Tourney showing vaults Eagles into second half

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

Following an unbeaten showing at the annual Madison area Holiday hockey tournament, the Sauk Prairie Eagles rolled into the second half of the season looking to build on an already successful season.  

A 4-1-1 stretch has the Eagles in the hunt for a top tier playoff seed and a shot at at least a share of the Badger West Conference title. 

The Eagles began play at the holiday tournament with a 7-1 win against the Ashland Oredockers, an independent team that rolled into the event with a 4-2 record on Dec. 28. 

The Eagles outshot the Oredockers 47-18 and after surrendering the game’s first goal in the third minute, responded with seven straight markers.  

The following day, Cedarburg Bulldogs from the North Shore Conference faced off with the Eagles who bounced them by a 9-1 count. The Eagles put this one away turning narrow 2-1 cushion after a period into an 8-1 margin with six unanswered middle period goals. 

Wrapping up the event, the Eagles battled Madision Memorial Spartans to a 2-2 draw. After a scoreless first period, freshman Landon Froese opened the scoring in the second, then added the lone third period tally to pull the Eagles even at 2-2 against the Sparts who rolled into the contest with a 7-2 record and a five-game winning streak. 

Building off that momentum, the Eagles faced off with the Sun Prairie Cardinals dropping a 5-3 decision at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Jan. 3. 

Teams were even at 1-1 after a period and 3-3 heading to the final frame before the Cards scored a pair, including a shorthanded empty netter to clinch it with 73 seconds to go. 

On Friday the Eagles returned to Badger Conference play and improved their record to 6-1 with an 8-1 decision at SPARC against the visiting Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds.  

The Eagles led 4-0 after a period and carried a 7-1 cushion into the third. 

Finally, at SPARC Tuesday (Jan. 10) a goal from junior Colin Harrington 20 seconds from the final horn lifted the Eagles to their second win against the RWD Cheavers this season and a 7-1 conference record. The goal was the third of the period for the Eagles who rallied all the way back from a 4-2 deficit. 

Leading the offensive charge was senior Luke Mast who racked up 25 points with nine goals and 16 helpers, vaulting him to third in the state with 18 goals and 44 points. He could become the second player in team history to move past the 200 points plateau as he currently sits at 71 goals and 172 points through 72 games played. 

Luke Mast (left) looks for a way past RWD defender Carsen Brandt during their game at SPARC Tuesday night. Mast is on a torrid offensive pace that could be highlighted with him becoming the second player in team history to reach the 200-point plateau. Photo Courtesy Jessica Othmer.

Freshman Froese chipped in nine goals and 13 points while Harrington added four goals ande nine points. Junior Karsyn Banta notched a goal and six points and senior Landon Clary scored four and added an assist.  

Freshman Josh Mast scored once and set up three others and junior Thor Peterson fired three goals in the six-game stretch. Other goal scorers included senior Blake Howery and sophomores Gunnar Nachreiner and Connor Grant while junior Garret Mittelsteadt picked up an assist. 

Game winners came off the sticks of Peterson, Harrington, Howery and Froese. 

In goal, Kaden Stracke rolled up a 3-1-1 record with 115 stops on 127 shots, including 40 of 42 in the draw against Madison Memorial. Overall, his Save Percentage for the stretch was .911. Senior Brooks McInerney got some relief work in the tournament and picked up the win against Baraboo, stopping 16 of 17 through five periods’ work for a save percentage of .941. 

The Eagles head back into action Friday (Jan. 13) with its Badger Challenge match against the Beaver Dam Golden Beavers and after a road-heavy opening to the schedule, the Eagles will get the pay off with six of their final eight games on home ice at SPARC. 

Carrying a 12-3-1 record into the home stretch, the key match will be next Thursday when they put their 7-1 conference record on the line against the unbeaten (in conference play) Madison Edgewood Crusaders looking for a share of the conference title. 

Harrington pair leads Eagles by Cheesemakers

By Jim den Hollander
Editor/Publisher
Saukhockey.info
Sauk Prairie Eagles junior Colin Harrington opened and closed the scoring, leading his team to a 4-2 win at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Tuesday (Dec. 13).


Playing on home ice for the first time since Nov. 29 and just the second time in eight regular season games, the Eagles and Cheesemakers played through a scoreless first period before Harrington opened the scoring just nine seconds shy of the 10-minute mark in the middle period.
Senior Luke Mast and freshman Landon Froese picked up the assists, but the lead lasted just 1:50 before junior Wyatt Janecke evened the score for the Cheesemakers. Froese notched an unassisted goal just 18 seconds later to put the home team in front once again.
Cash Anderson pulled the Cheesemakers even again 1:33 into the final period but the Eagles responded quickly again, Mast sinking the game winner on a feed from sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner 26 seconds later.
Harrington added the insurance marker exactly a minute after Mast’s goal with assists for Mast and junior Garret Mittelsteadt.


