Blaine may be in USA, but its Siberia for Ducks

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks have enjoyed a nice turnaround to its regular season of late but one thing remains the same.  

Fogerty Ice Arena is no fun for them. 

Coming into a weekend set with the host Minnesota Moose riding a modest two-game winning streak and looking much better of late, the Moose brushed them aside in the first of two games by an 11-1 score. The following night the Ducks came out looking to turn the tables and led 2-1 late in the game in what would have been its biggest victory in several seasons.  

But the Moose, a team the Ducks have never defeated, spoiled the day for them again, tying the game with 3:30 to play and snatching the win away just over a minute later.  

The Moose fired two more in the game’s final minute, the first into an empty goal to rub a bit more salt into the wound, wrapping up a 5-2 win. 

Despite the tough losses in Blaine, a win in the Twin Cities Thursday night against the Minnesota Mullets widened the Ducks in the final playoff position and the ninth place Mullets who wrapped an 0-3 weekend. 

HIghlights of Thursday included another win in goal for Chris Mazurek (‘03/Batavia, IL) as he stopped 26 of 28 Mullets’ shots and Austin Holmberg (‘03/Amery, WI) fired the game winner early in the final period. Holmberg’s goal was the first of three helping the Ducks rally back from a 2-1 deficit for a 4-2 win. 

Friday’s game was a mismatch from the opening faceoff as the host Moose peppered Anthony Falzone (‘03/St. Charles, IL) and Jadon Mammen (‘04/Grapevine, TX) with a combined 68 shots including the game winner notched before the halfway mark of the opening period.  

MIkel Ferran Cobo (‘02/Curernabaca, Mexico), a former Moose player fired his third goal since joining the Ducks just before Thanksgiving, the lone bright spot on an otherwise rough night. 

If the Ducks were down after the loss to the Moose, it didn’t show Saturday as the team came out looking to prove something in its fourth and final meeting of the season with the Blaine-based squad. 

Moose got on the board with the lone goal of the first period but defenseman Jack Kopfstein (‘05/Vista, CA) responded with the lone second period tally. 

Mazurek turned in his best outing of the season, kicking out 45 of 46 to keep the game even after 40 despite a 46-17 margin for the home side on the shot counter.  

A brilliant neutral zone takeaway sent Bryce Jacobsen in alone and he buried a go-ahead goal right after the Ducks killed a minor penalty with just under four minutes goal in the third giving the Ducks their first lead of the season against the Moose.  

The Moose kept up its barrage against Mazurek until netting the equalizer just 3:30 from the final buzzer and breaking Ducks hearts with the game winner just over a minute later. The clincher was slid into an empty net and the Moose fired one more meaningless goal with four seconds to play. 

The Ducks will be hoping the goaltending effort of Mazurek who should be the Goaltender of the Week for the division, will give them momentum as they head to the Windy City Thursday for its third and final Showcase event of the season. 

The Ducks will start out Thursday  at 12:40 p.m. (CST) at the Canlan Arena in Romeoville against the Chicago Cougars who they played in a couple of pre-season exhibition contests in Lake Delton. The Cougars are from the Midwest-East Division.  

On Friday the Ducks will face two opponents at the Leafs Center in Elgin, IL. First up is the Cincinnati Cyclones from the Great Lakes Division at 10:10 a.m. and later they will play the MHC club, made up of Metro Jets players, also from the Great Lakes Division.  

Wrapping up the pre-Christmas portion of its schedule, the Ducks will return to Romeoville Saturday to play the Northern Colorado Eagles from the Mountain Division at 7:50 p.m. Because the games are being played in a tournament format, starting times may not be exact. 

After the Showcase, players will scatter around the globe to celebrate the holiday with their respective families, then return to prepare for its first home series since November Steele County Blades pay a visit to the Lake Delton Ice Arena Jan. 7-8, 2023. 

Those games will kick off the 13-game homestretch for the Ducks who will wrap up the regular season on Feb. 26. 

