the scoring in the opening period, but thanks to a pair of responses in between by the visitors, this game was tied at 2-2 heading to the second.  

The game winner came near the halfway mark of the second and two more in the third clinched the win for Shattuck. 

Wiebusch and Cody Menzel (Senior — Edgewood Crusaders) had the Team Wisconsin goals in this game.

Shattuck St. Mary’s 4 Team Wisconsin 2  

The following day teams returned to a game that saw two goals in each period. Unfortunately, the first two and a 4-0 lead belonged to Shattuck with TW striking back for a pair in the third.  

Smigaj and Platter fired the Team Wisconsin goals.  

The rough weekend leaves Team Wisconsin with a 2-5-3 record in league play and a 6-6-3 record overall. As a result, the team has fallen to seventh place overall in the 10-team league.  

Action resumes in New Hope, MN for TW this weekend beginning Saturday with the team’s first meeting against North Dakota (1-2-1), followed by another chance against MAP South (6-1-2) and then on Sunday, the first meeting with fourth place Sanford Power (5-3-2)