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. 

Eagles can’t stop Crusader’s juggernaut

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The final hurdle between the Madison Edgewood Crusaders and a perfect Badger West Conference season, the Sauk Prairie Eagles were unable to stop the freight train who wrapped up the inaugural conference title with a 9-2 edge at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Thursday (Feb. 8). 

The visitors started quick with two goals in the first seven minutes and one more before Luke Mast fired his 27th and final goal of the regular season from senior Erik Peterson. 

The Crusaders added one more before the end of the period owned a 5-1 cushion when senior Micah Hanson scored with assists to senior Nick Mast and junior Luke halfway through the middle frame.  

Two goals six seconds apart had Edgewood up 7-2 by the end of the second and two more down the stretch wrapped it up.  

The Crusaders held a 40-18 edge in shots in the contest, junior Kaden Stracke facing 37 before junior Brooks McInerney came on for the final 5:48 stopping two of three. 

The win was further proof to anyone who doubted the Crusaders deserved the top seed in Division 1, Section 3 and both teams clicked into playoff mode after the regular season finale.  

The Eagles finished a solid 17-4 regular season, all four losses coming in Badger West Conference matches. The Crusaders finished at 21-3 with a 10-0 record in Badger West Conference matches.  

The Eagles move into the 2022 WIAA post season as the Section’s fifth seed. They will entertain the DeForest Norskies on Tuesday in the Regional semi-finals, the winner moving on to play either RWD Cheavers or Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds on Thursday night in one of four Regional Championship matches in Section 3. 

Schaetzl backstops Tbirds to Badger West win

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

There’s one more game to go, but the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds clinched fifth place in the Badger West Conference with an 8-4 win at Monroe against the host Cheesemakers at Stateline Ice and Community Expo (SLICE) on Tuesday (Feb. 1). 

The win shows that a team plagued with injuries and illness through much of the season could be taking shape in time for what will be a tough post season run.  

Last time the new conference rivals met, the Thunderbirds claimed a 2-1 win at Pierce Park Pavilion Dec. 18. The win at SLICE saw the Thunderbirds coming up with its best offensive total this season.  

Cheesemakers hit the scoreboard first and carried a 3-2 lead into the middle period. It was 4-2 7:50 from the end of the middle period, but it was all T-Birds after that.  

Four goals in the final 7:03 had the Baraboo/Portage squad up 6-4 and they added two more unanswered goals in the final period to put it away. 

Senior Gabe Fitzwilliams paced the Thunderbirds’ attack with two goals and two assists, sophomore Carson Zick adding two goals and an assist and senior Oliver Scanlan contributing a goal and two assists. 

Senior Zach Huffaker also scored a pair with the other Thunderbirds’ goal fired by junior Peyton Sloan. Sophomore Bodie Thompson and junior Monte Hartmann picked up assists.  

Both teams fired 12 shots in the opening period, Thunderbirds with a 15-9 edge in the middle frame and senior goaltender Andrew Schaetzl stopped all 15 shots he faced to allow his team to pad its margin despite being outshot 15-10. Overall, Thunderbirds held a 37-36 edge in shots. 

The win boosted Thunderbirds to 4-18 and 2-7 in Badger West Conference play. Thunderbirds were scheduled to wrap up conference play Friday (Feb. 4) on home ice against the Badger West Conference leading Madison Edgewood Crusaders.  

That will leave two games next week, the final home contest against the Avalanche at 7 p.m. Tuesday and its final game on the road in Waupun two days later, followed by playoffs which will get underway the following week. 

JV Cheavers take two at DeForest tourney

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD junior varsity hockey team added two more wins at a Wisconsin Dells tournament with wins against the Deforest Norskies and Monona Grove Silver Eagles this past weekend.  

The tournament, hosted by the Norskies brought together four teams and was originally scheduled for three rounds, but a referee shortage left it at two rounds.  

The Cheavers and Middleton Cardinals both finished the event at 2-0 while the Eagles and Norskies both lost both games.  

Cheavers 8 Norskies 3  

The Cheavers kicked off the event on Thursday (Jan. 27) against the tournament hosts, firing three unanswered first period goals and never looking back.  

Kaden Uminski had his name called in the revolving door of skaters donning the pads after a season ending illness for Alex Griebe. The first-year defender kicked out 17 shots to pick up the win including a few bordering on sensational. 

Offensively, the team was led by sophomore Mark Othmer who scored once and set up three others. Senior Malachi Strompolis-Salama and first-years Tye Barney and Carter Renneberg each added a goal and assist. Other goals came from junior Nate Stando, sophomore Jonny Mata, junior Connor Putz and first-year Tristan Edgerton.  

Junior Caleb Eastman collected two assists and first-year Nolan Pope had one. 