Area players play role in Blue Devils’ spring season

By Jim den Hollander
Editor/Publisher
Saukhockey.info
A large number of RWD hockey players have avoided a lull in their schedule by trying out for and making the Western Wisconsin Blue Devils Summer Hockey teams.


Most of the teams attended three tournaments, wrapping up this past weekend.
Details on the events were limited, but following is a list of teams that included local players and the details this reporter was able to garner.

’08 Blue Devils

The ’08 Blue Devils began its three-tournament season at the Border Battle Tournament with RJ Manley, a fixture with the Tomah-based squad for several seasons included in the lineup along with Thomas Sarnow.

Manley, an incoming RWD freshman and his teammates started out with an impressive 8-1 win against Blaze (Gold) at Somerset Ice Arena April 22, then returned the following day battling Breakaway to a 1-1 draw in Forest Lake and moving back to the win column with a 5-2 decision against Ice Edge in Woodbury, MN.

The Blue Devils wrapped up top spot in its six-team group with another 5-2 margin on April 24 against the St. Croix Muskies, played in Forest Lake.

At the Shock Doctor Tournament played in the Twin Cities area, the Blue Devils played in the six-team ’08 Upper draw, beginning April 29 with a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Lake Superior Pirates at Brooklyn Park.

The following day, the North Metro Stars doubled the Blue Devils 4-2 but the Devils stormed back with an 8-2 win against FCA Hockey (Blue), both games played in Maple Grove.

In the first of two games Sunday, the Blue Devils were shutout 4-0 by Hockey Haven and they wrapped up a busy weekend, settling for fourth place after a 5-2 loss against the Madison Capitols in the third-place contest.

The team wrapped up the compact season playing this past weekend in the Mountain Dew Blast Tournament, also in the Twin Cities area. No details from that event were available at the time of printing this article.

’09 Blue Devils


A group of players from the Regional Champion RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers stayed united on this team. Tyler Krieski and Ethan Pope both made the trip with the team to the Border Battle Tournament in Hudson.
Playing at the AAA level is a giant step for players generally playing in smaller centers and the tournament was primarily a learning experience.
After dropping a 10-3 decision against the Eskimos in the first game, April 22, the Devils played twice the following day, doubling the Minnesota Magicians 8-4 before falling 7-3 against Tommy Chicago later the same day.
The Blue Devils returned to play Tommy Chicago again Sunday falling 8-3.
Scoring details were unavailable.
Krieski and Pope were joined by Ethan Wilcox and Hailey Dietl a few weeks later at the Shock Doctor Shootout played at several rinks in the Twin Cities area as well as the final tournament.
The caliber was tough again in the State of Hockey, the Blue Devils opening April 29 with a tough 3-1 loss against All Out Hockey and returning the following day for a 5-2 loss against Hockey Factory from Fond du Lac, eventual championships in their 12-team division and a 2-2 draw against Arvada 2009. On Sunday, the team played in the 9th place match but settled for 10th following a 5-1 win against the same Arvada team.
The team turned in its best effort at the end, settling for fourth place at the Mountain Dew Blast played at the National Sports Center Super Rinks in Blaine, MN, along with a few others. No game or roster details were available from this event played this past weekend but the ’09 team wrapped up fourth place.

