O’Connor part of unbeatable Falcons goaltending trio

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Prairie du Sac native and former Sauk Prairie Eagles goaltender Jordan O’Connor has been nothing less than stellar this season with the River Falls Falcons Womens hockey team.  

But on the Falcons, currently ranked fourth in the USCHO Division 3 Womens Hockey poll, that just makes her one-third of an awesome goaltending machine. 

The Falcons mixed Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Conference (WIAC) conference and non-conference games in the past two weekends collecting four wins and one tough defeat against #3 ranked Eau Claire Blugolds.  

Jordan O’Connor

O’Connor and the team’s other two goaltenders, senior Sami Miller, from Blaine, MN and sophomore Pistol Cowden from Amherst, WI and a former goaltender for the Wisconsin Valley Union WIAA team have all played a part in four shutouts in those five games, including three in a row. 

The first WIAC match saw the Falcons hitting the road and collecting a 7-0 win against the host Stevens Point Pointers. Cowden stopped all 17 shots she faced to collect the goose egg on Nov. 12.  

Callie Hoff, a senior from Hermantown, MN and Kora Torkelson, a senior from Thief River Falls, MN both fired a pair of goals for the Falcons with others added by Kiana Gilbraith, a senior from Fargo, ND; Maddie McCollins, a Maple Grove, MN junior and Alisen Carothers, a freshman from Buffalo, MN. 

The following night, the Falcons returned home to Hunt Arena and O’Connor collected a nine-save shutout in an 8-0 win against the Northland Lumberjills. 

Torkelson scored another pair along with Alex Hantge, a sophomore from Hutchinson, MN and Brooke Walters, a junior from Sartell, MN. Hoff and McCollins scored the other Falcons goals. 

Miller played the next two games, collecting a 14-save shutout in a 6-0 non-conference win on home ice against the St. Scholastica Saints on Nov. 16, then facing the toughest test so far against the Blugolds. 

Miller matched Stephanie Martin in the Eau Claire goal shot for shot until late in the second period when Emma Peterson scored her first of a pair for the home team. 

In the non-conference win, Bailey Olson, a freshman from Willmar, MN scored twice with others for Hoff, McCollins, Hantge and Ellie Brice, a Freshman from St. Croix Falls, WI 

The Falcons got back on track on Tuesday (Nov. 23) as Cowden returned for a second consecutive shutout in a 3-0 non-Conference win against the St. Olaf Oles.  

Erin Olson, a senior from Lakeville, MN; Sophia Leong, a senior from Apple Valley, MN and Alyson Niebur, a senior from Isanti, MN fired the Falcons goals.  

In all, the Falcons goaltenders have combined for six shutouts in eight games and an unreal three goals against in eight games so far this season. 

The Falcons will play a set of five non-conference contests, all against MIAC opponents beginning Dec. 8 at St. Peter MN against Gustavus Adolphus. 

Locals get College seasons underway

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

NCAA Updates

MacDonald debut delayed

The newest local player to make their NCAA Division 3 debut has found it difficult to get on the ice as COVID restrictions have seen five straight games postponed for Jack MacDonald and his St. Michael’s College Purple Knights hockey team.  

Jack MacDonald

A graduate of Baraboo High School and a key player on the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbird squad, class of ‘18, MacDonald moved on to play 129 games over three seasons with the Seahawks Hockey Club in Cape Cod, MA, a member of the Eastern Hockey League, last season wearing the ‘C’ as team captain. 

MacDonald collected 31 goals and 71 points with the Seahawks and moved on to St. Michael’s in September. 

After an unofficial, exhibition match and a 3-0 loss against the SUNY Plattsburgh Cardinals Oct. 23 in Plattsburgh.  

MacDonald hit the stats sheet with a two-minute minor penalty and was 3-of-10 in the faceoff dot in his first NCAA test.  

Since that unofficial game, the Purple Knights have had five games postponed due to the COVID protocols: Oct. 29-30 against the SUNY Potsdam Bears, a conference game at Post against the Eagles in Waterbury, CT on Nov. 6 and two more road tests at Long Island University against the host Sharks. 

Two more will be added as a pair of home conference tilts against the Assumption College Greyhounds have already been postponed this weekend.  