Senior goaltender Brooks McInerney picked up the win for the Eagles stopping 23 of 25 and senior Xander Obert kicked out 29 in goal for the Cheesemakers.
The win boosted the Eagles to 7-2 overall and helped them stay close to the front running Madison Edgewood Crusaders in conference play, the Eagles now 4-1 at the halfway mark of the schedule.
Next up for the Eagles is a return match with the Oregon Panthers on Thursday night. The Eagles defeated the Panthers 4-2 on home ice Nov. 29 and make the trek to Oregon Thursday to begin the second half of its conference schedule. The Panthers enter the game 4-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play.

Sauk County varsity teams rolling into season

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Here we go! 

The highly anticipated 2022-23 varsity High School hockey season is just days away from facing off.  

For the Sauk County teams – RWD Cheavers, Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds and Sauk Prairie Eagles in the Badger West Conference and the Badger Lightning varsity team from the Badger Conference, weeks of captain’s practices turned into actual practices in recent days with the regular season kicking off as early as Saturday. 

The Lightning, looking to make a jump into the middle or upper tiers of the Badger Conference this season, will be first out of the gate, entertaining the Arrowhead Warhawks on Saturday.  

In terms of personnel, this is probably the biggest Lightning team in a decade or more. Two seasons ago, the team fielded exactly two lines, hoping the COVID epidemic or any other illness or injury wouldn’t affect its team that had to have every player available. 

Two seasons later, the Lightning has grown to a full 27-player roster which means junior varsity games will be included on the schedule. 

After finishing last season with a 9-13 record last season, the Lightning has its eyes on .500 or better this time around and will get an interesting test out of the gate against a Warhawks team it hasn’t faced off against in a while. 

First Badger Conference match will be Saturday Dec. 3 against the Icebergs at Mandt Community Center in Stoughton and first home league game will be Dec. 9 against the Rock County Fury from Janesville/Beloit. 

Among the leaders for the Lightning this season is an awesome group of seniors including Kayla Capener who garnered all-state recognition last season, Bella Bowden, one of the fastest skaters around looking for a bounce back after injuries and adversity kept her out of the lineup much of last season and Mallory Ruhland, a gifted goal scorer who travels all the way from Elroy to suit up.  

In goal, the Lightning has junior Alyssa Gada who has already shown herself to be one of the best keepers in the conference. With improvements all around likely limiting the shots she will face, watch for Gada to have a huge campaign. 

Sauk Prairie Eagles – of the local varsity teams, the Eagles went the furthest last season, falling in Sectional semi-finals against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders in Sectional semifinals. 

Several graduations affect the team both on offense and defense, but there are some key players returning as well, including Luke Mast who finished among the state leaders last season with 27 goals and 69 points. In three years on the varsity team, Mast has racked up 53 goals and 128 points. 

The team has plenty of experience at the most important position as well, seniors Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInerney both veterans of the high school game in goal. 

Other seniors include Cole Scallon and Landon Clary, and Head Coach David Lohrei has done an amazing job in his seasons with the team and is able to provide a game plan based on whatever strengths the team has. 

The Eagles will open the regular season with a pair of road games, in Onalaska to play the Avalanche Tuesday (Nov. 22) and at Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena to face Middleton on Nov. 26. 

First home game will also be the team’s first Badger West Conference game, taking on the Oregon Panthers Nov. 29. 

RWD Cheavers – The Cheavers look solid at all positions despite graduating a goaltender who started nearly every game for the team in all four seasons he attended RAHS. 

Cooper Oakes has established every record of note for Cheavers goaltenders, but junior Alex Griebe put up some amazing numbers as a junior varsity keeper last season and Head Coach Neil Mattson is confident, he can be relied on to take the team to the next level.  

The Cheavers graduated a small but amazing group of seniors last season but led by the Brandt bothers, forward Caden and defenseman Carsen, the team looks solid both up front and on the blue line.  

Caden has scored 58 goals and collected 91 points through his first three campaigns and could be among the state scoring leaders this time around. Carsen showed his physical and mental toughness last year when he decided to put off shoulder surgery and played through some excruciating pain in the late season games. He enters this season healthy and ready to go. 

John Scott is coming off not only his best season with the Cheavers, scoring 14 goals, but also an awesome season as a running back for WDHS football which has college scouts from two different sports knocking on his door. 

Other key contributors among the seniors are hardnosed forwards Caleb Eastman, Yevgeny Dedun and Conner Putz along with defenders Nate Stando and Logan DeMars, both regulars on the blue line along with Carsen Brandt last season.  