’09 Blue Devils

’10 Blue Devils


This team that also included a trio of members from the Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers attended the same events as their ’09 teammates — Landen Uminski, Noah Backeberg and Jesse Arnold. Also, from the Sauk Prairie Flyers, Logan Harrington played in all three events while Michael Jolicoeur and Braden Slough joined for the final two.
At the Border Battle Tournament, the ’10 Devils played its first two games in St. Croix, falling 4-1 in its opening contest against MPH Gold before bouncing pack with a 3-2 win against Blaze (Gold) later on Friday April 22.
The Blue Devils stepped across the border to Woodbury and collected a 9-3 win against the Rivertown Muskies (Green) Saturday.
On Sunday, the Devils wrapped up in Hudson, dropping a 4-0 shutout against the Eskimos.
Scoring details were unavailable.
At the Shock Doctor tournament, the local players joined the Blue Devils in the 10-team ’10-Lower’ Division.
The team again continued its summer arena tour appearing in two more, beginning with a 4-1 loss against the Wisconsin Jr. Jets in Maple Grove, MN.
The remaining games were played at Pagel Rink in Minnetonka, MN. The Devils clearly found it to be like home, collecting a 6-5 win against Arvada 2010 Saturday morning and a 4-1 decision against Rivertown Muskies (Blue) later the same day.
An 8-2 win Sunday morning against Hockey Factory Lake Country advanced the Blue Devils into the Consolation Championship game and the locals stayed hot with its fourth straight win at Pagel, 7-4 against the MN Lakers (White).
The Blue Devils wrapped up its short Spring/Summer season with a spot at the Mountain Dew Blast this past weekend where the ’10 Blue Devils wrapped up its season with a tournament championship.

The 2010 Blue Devils took the championship at the Mountain Dew Tournament Championship on May 15.

U-14 Girls Blue Devils


This division included four locals — Kayla Garbacz and Reese Olson who played as freshmen on the Badger Lightning varsity hockey team this past season along with Paige Othmer and Ryleigh Bychinski who reached the U-14 State Championship match with Tomah’s TNT Squad and will join the Lightning in the late fall.
This team first played at the Border Battle Tournament, opening play in Baldwin, WI with a 5-2 loss against the St. Croix Selects Friday April 22, before bouncing back the same day at Woodbury, MN with a 2-0 shutout against Ice Cougar East.
The following day, back in Baldwin, the U-14’s played Hometown Hockey to a 2-2 draw before wrapping it up in Baldwin with a 6-0 win against MPH Gold.
On May 6 the Devils travelled to the Twin Cities to compete in the Spring Stampede, opening with a 3-0 shutout against Minnesota Hook at the Buffalo Civic Center and following it up with another goose egg, 6-0 against the South DC Tigers at the Super Rinks in Blaine.
The Blue Devils moved on to a 4-4 draw in its third game (opponent unclear) at Blaine’s Fogerty Ice Arena, then moved on to Elk River Ice Arena to pick up a 5-2 win against Stampede Green.
That moved the Devils into the tournament championship game where they came up just short 3-1 against Northern Elite White.
The 14U squad finished it’s summer schedule with a spot at the Midwest Invite Tournament in Appleton May 13-15.
In its opening match, the Blue Devils dropped a 3-1 decision against the Green Bay Hornets. Garbacz scored the lone Blue Devils’ marker in the second period.
The following day Olson fired a pair and set up another with another goal from Bychinski as the Blue Devils got by the Milwaukee Tuskers 5-1. Later Saturday Hockey Factory Madison handed the locals a 2-0 loss.
On Sunday, Othmer led the way with a goal and assist, Olson adding another goal and Garbacz setting up one in a 4-0 shutout against the Fox Cities Bulldogs, wrapping up third place for the Devils.

U-12 Girls Blue Devils

The U-12 Blue Devils, including Hailey Dietl wrapped up a solid spring season with the championship banner at the Midwest Invite Tournament in the Madison area.