Cheavers 5 Silver Eagles 3  

Othmer took his turn between the pipes and joined the list of regulars who picked up wins between the pipes, extending the team’s undefeated streak to 11 games. 

Eagles hit the scoreboard first in this one and carried a 1-0 lead into the middle period.  

Uminski’s solo effort pulled the Cheavers even 4:01 into the second, but the Silver Eagles moved in front again just over a minute later.  

It was all Cheavers after that though, the RWD crew notching four consecutive goals before the Eagles wrapped it up with just under four minutes to play. 

The Cheavers owned a 3-2 lead after the second thanks to goals from Barney and Edgerton. Uminski assisted on both goals and senior Carter Scully also picked up a helper. 

Uminski wrapped up a five-point game, setting up first-year Alec Breunig for the fourth goal, then scoring his second of the contest with help from Strompolis-Salama. 

Othmer picked up the win with 17 saves.  

The JV Cheavers were scheduled to be back in action Tuesday (Feb. 1) on the road against Badger West Conference rival, Sauk Prairie Eagles. 

Mast’s third lifts Eagles past Panthers 6-5

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

By Jim den Hollander  

The Sauk Prairie Eagles collected a needed 6-5 win on the road in Oregon to keep its hopes of at least a share of the Badger West Conference alive on Thursday (Jan. 20). 

The back-and-forth contest saw the Eagles scoring first and up 2-1 against the Panthers after a period. Teams traded goals in the first half of the middle period but three goals in 2:59 had the host Panthers up 5-3 2:31 from the end of the middle stanza. 

The Eagles responded with two goals 23 seconds apart from seniors Micah Hanson and Nick Mast pulling the Eagles even in the final minute of the period. 

The lone final period goal was the game winner and third of the game for Nick Mast, scored unassisted 4:26 from the final whistle.  

Hanson also fired three goals, Mast adding a couple assists. Senior Hakon Peterson had two assists with twin brother Erik adding one and junior Luke Mast also picked up a helper.  

For the Panthers, junior Kyle Rohrer scored three goals and set up another to strengthen his state-leading points total to 85 while sophomore Andrew Jicha added two goals and two assists to stay second in state with 75 points. Jicha also leads the state in goals with 45. 

Nick Mast is seventh in points with 55 and Luke Mast rounds out the top 10 with 52. 

The Eagles held the edge in shots 33-29 and junior goaltender Kaden Stracke picked up the win in goal.  

The win was the 10th consecutive ‘W’ for the Eagles who improve its season record to 13-2 and its Badger West Conference record to 4-2. The Eagles have six games remaining on its schedule including the final game of the season against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders on Feb. 10. The Crusaders have yet to lose a conference match so the Eagles would need one other conference rival to step up before that finale to keep its hopes of a conference title alive. 

Next up for the Eagles is a trip to Baraboo’s Pierce Park Pavilion to play the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds on Tuesday (Jan. 25). 

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. 

Nick Mast scores first four against Cardinals

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Sauk Prairie Eagles hit the road, making the short trip to Sun Prairie and extended its winning streak with a 7-2 win against the host Cardinals. 

The Eagles opened a comfort zone with three unanswered goals in both the first and second periods at Sun Prairie Ice Arena, then added another in the third before the Cards gained some satisfaction, denying junior Kaden Stracke the shutout with two goals in the game’s final six minutes. 

Eagles’ senior has had some big games this season, but this might be the biggest as he collected a natural hat trick with all three first period goals, then added his fourth early in the second on his way to a four goal, one assist game. 

Linemates, senior Erik Peterson and junior Luke Mast both added a goal and two assists the other Eagles’ goal scored by senior Micah Hanson.  

Junior Ethan Tranel and senior Hakon Peterson picked up assists as well.  

Seniors Will Brinkmeier and Davis Hamilton counted the Cardinal goals.  

Stracke’s role was big in this game as the Eagles held a slim 39-34 edge in shots including a 15-13 edge for the Cards in the final frame. 

The Eagles’ will put its nine-game winning streak on the line in a key Badger West Conference battle at Oregon on Thursday (Jan. 20) and the road stretch continues at Baraboo on Tuesday (Jan. 25). Next home game for the Eagles will be on Feb. 1 when the RWD Cheavers pay a visit. 

The Eagles climb to 12-2 overall and they are 3-2 in Badger West Conference matches. The team has seven games remaining to play, five of them conference tilts. 

Korndorfer hatty leads Cheavers past Norskies

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD varsity Cheavers renewed acquaintances with a former conference rival and collected of of five Badger West Conference wins on the day at the Badger Challenge at the Waunakee Ice Ponds Saturday. 

A 9-2 win against former Badger North partner, the DeForest Norskies also helped the RWD crew extend its current winning streak to nine games. 