RWD will have to hit the ground running with a tough opening to the regular season, including its annual duel against the Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders, opening the season at RACA on Tuesday, followed up by a return visit to the four-team tournament in Somerset on Friday/Saturday. 

RWD will open against the Eau Claire North Huskies Friday.  

Following that, the Cheavers will head into a stretch of five straight Badger West Conference contests, taking it immediately to the halfway mark of the conference season. 

Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds – Thunderbirds had its struggles last season with illness, injury and adversity playing a key part.  

Positive reinforcement from Head Coach David Clark and great leadership from forwards Oliver Scanlan and Gabe Fitzwilliams and goaltender Andrew Schaetzl kept the team in a lot of games. 

Clark has moved away from Baraboo, but Tony Bluske who has been with the team for several seasons and knows the players well, will be a perfect fit as the new mentor. 

Like Griebe with RWD, Burke Schweda showed his potential in both junior varsity and varsity games last season, and he will give the team stability in the blue paint this year and into the future. Brother Luke Schweda, a hard working forward with a nose for the net will be among the senior leaders as well as others. 

The Thunderbirds will kick off the regular season on the road, taking on Monona Grove Silver Eagles Tuesday and will play its first three games on the road, including a tough conference opener against defending champion Madison Edgewood on Nov. 28. 

First home game for the Baraboo/Portage fans will be the first of three straight at home Nov. 29 against Tomah/Sparta. 

Eagles power past Norskies in final period at SPARC

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Three goals in the opening six minutes of the final period helped the Sauk Prairie Eagles varsity hockey team turn a close 3-2 match into a comfortable 6-2 margin in their opening WIAA Division 1 playoff encounter against the DeForest Norskies at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Tuesday (Feb. 15). 

While the score was close, the shot clock showed a dominating effort by the Eagles who ultimately carried a 51-17 margin on the shot clock. 

DeForest senior Alex Kaminski did his job and more, helping the visitors stay within a goal despite a 34-12 edge through the first two periods.  

Junior Luke Mast fired the goal that stood up as the game winner 8:53 into the second period, just 45 seconds after Gabriel Larson, a junior from Lodi pulled his team even at 2-2 with what would be the final Norskie goal of the season.  

The younger Mast brother added four assists in the contest while senior Nick Mast fired two goals and set up a pair as well. Rounding out the top line was senior Erik Peterson who also contributed two goals and two helpers. 

The other Eagles’ goal came from defender Hakon Peterson who also collected an assist in the contest. Another senior, Porter Kreul picked up an assist for the Eagles. 

Scoring the other DeForest goal in the opening period was senior Preston Nichols. 

Eagles’ juniors Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInerney shared the work in goal, McInerney coming on for the final 9:13, facing three shots after Stracke stopped a dozen shots playing into the final period. 

With the win, the now 18-4 Eagles advance to one of four Section 4 Regional finals, Thursday (Feb. 17) at 7 p.m. at RACA in Reedsburg against the 19-6 RWD Cheavers. Winner of that game will advance to Sectional semis next week against either Madison Edgewood Crusaders or the Sun Prairie Cardinals. 

The season wraps up for the Norskies who finish the season with a 7-13-1 overall record.  

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. 

Mast brothers dominate Cheesemakers

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Sauk Prairie Eagles made the trip to Monroe’s SLICE Arena worthwhile, collecting an 11-2 win against the host Cheesemakers in Badger West conference action on Monday (Feb. 7). 

The host Cheesemakers hit the board first, but the Eagles responded with three before the end of the first period and five more unanswered goals in the middle frame.  

The Cheesemakers hit the board first again in the final period, but the Eagles piled on another three before the final buzzer sounded and dominated the contest overall with a 49-13 edge in shots on goal.  

Junior forward Luke Mast enjoyed another huge game for the Eagles, scoring five and setting up another pair while senior brother Nick Mast fired three and assisted on another and rounding out the team’s explosive first line was Erik Peterson with a goal and five helpers. As a unit, they combined for a 17-point night at the office. 

Sophomore Thor Peterson scored and added two assists, junior Ethan Tranel scoring the other Eagles’ goal and senior defenseman Hakon Peterson collecting three assists. Seniors Porter Kreul and Micah Hanson had assists as well along with sophomores Colin Harrington and Karsyn Banta.  

The Cheesemakers had two goals from sophomore Cole Buholzer. 

In goal, junior Brooks McInerney collected the win with 11 stops. 