Hailey Dietl did double duty playing for the U12 Girls Blue Devils as well as the ’09 squad.
The team played three events as well, beginning with the Ignite the Ice/Trailblazer Tournament April 8-10 in the Twin Cities.
Starting out with a 4-3 edge against the Red River Flames (Red) team on Friday night, they found the Red River Flames (Black) tougher on Saturday morning, falling 4-1. Later on Saturday, the Blue Devils responded with a 7-0 shutout win against Hometown Blue.
On Sunday, the second seeded Blue Devils collected a 4-1 win agianst Red River Flames which moved them into the tournament championship where they ran into Red River Flames (Black) again, settling for runners up 6-1.
Next up was Spring Stampede, May 6-8 also at the Elk River Ice Arena.
The Blue Devils opened with an 8-1 win against the Majors and also blew by Blue Army Red 8-0, then played the Railhawks to a 5-5 draw.
A 9-1 win in semis against the Majors sent the Blue Devils to a rematch with the Railhawks in the Championship game, but it was the Railhawks hoisting the hardware with a 1-0 win.
Wrapping up the season, the Blue Devils played in the U-12 Midwest-Invite in the Madison area, wrapping up the season in style with five straight wins and a championship trophy.
In the first game, the Devils downed Hockey Factory, Fond du Lac 7-1 on Friday at McFarland Community Ice Arena.
On Saturday, the Devils earned a 3-2 edge against Milwaukee Tuskers at Verona’s Eagles Nest, then returned to McFarland for a massive 13-0 shutout against Them Girls.
A 9-2 win in McFarland against the Hornets send the Devils to the championship game where it was joined by Dietl who played for the ’09 team in Minnesota on the same weekend.
Dietl scored twice and set up the other, leading the Devils to a 3-0 win in the championship game against the Tuskers. Brooke Lakowske was on the receiving end of the pass from Dietl for her goal and returned the favor with assists on both Dietl markers.

’11 Blue Devils


Rainier Scott, a member of the RWD Squirts played for the ’11 Blue Devils who attended the same three events as the older Blue Devils’ teams, beginning with the Border Battle April 22-24.
The competitition was tough for the ’11 Blue Devils who dropped four games. The first three, an 8-1 loss against the Guardians (Gray), 6-1 against the Blaze (Gold) and 8-1 against the OP Predators were played Friday and Saturday at St. Croix Rec Center and the final game, a 6-3 doubling by the MN Magicians was played in Hudson.
At the Shock Doctor event April 29-May 1, the Blue Devils played in the 10-team U-11 Lower Division.
After opening with a 4-3 win against the Wisconsin Titans at the Pagel Rink in Minnetonka Friday, the team moved to Eden Prairie Saturday, dropping an 8-1 decision against the Majors and settling for a 5-5 draw against MN Steel.
On Sunday, the U11’s wrapped up the weekend, dropping a 7-4 decision to the Wildcats, also at Eden Prairie.
Like the others, the U-11 Blue Devils finished the schedule at the Mountain Dew Blast which currently has no details available.

’12 Blue Devils

Briar Messer, another member of the RWD Squirt ‘A’ squad played for the ‘U12 Blue Devils which opened its season at the Border Battle event April 22-24 as well.
The Devils started on the Friday in Somerset dropping a 3-1 decision against the Guardians (Gray), then headed to Woodbury on the Minnesota side of the border, battling the Ice Hawks to a 3-3 draw Saturday morning.
Back in Somerset later Saturday, the Devils collected an 8-1 win against Lake’s Elite and they wrapped up play Sunday with a 6-3 doubling of Blaze (Gold).
At the end of April at the Shock Doctor tournament, the ’12 Blue Devils played all games at Shakopee Rink, starting out with a 7-0 win Friday against. the Daggers.
On Saturday, Devils collected an 8-1 win against the B-E Bombers (Red) but suffrered a 5-1 loss later in the day against the Fox City Bulldogs.
On Sunday, the Devils suffered a 9-1 loss against the AAA Velocity who later claimed the division championship while the Blue Devils moved on to down the Wisconsin Jets 5-1 and wrap up third place.
Like many of the other Blue Devils teams, the ’12 squad finished at the Mountain Dew Blast this past weekend, wrapping up the spring schedule with a third place showing.

