Biggest games yet in front of Dells Ducks

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

For the Dells Ducks, November was one of the team’s best months in recent history. With a mini schedule through the first half of December the team is looking to make a big move.  

The Ducks were especially sharp in the early days of the month, capturing three wins and seven points through its first five games and it stayed over .500 until the last game of the month when it dipped to 4-5-1 in 10 games. 

Nevertheless, the nine points collected in one month equaled last season’s points total and the team is rowing together in the right direction. 

The Ducks moved out of the league basement and into the eighth position with a pair of huge games to kick off December. 

The Ducks now sit at 4-16-2-1 one game past the season’s halfway mark and the team will kick off an eight-game December with the first of two at Augsburg University Ice Arena Thursday (Dec. 1) at 7:30 p.m. CST. 

The Ducks made its was past the Mullets in the standings with a win a the Detroit Showcase but heading into the first of four meetings with the Mullets this season, the home team has played four fewer games. There is no doubt this is the biggest game of the season for the Ducks so far this season but it could the start of something bigger.  

While the Ducks got hot in November, the Steele County Blades did the same and their solid play has boosted them into the division’s midpack and within sight of a spot in the top half.  

Head Coach Anthony Rohde not only wants to see that happen, he is confident his team can make it so. 

“I fully believe this team will be able to start making a run to finish in the top four in our division,” said the Coach in an email interview with his team just back from a short Thanksgiving Break, there first time away since Labor Day. 

Rohde has added new players and faced a little adversity with some top players leaving in recent weeks. 

“With some new faces coming in, it has changed the locker room a little bit,” said the coach. Getting used to new guys and figuring out lines (has been interesting). Today’s (Wednesday) practice showed that when tey click, they have a huge upside.” 

Among the tough recent losses was the departure of Jacob Behnke who was expected to be an offensive leader and was starting to get hot before moving on to the Florida Division a few weeks ago. However, a trade with the Minnesota Moose landed the Ducks its first ever Mexican-born player and Mikel Ferran Cobo made an instant impact, scoring twice and setting up another in four games at the Detroit Showcase tournament. 

“It is a huge loss losing Behnke,” said Rohde. “He is a great player and a great kid. But picking up Cobo has been huge, he brings in that attitude that we are going all the way to Nationals. As a coach you love to have him around. With the break we just came back from I think the guys are more refreshed and excited to get back into games. So hopefully tomorrow they can get their minds set on coming to Minnesota for a win.” 

Like everyone in the Midwest-West, the Mullets have had the Ducks’ number in recent seasons, but Rohde has already collected more Midwest-West Division wins that any Ducks team since 2019 and he will have a plan in place when the team takes the ice against the Mullies. 

“I’ve watched the Mullets play a couple games here and there. From what I’ve seen they like to play very systematic, and simple,” said Rohde “(If we) Play strong Defense and take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves (we will get good results). This game should be similar to playing Isanti in my opinion.” 

After Thursday’s contest, the Ducks will be done for the weekend and begin preparing for a game back at Augsburg Dec. 8, the first game of a three-game weekend with the other two in Blaine, MN against the Minnesota Moose. 

The other four games will be played at the annual Chicago Showcase tournament Dec. 15-17. 

Spacemen send disappointed Ducks to Thanksgiving break

By Jim den Hollander
Editor/Publisher
Saukhockey.info
The Dells Ducks hoped for a better finish to the first half of their regular season but there have been plenty of positives to grab from their recent games.


The Ducks wrapped up play at the Detroit Showcase Sunday with a 6-2 loss against the Fort Wayne Spacemen, perhaps the toughest opponent faced at the Motown event.