The Eagles boosted its overall record to 17-3 with the win and the team will be back in action Tuesday (Feb. 8) with a non-conference test at SPARC before wrapping it up two nights later with one last shot at knocking off the undefeated (in Badger West Conference play) Madison Edgewood Crusaders.  

The Cheesemakers fell to 2-20 in regular season action and finished a winless (0-10) Badger West campaign with one more regular season contest at home to the DeForest Norskies on Friday (Feb. 11).

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. 

Eagles roll past Marquette to win Culver’s Cup

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The Sauk Prairie Eagles wrapped up a perfect weekend in the Madison area, collecting the Culver’s Cup in its first try. 

Thrilled to be among the eight teams in the varsity division for the first time, the Eagles used a 10-4 win against Oshkosh Ice Hawks and a 8-0 shutout against the Marshfield Tigers to roll into the championship game.  

The Marquette Hilltoppers were the final team in their path and the Eagles rolled over them 4-0 with another big game for the Mast brothers, senior Nick and junior Luke along with senior Erik Peterson who combine for one of the most potent lines in the league. 

Through the first two games, the trio combined for a total of 14 goals and 25 points.  

Sophomore Karsyn Banta scored the game winner 2:41 into the contest from Nick and first year Gunnar Nachreiner. 

The high scoring trio took over from there, Luke scoring later in the period with set ups for the other two and Peterson adding insurance with a pair of middle period goals, both with assists for Luke and additional help from senior Hakon Peterson on the first. 

In goal, juniors Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInenerny shared the shutout, combining to stop all 17 shots faced.  

The three wins at the Culver’s Cup tournament boosted the Eagles’ overall record to 9-2 and runs its current winning streak to six games.  

The team will begin the second half of the season on home ice at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center on Monday (Jan. 3) wrapping up the first half of its Badger West schedule. On Thursday the same team will be in Monroe at SLICE to take on the host Cheesemakers.  

Eagles crush Ice Hawks 10-4 in Culver’s opener

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Sauk Prairie Eagles made a dynamic debut in its first appearance at the annual Culver’s Cup Tournament on Monday (Dec. 28) reaching the Championship semis with a 10-4 win against the Oshkosh Ice Hawks. 

After carrying a 2-0 cushion out of the opening period at Madison Ice Arena, the Eagles exploded for four more in the middle period before the Ice Hawks suddenly came alive with three in 77-seconds, the first two six-seconds apart. 

Any thoughts of a rally were squashed with a 4-1 margin for the Eagles through the final 17 minutes. 

Senior Nick Mast enjoyed another big offensive night with three goals and three assists for the Eagles, senior Erik Peterson and junior Luke Mast both scoring a pair. Senior Hakon Peterson, junior Blake Howery and first year Gunnar Nachreiner collected the other Eagles’ goals. 

Eagles outshot the Ice Hawks by a 42-17 margin. Junior goaltenders Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInerney shared the win in goal for the Eagles. 

Other quarterfinal matches at the Culver’s tournament saw Marshfield Tigers getting by Madison West Regents 6-1, Monona Grove Silver Eagles downing Ashland Oredockers and Marquette Hilltoppers awarded a win against the Madison Memorial Spartans. 

Griebe and Cheavers run shutout string to four games

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Of course the primary goal is to attract attention and get the promotion to varsity, but the RWD junior varsity Cheavers have quietly put together a bit of a dream season so far.  

A 2-0 win at home to Sauk Prairie Dec. 17, followed up by a 5-0 win in Tomah Dec. 21 continued a string of four-straight shutouts and boosting the team’s overall record to 10-2. A shutout is shared by all teammates, but first-year goaltender Alex Griebe has put together a run of 203 minutes and 12-seconds without allowing a puck past him in the blue paint for the Cheavers heading into the Christmas Break.  

Eagles 0 @ Cheavers 2  

Griebe and Eagles junior Brooks McInerney both stopped everything shot at them through the opening period. First-year Alec Breunig broke through with the game winner 2:24 into the middle period after a set up by junior Conner Putz. 

The other goal came in the third period, an unassisted marker scored by Kaden Uminski. 

Griebe kicked out all 28 Eagles’ shots while the Cheavers fired 18 the other way.  

Cheavers 5 @ Tomah-Sparta 0  

In Tomah, teams played through a scoreless first period again and Breunig fired his second straight game winner with the lone second period goal unassisted.  

The Cheavers padded its lead with four more unanswered goals in the third period. Senior Malachi Strompolis-Salama paced the squad with the second goal and two assists in the period.  Senior Carter Scully and junior Nate Stando both picked up a goal and assist in the period, the other goal scored by Uminski. 

Cheavers held an overall edge of 37-11 in Tomah. 

The junior varsity squad will be back in action on Tuesday Jan. 4 at Waupaca.