’13-14 Blue Devils

Jase Uminski, Owen Meyer and Bentley Meyer played a part for the ’13-14 Blue Devils who attended the same three events as the other Blue Devils teams.
At the Border Battle, April 22-24, the ’13 Blue Devils won four straight games, beginning Friday with a 7-6 edge against the Blaze (Gold) squad in Hastings, MN.
On Saturday, the Devils pounded PH Grit 10-3 and downed the Guardians (Gray) 5-2, both games played in St. Croix.
The team wrapped up top spot with a rematch and a 9-3 win against Blaze (Gold).
Blue Devils were one of 16 teams at the Shock Doctor Shoot Out and got the tournament off to a great start with a 7-0 win against the WI Jr. Jets at Eden Prairie Friday followed by a 6-3 decision against Ice Edge (Blue) Saturday at the same rink.
Later Saturday, the Blue Devils dropped an 8-1 decision against the MN Lakers at Braemar Arena in Edina.
Those results put the team into a 7th place battle against the same Guardians (Gray) team it played a few weeks earlier. The Devils clinched the spot with a 5-3 edge.
Last weekend, the ’13 Blue Devils finished the schedule at the Mountain Dew Blast, reaching the championship game.

The 2013-14 Blue Devils took top spot at the 2022 Border Battle Tournament.

Short staffed but strong Ducks hit the road

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

A short-staffed and under the weather Dells Ducks team turned in two solid, if not successful efforts in the first two games of a three-game road trip. 

After a 5-1 Friday night against the Minnesota Mullets, the Ducks turned in an even tougher challenge Saturday evening, the Mullets clinching a 5-2 win with five ticks on the clock into an empty Ducks’ cage at the Augsburg University Ice Arena.

The Ducks welcomed back former team member Jason Heard who collected 50 points (21g, 29a) in 81 games with the team in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Formerly a Georgia resident, Heard now calls Chicago home but has agreed to join the team on weekends to help.  

Heard made his presence felt with a goal and assist Saturday, moving him into a tie with Brett Johnson for 16th place on the Ducks’ all-time scoring leader list. 

Heard was just one of the stories in the two-game set, sharing the spotlight with Caden Glamkowski and Jayden Tkaczuk who both scored as well and the goaltending tandem of Drew Moseley and rookie William Carney, who made an exceptional junior debut.  

Mosely went between the pipes Friday night, getting off to a bit of a shaky start with two goals against in the opening 5:30 of the contest, but then backstopping his team to 28:23 without letting anything past, going deep into the second before the Mullets finally connected on a couple more despite a lopsided 21-8 edge on the shot clock through the middle period. 

Moseley ended up with 43 saves on the night. 

The Ducks gained some consolation in this one as Glamkowski fired his seventh goal of the season with just over five minutes to go, denying Mullets’ goaltender Alex Falkenhagen a shutout. 

Overall, the Mullets held an edge of 48-34 edge on the shot clock, probably the Ducks’ lowest shots against and for sure its most shots for by a country mile. 

On Saturday night, Carney went to the blue paint for the first time and passed a huge test, beaten just once in the first and final periods and twice in a second period that saw him face a 23-shot barrage. With his work in goal, the Ducks remained in contention in this one until the final period.  

The Mullets owned a 1-0 lead after a period and goals by Glamkowski and Heard kept it a one-goal deficit heading to the final frame.  Tkaczuk, Heard and Jake Cartland collected assists for the Ducks. 

Unfortunately, despite a marked improvement in all areas, the Ducks have little to show for the efforts, falling to 1-9-0-0 early in the season.  

The Ducks were scheduled to stop in Owatonna’s Four Seasons Center to play the Steele County Blades on Sunday, then return home to begin preparation for a four-game weekend at the Midwest-West Showcase tournament at Fogerty Ice Arena in Blaine, MN beginning Thursday. 

Ducks prepare for busy stretch

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks absorbed a couple more losses this past weekend, but the young building squad saw a small, but marked improvement from Saturday to Sunday and individually, a core group is quietly putting up some awesome offensive numbers.  

The task may not be getting tougher, but for sure more frequent as the team is now well into a long and busy stretch that will not relent until Thanksgiving.  

The next two weeks is the busiest of all with 10 games in just over two weeks beginning with a three-game road trip, starting in the Twin Cities, and wrapping up Sunday in Owatonna, MN. The first two games will be against the Minnesota Mullets, a team off to a similarly slow start to the season and equally as desperate to turn things around. On the other hand, the Steele County Blades who will entertain the Ducks on Sunday are off to an awesome 4-1-0-1 start and battling among the division leaders.  