Dells Ducks


After winning its opener against the Decatur Blaze, the Ducks dropped a pair against the Motor City Gamblers and Columbus Mavericks Saturday, then closed it out Sunday against the Spacemen.
Fort Wayne entered the contest with a 2-1 record on the weekend, including a win in its first game against the Metro Jets on Friday. On Saturday the Spacemen defeated the third Metro team, MHC and added a 4-3 edge against 4-3 edge against the Steele County Blades. The win against the Ducks clinched them as one of only two teams that wrapped up the weekend with a 4-0 record.
Two goals in both the first and second had the Spacemen up 4-0 heading to the third and they added another before Ethan Matthews (‘02/South Bend, IN) finally got the Ducks on the board with help from Bryce Jacobsen (‘02/DeForest, WI). The assist for Jacobsen was his 50th point as a Duck.


One of the team’s newest additions, Mikel Ferran Cobo (‘04/Mexico City, Mexico) collected his second goal of the weekend later, from Jacobsen and Matthews.
Jacobsen and starting goaltender Jadon Mammen were both playing for the first time on the weekend after sitting out a three-game suspension following an altercation the previous weekend in Isanti.
The weekend win moved the Ducks past the eighth place Minnesota Mullets but the Steele County Blades, currently seventh enjoyed a five-point weekend and widened its gap on the Ducks while climbing into a sixth-place tie with the Blue Ox – both six points up on the Ducks now.

The Ducks will return to action on Dec. 1 with a quick dash to the Twin Cities for a Thursday night contest against the Minnesota Mullets at Augsburg University Ice Arena. The following Thursday will see the team back at Augsburg for a rematch, but they will stay in town a Friday/Saturday pair against the Minnesota Moose in Blaine.

Next home game for the Ducks will be Jan. 7, 2023, against the Steele County Blades.

Motown is mean town to Ducks Saturday

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

After a promising start Friday, the Dells Ducks ran into a couple tough opponents Saturday at the USPHL Premier Midwest-West Detroit Showcase.  

Once again, goals were hard to come by for the Ducks who were shutout by the Motor City Gamblers Saturday afternoon and dropped a 5-2 decision against the Columbus Mavericks Saturday night, bringing the team to the halfway mark on its regular season. 

Dells Ducks

Gamblers 5 Ducks 0  

The Gamblers, formerly known as the Detroit Fighting Irish from the Midwest-East Division dominated the Ducks with a 37-17 edge in shots including a 16-5 margin in the first period.  

Chris Mazurek (‘03/Batavia, IL) was beaten three times in that opening period but limited the Gamblers to just two more goals on 21 shots the rest of the way. One of the Gamblers’ goals came from Jayden Tkaczuk who played the previous two seasons with the Ducks and led the team in scoring in 2020-21. 

Mavericks 5 Ducks 2  

Saturday night, the Mavs opened the scoring with two goals 1:42 apart but Ducks’ defender Jack Kopfstein (‘05/Vista, CA) pulled one back later in the period with his eight of the season from Logan Potts (‘03/Allen, TX) and Mikel Ferran Cobo (‘04/Mexico City, Mexico). 

The Mavericks, from the USPHL’s Great Lakes Division, added another a few minutes later to carry a 3-1 lead out of the opening period and that stood up until the final frame when two more had the Mavericks up 5-1 before Kai Neumaier (‘03/St. Charles, IL) pulled one more back late in the contest.  

Anthony Falzone went to the blue paint for the second time on the weekend, facing 38 shots in the contest. 

The Saturday losses dropped the team’s overall record to 4-15-2-1 at the 22-game mark, leaving 22 to play in the regular season.  

The Ducks have one game left in Detroit, wrapping up the pre-Thanksgiving portion of its schedule today (Sunday, Nov. 20) against the Fort Wayne Spacemen from the Midwest-East Division. 

Falzone, Brown lead Ducks past Decatur Blaze

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

We’re Number Eight! We’re Number Eight! 

The Dells Ducks avenged a Showcase defeat from a season ago and packed up their belongings to move out of the USPHL Premier Midwest-West Division basement. 