Despite a 13-5 edge in shots through the opening 17-minutes, the Cheavers appeared on its way to a scoreless opening frame, but two goals in the final 84 seconds of the period opened the floodgates. 

Another pai in the opening 4:15 of the second had RWD comfortably in control before the Norskies notched its first about 90 seconds later  

The Norskies moved to within a pair 51 seconds into the third, but the Cheavers responded 11 seconds later and slammed the door with three more before the period was five minutes old. 

Senior Tomas Korndorfer enjoyed his best game as a Cheaver, firing three goals and adding an assist, giving him nine goals and 20 points on the season so far. 

Senior Trevor Slaght notched two more goals and senior defender Ty Thompson, known primarily for his solid defensive play, struck or his second goal in two games, adding an assist as well. Senior forward C, J. Pfaff continued his hot streak with a goal and two helpers, junior twins Caden and Carsen Brandt firing the other goals, Caden also with a set up. 

Juniors Logan DeMars and John Scott along with sophomore Iszak Elder each collected an assist

Senior goaltender Cooper Oakes stopped 23 of 25 for the win in goal and the Cheavers went past the 50-shot mark for the first time this season, outshooting the Norskies 52-25. 

The win boosted the Cheavers’ overall record to 13-5 and they will put its winning streak to the test in its next game, travelling to LaBahn Arena in Madison to take on the Edgewood Crusaders (9-3, 4-0 Badger West). The Cheavers dropped a 4-1 decision on home ice against the Crusaders on Dec. 3) and need this win to keep Badger West Conference championship hopes alive. 

Next home game will be on Thursday, the final Badger West Conference home game against the Monroe Cheesemakers. 

Stracke-McInerney share another Eagles shutout

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Sauk Prairie Eagles stayed hot with a 4-0 shutout against the Beaver Dam Golden Beavers in one of five Badger West Conference wins against rivals from the Badger East Conference at Waunakee Ice Ponds. 

For the second time this season, junior goaltenders Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInerny shared a shutout, combining to handle all 16 shots put at them by the Golden Beavers. 

All four Eagle’s goals came in the middle period, scored by seniors Nick Mast, Micah Hanson, and Erik Peterson along with junior Luke Mast. The first three came in a span of 2:19 in the middle of the frame. Hanson added two assists, the other three goal scorers each picking up one helper. Other assists went to junior Ethan Tranel and sophomore Karsyn Banta. 

The Eagles dominated the contest with a 44-16 edge in shots.  

The win continues a winning streak for the Eagles to eight games and the team’s overall record is 11-2.  

The Eagles return to action Tuesday (Jan. 18) back on the road to face the Sun Prairie Cardinals, the first of three consecutive road matches. Next home game will be Feb. 1 when the Eagles play host the RWD Cheavers. 

Pfaff fires two, leads Cheavers past Thunderbirds

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD varsity Cheavers continued its winning streak and wrapped up a season sweep against the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds with a 5-1 win at Pierce Park Pavilion on Tuesday (Jan. 11). 

The Cheavers extended its current winning streak to eight games to eight games and nearly a month with the win, outshooting a game Thunderbirds squad 39-21. 

Senior C.J. Pfaff scored his first of a pair unassisted to open the scoring with the only goal of the opening period 2:44 from the buzzer.  

The Cheavers added two more in the second before senior Oliver Scanlan notched the lone T-Birds marker late in the period with help from junior Luke Schweda and sophomore Carson Zick. 

Senior Trevor Slaght scored the game winner, his fifth in seven games since returning to the Cheavers from injury, converting a pass from junior Caden Brandt 5:32 into the middle frame and Junior John Scott stayed hot, scoring his ninth and seventh since the Monk’s tournament, unassisted later in the period. 

Third period goals from Pfaff and senior defenseman, Ty Thompson widened the gap for the Cheavers and senior Cooper Oakes stopped all but one of the 21 shots he faced in goal for RWD. 

Senior Andrew Schaetzl kicked out 34 shots in goal for the Thunderbirds. 

The win was also the third straight Badger West Conference win for the Cheavers who now sit at 5-2 with three games to play. The Cheavers’ overall record is 12-5. 

The Thunderbirds have dropped its last seven and fall to 2-13 overall and 1-5 in the Conference.  

RWD and Baraboo/Portage now head into the Badger Challenge as all six Badger West Conference teams will take on teams from the Badger East Conference at the Ice Pond in Waunakee on Saturday. 

The Thunderbirds will face off against the Milton Red Raiders (5-7-1, 2-5-1 Badger East) at 2:30 p.m. while the Cheavers meet the Deforest Norskies (3-4-1, 2-3-1 Badger East) at 5 p.m.