Previously known as the Lakers (out of Edina and Maple Grove), since its transformation to the Mullets, the team coached by Chris Walby, a Sauk County area native has a record of 10-3 against the Ducks. Last season the two teams battled four times; all Mullets wins by a combined score of 32-5.  

This season the Mullets have faced a tough schedule out of the gate and sit at 2-4 and looking forward to a chance to even its record up. 

The Blades have won the past seven meetings against the Ducks including five from last season and as a result, they now have a 9-5 edge in meetings with the local team dating back to the 2018-19 regular season. 

While the Ducks have found it tough to find the win column again this season with just one ‘W’ in its first eight contests, there are some sparkling individual numbers. The team that put up just 65 goals in 43 contests a year ago has already scored 18 in eight games this season.  

Caden Glamkowski, a rookie forward from St. Charles, IL has played a big part, in on all but five of the team’s goals so far. He has six goals and 13 points and is one of a group of players on a pace for an offensive season.  

Bryce Jacobson has three goals and 11 points through the first eight games – two more points than he collected in a half season in 2020-21. Jacob Cartland, another rookie, from Mukwonago, WI, was one of the WIAA’s leading scorers with KMMO last season and has made a seamless transition to the junior level with six goals and nine points. Also, Jayden Tkaczuk, the team’s top scorer with 19 points a season ago has missed half of the eight with a suspension but still has a goal and seven points in the other four. 

The team’s youngest player, rookie defender Jack Kopfstein, an ‘05 from California has shown poise and maturity beyond his years despite playing as part of an understaffed and overworked defense corps. Goaltenders Anthony Falzone and Drew Moseley have handled the bulk of the workload and while facing as many shots in a period as most will in a game, they have remained confident and excited about their work between the pipes. The effort and intensity belie the stats they have been saddled with. 

After this weekend, the Ducks will return home for a few practices before attending its first of three Showcase events before Christmas. This one involves the eight Midwest-West Division teams and will be held at the Fogerty Ice Arena Oct. 22-25. Following that, the team will begin November with a three-game weekend in its final homestand of 2021. 

Long, tough weekend ahead for Ducks

A busy weekend got even busier for the Dells Ducks as they will play four times in four days beginning Friday at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.

The 0-9 will be hard pressed this weekend against the defending division champion Hudson Havoc Friday and Saturday followed on Sunday and Monday by the Minnesota Moose who captured three straight Division titles before the Havoc ended their streak last season.

Sunday and Monday’s games were originally scheduled for earlier this month but were postponed as the Ducks team went under quarantine for two weeks.

Without a chance to play, or practice for two weeks, the Ducks had to shake off some rust but despite dropping all four games at the USPHL Midwest-West Showcase last weekend, there were some positive signs, including more discipline and some more offensive. The team is still facing an uphill battle and has relied heavily on overworked goaltenders to this point.

Collin Driscoll playing some defense against the Steele County Blades earlier this season. Driscoll is used to putting up the points and the Warwick, Rhode Island forward finally collected his first, second and third junior goals at last weekend’s showcase.,

Of course, like any season, there are some injuries, and a few players will either be questionable or out for the weekend.

Saturday night will see the Ducks playing on Halloween and there are some special events planned for the night. Any kids who enter the game in costume will get treats as well as free admission and the Skate with the Ducks Saturday night event will return following the game. The Ducks some ‘Zombie Duck’ T-shirts and a team signed version of a special jersey the team is wearing for the game will be available in an auction.

The Havoc enters the weekend undefeated in regulation through eight games and a record of 6-0-1-1. Due to playing fewer games, the Havoc sits fourth in the division with 14 points. The Moose, who also play on the road against the Steele County Blades on Friday, enter the weekend tied for top spot in the division with 16 points and an 8-1-0-0 record overall including five straight wins.

Ducks realize success not gauged in wins and losses

By Jim den Hollander

Publisher/Editor

Saukhockey.info

There are steep learning curves and then there is the Dells Ducks trying to make their way up the Everest-like curve this season.