The Ducks took on the winless Decatur Blaze from the Midwest-East Division Friday in its first of four games at the Detroit Showcase. Despite missing three players due to suspensions, the Ducks never trailed on their way to a 4-2 win. 

The same two teams met in the first game for both at the Chicago Showcase in what might have been the toughest loss of the season for the Ducks. Despite battling back from a 5-1 deficit in the third period to even the score, it was Decatur with the overtime game winner. 

This time around the Ducks left no doubt, building a 3-0 lead through the first two periods and adding one more down the stretch. 

Ethan Matthews (‘02/South Bend, IN) fired the only goal of the first period for the Ducks. 

Adam Brown notched the next for the Ducks in the fifth minute of the middle period and the team’s newest player, Mikel Ferran Cobo (‘02/Mexico City, Mexico) made an immediate impression scoring the eventual game winning marker 24 seconds from the end of the period. Cobo’s goal was a tip on a shot from the point by Brown.

Backing up the players in goal was Anthony Falzone (‘03/Prosper, TX) who collected his third junior victory and first of the season, stopping all but two of 27 shots faced. Ryan Zeno scored the first Blaze goal but Logan Potts (‘03/Allen, Texas) responded with just over three minutes to play. 

The Blaze added one more just 29 seconds from the final buzzer. 

The win is the fourth in the past six games for the Ducks who have resurrected a dismal start to the campaign. After playing through 14 games without a win, the locals have not just hit the win column, but now have officially moved into playoff contention, moving by the Minnesota Mullets into eighth place in the division.  

It’s worth noting the Mullets, the only team in the division the Ducks have yet to play against, have played fewer games. The Mullets have dropped six straight including this afternoon (Friday, Nov. 18) with a 3-0 loss to the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings.  

The Ducks sit at 4-13-2-1 for 11 points, now two up on the 4-13-0-1 Mullets and just one point behind the seventh place (6-11-0-0) Steele County Blades.  

The local squad will be back on the ice at 2:30 EST Saturday to take on the 10-9-0-1 Motor City Gamblers from the Midwest-East and return at 8:30 EST against the 6-10-1-0 Columbus Mavericks from the Great Lakes Division. 

Wrapping up the weekend Sunday is a game against the Fort Wayne Spacemen, another Midwest-East team at 3:30 p.m.  

Players will disperse for their first break since Labor Day weekend, heading home for Thanksgiving. After returning the Ducks will play the Mullets twice at Augsburg University Ice Arena Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. 

Ducks could pick up some revenge at Detroit Showcase

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks will wrap up a stretch of 14 games played over the past four weekends with its second Showcase event of the season, this time in Fraser, MI, near Detroit.

Dells Ducks

The Ducks will be playing in the Detroit Showcase for the first time, substituting it for its annual east coast trek taken in previous seasons. 

The Ducks roll into the event having won three of its past five games and as hot as it has been in a couple seasons.  

For the Ducks, the event will begin on Friday (Nov. 18) with a 7 p.m. (EST) puck drop against the Decatur Blaze. The Ducks played the Blaze at the Chicago Showcase last season and fell 6-5 in overtime. This season the 3-13-3 Ducks will be facing a Blaze team with just one win in 17 games in the Midwest-East Division. 

The busiest day will be Saturday as the Ducks play twice, squaring off against the Motor City Gamblers at 2:30 p.m. EST and returning for an 8:30 p.m. game against the Columbus Mavericks. The Ducks also played both teams at last season’s Chicago Showcase, falling 6-5 to the Gamblers, known then as the Detroit Fighting Irish and beaten badly by the Mavs. This season the Gamblers enter with a 9-9 record in the Midwest East and the Mavericks are struggling at 6-9-1 in the Great Lakes Division. 

Wrapping up the tournament and the pre-Thanksgiving schedule will be a 3:30 p.m. game Sunday against the Fort Wayne Spacemen from the Midwest-East Division. The Spacemen are off to a solid start this season and this game will be the first ever between these two teams.