St. Michael’s will now kick off the 2021-22 regular season next Friday at Cairns Arena in South Burlington with a Northeast-10 Conference match against the Franklin Pierce Ravens. 

O’Connor nearly flawless in sophomore debut

Jordan O’Connor

After a successful run with the UW-River Falls Falcons Women’s hockey team in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) last season, Jordan O’Connor, finds herself a part of a solid tandem in goal this season with the Falcons who enter the regular season as the fourth-ranked team in the NCAA. 

The Falcons have played and won four games so far, outscoring Lake Forest Foresters (twice), Augsburg Auggies and St. Mary’s University Huskies by a combined total of 21-5.  

O’Connor went to the blue paint for the second game of the season and kicked out all but one of 17 shots faced to lead the Falcons past the Foresters by a 5-1 margin on Halloween. 

The Falcons head into Stevens Point Friday for its first WIAC Conference contest against the host Pointers, then head home Saturday for another conference meeting against the Northland Lumberjills. 

Tough opposition for Teske and Auggies

Julianna Teske also began her sophomore year in the Twin Cities with the Augsburg University Auggies, playing some tough opposition.  

Julianna Teske

The team has hit the ice twice so far, taking the Falcons to overtime before surrendering a 5-4 decision in its first game, last Thursday (Nov. 4) at Ed Saugestad Rink and falling again to the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds 2-1, again on home ice.  

As mentioned earlier, the Falcons enter the season as the fourth-ranked D3 team in the nation and the Blugolds ranked third in the same poll.  

Teske has yet to hit the score sheet but did pick up some stats, serving a minor penalty in one of the games. 

The Auggies will begin the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), facing the Hamline Pipers at TRIA Arena Friday night with a rematch at Ed Saugestad Rink on Saturday. 

Engel sidelined to start Lumberjills’ campaign

Kaylee Engel

The area’s other Sophomore, Kaylee Engel, an all-WIAC and all-American honors student in her first year at Northland University in Ashland, WI underwent off-season surgery to fix a shoulder injury that had hampered her for some time. She will likely be out of the lineup until at least after Christmas. 

The Lumberjills opened the season with back-to-back non-conference losses against the Bethel University Pilots at Blaine, MN Oct. 29-30, then dropped two more on home ice against the St. Norbert College Green Knights, both by 4-0 scores on Nov. 5-6. 

On Thursday night (Nov. 11), the Lumberjills received a jolt against the nation’s third ranked NCAA Division 3 team, defeated 10-0 by the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds in its WIAC Conference opener in Eau Claire.  

The road will stay rough as the Lumberjills move on to play the UW-River Falls Falcons Saturday in River Falls. 

all-WIAC highlights awesome freshman year for O’Connor

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The jump from varsity hockey to NCAA Division 3 College is generally considered a big one but Jordan O’Connor couldn’t have made it look much easier.

Jordan O’Connor

After helping the Sauk Prairie Eagles varsity hockey team to a 19-4-1 regular season and a berth in the Sectional semis, O’Connor had to wait a while, but collected a shutout in her first game with the UW-River Falls Women’s Hockey team, kicking out all 11 shots she faced in a 13-0 win against the Northland College Lumberjills on February 3, 2021.

O’Connor went on to play in four of the team’s eight regular season contests, posting a 3-1 record and allowing just five goals on 48 shots.

She took her game to a higher level in a short playoff run, playing in four of the team’s five games, leading the team to a two-game sweep of the UW-Steven’s Point Pointers and playing two of three games in a 2-1 edge in the Best of Three Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championship series.

O’Connor posted another shutout and stopped 64 of 70 shots faced. In all, she played 526 minutes, posting a 1.27 Goals Against Average and a Save Percentage of .919.

Her play was clearly noticed as O’Connor was named to the WIAC all-Conference team.

The only downside to her first season was how compact it was. Due to the pandemic issues, the season was whittled down to a month-long regular season followed by playoffs.