Making things a little more difficult was the recent health issue that forced the team to the sidelines from practice and/or games for two weeks.

In their latest tests at the USPHL Premier Midwest-West Showcase played at Fogerty Ice Arena October 22-25, the Ducks suffered another four defeats, but found some small consolations.

After facing the Minnesota Blue Ox and dropping a lopsided decision on Thursday, the Ducks turned in its best offensive efforts of the season on Friday. After scoring just six times in its first seven games, the Ducks collected seven goals in a pair of games Friday but ultimately fell 8-4 to the Rochester Vipers and 5-3 to the Minnesota Mullets.

The Ducks headed home after another rough outing falling by a lopsided score again to the Minnesota Moose.

The losses drop the Ducks to 0-9-0-0 on the season so far with a tough assignment against the Hudson Havoc set for the Halloween weekend.

Listed below are some of the positive points from a rough weekend.

  • Collin Driscoll playing some defense against the Steele County Blades earlier this season. Driscoll is used to putting up the points and the Warwick, Rhode Island forward finally collected his first, second and third junior goals at last weekend’s showcase.,
    As stated above, the Ducks were able to find the net in a couple games and they were competitive in both. Against the Vipers, the Dells were even at 1-1 after the first 17-minute period and still very much in it despite trailing 4-2 with a period to play. Against the Mullets, the Ducks scored first and entered the second period even at 1-1. Trailing 2-1 after two, the Mullets scored early and both teams fired a pair in the game’s final two minutes.

  • Despite some lopsided scores, the goaltending is showing signs of brilliance. There are certainly some down times for the goaltenders, but the Ducks continue to be grossly outshot. In the four weekend games, the margin was 191-59 in favor of the four opponents for an average of 48-15 per game. In the game against the Mullets, the Ducks – thanks to some solid work in the blue paint from Anthony Falzone, were in the game from start to finish despite being outshot 35-14. The three goals on 14 shots in not too shabby either.

  • The scoring is getting little more spread out and some players – Liam Hogan, Logan Potts, and Aaron Sherlock, who seemed a little snake bit on their chances earlier this season all hit the game sheet. It was a breakthrough weekend for Collin Driscoll, the ’02 from Warwick, R.I. hitting the game sheet three times.
  • The players seem to have addressed the discipline issue that plagued its recent defeats. The team sat a total of 38 minutes over the weekend – an average of about four minors per game and there were no majors or misconducts. In the first three games, the Ducks were either even with its opponent in penalty minutes or served less than their opponent.

Make no mistake – there are still miles to cover, but for the young Ducks, looking for positives wherever they can find them, these are all promising signs.

The month of November was already a light one for the Ducks and the postponement of the East Coast Showcase, scheduled for the month gives the team plenty of time to work on their game and prepare themselves for the heart of the season in December and January.

Ducks – Vipers to square off Sunday in USPHL contest

Forced to postpone games in recent weeks, the Ducks have scheduled a game for Sunday at the Lake Delton Ice Arena against the Rochester Vipers.

This promises to be an interesting battle as both clubs head into the weekend still searching for their first USPHL Premier League win.

The Ducks have dropped two each against the Chicago Cougars and Steele County Blades and have struggled at both ends of the ice, outscored so far 33-3. The Vipers meanwhile have had a little more success offensively, but still find themselves at 0-5 and outscored by a margin of 55-15. While the Sunday night tilt will be the lone game of the weekend for the Ducks, the Vipers are scheduled to play host to the Minnesota Mullets on Saturday evening.

Last season the Ducks finished eighth in the nine-team Midwest-West Divisoin, ahead of only the Vipers who missed the post season. Both teams are looking to make strides forward this season despite their respective slow starts.

Game time at the Lake Delton Ice Arena Sunday will be 6:30 p.m. The following weekend will see all nine USPHL teams in action at the Midwest-West Division Showcase event at Fogerty Ice Arena in Blaine, Minnesota.