This fall, O’Connor returns for her sophomore season this fall with the first test an exhibition game at Hunt Arena in River Falls against the visiting Augsburg Auggies on Oct. 23. The regular season is scheduled to start Oct. 30 at Lake Forest, Ill. against the Foresters. The first six games will be on the road including the WIAC season opener Nov. 12 at Stevens Point. The first home game will be the following night with the Northland Lumberjills paying a visit.

After making a glorious debut in 2020-21, O’Connor will be trying to lead the Falcons to another Conference title and with NCAA Championship tournaments returning this season, her aim will go even higher.

Jimmy D’s Notes — Hockey talk Aug. 19

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Our goal here beginning Sept. 1, is to have daily items. Some days will be harder than others and in an effort to get something started here are a few random tidbits for today – Aug. 19, 2021.

Danny Roe was in town at the beginning of last season to take part in the team’s first Alumni game at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.

Danny Roe

To start with, we want to wish a Happy 27th Birthday to Danny Roe. A native of Montana, Roe came to the Dells Ducks in 2013 and played 30 games, collecting seven goals and 15 points . He finished the season in the Western States Hockey League, but returned to the Dairy State playing three seasons with the Marian University ACHA squad and later, played some with the Fond du Lac Bears in the Great Lakes Hockey League, a senior circuit.

Roe was a force on top of the blue paint when he played for the Ducks in 2013-14.

Ducks open training Camp

The Dells Ducks 2021-22 players will be arriving in town over the next 24 hours if they haven’t arrived already. Players, family and billets will be at the Lake Delton Ice Arena for an orientation day Saturday and the team will begin dryland workouts on Monday. Part of the first week’s activities will be assisting Lake Delton Ice Arena Owner Aaron Kirby with installing the ice for this season. The Ducks also did the same last season.

Up next Recaps of College campaigns

Over the next week or so, we will highlight the freshman hockey seasons for Kaylee Engel, Jordan O’Connor and Julianna Teske, Sauk County residents who began their respective college careers in the WIAC and MIAC Conferences last season.

There won’t be a lot of details as the NCAA D3 seasons were cut short due to the effects of the pandemic. Watch for game by game coverage of all three this season.

Varsity fall sports up next but plenty of hockey being played

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Students are likely not pleased but the summer break is nearly over for athletes.

After what seemed to be the busiest summer yet for varsity hockey players, a majority of them will be heading to football fields, soccer pitches, volleyball or tennis courts, pools, golf courses or cross-country running courses for the next few months.

Football practices begin Tuesday while boys’ soccer, girl’s tennis, golf, volleyball, swimming, and cross country for both kicks off a week or two later, depending on the team.

Unofficial captains’ practices for hockey players will likely begin in early September as the ice will be in the Lake Delton Ice Arena by then and SPARC in Prairie du Sac will have floor hockey sessions.

Official first practices for the varsity hockey programs will begin on Nov. 8.

RWD Cheavers

The RWD regular season is scheduled to begin once again against the Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders, this time around at the South Wood County Recreation Center on Nov. 23. Sauk Prairie Eagles will face Onalaska Hilltoppers in its first of two home games to kick off the season on the same night.

Sauk Prairie Eagles

Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds will faceoff on home ice against the Menomonie Mustangs Dec. 1.

There hasn’t been any official information released yet, but the three Sauk County varsity teams will be in a slightly different conference. Gone are the Waunakee Warriors, Beaver Dam Golden Beavers and DeForest Norskies, replaced by the Madison Edgewood Crusaders, Oregon Panthers and Monroe Cheesemakers.

Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds

The Badger Lightning schedule is not available as of today (July 27).

The Dells Ducks will be on the ice a little earlier, beginning with a tryout camp in Crystal Lake, Ill. Aug. 6-8.

Dells Ducks

Players will arrive in town in late August, the players will begin with a week of dryland training and then hit the ice. The team will head to Motown for a weekend of exhibition matches against the Detroit Fighting Irish and Motor City Hockey Team Sept. 10-12.

The following weekend, the Ducks will open the USPHL Premier Midwest-West regular season with games Sept. 17-18 against the Rum River Mallards from Isanti, Minn.

Jordan O’Connor
Kaylee Engel
Jack MacDonald
Julianna Teske

Locals at colleges will begin soon after.

After COVID all but wiped out seasons for a trio of locals last year, they will be looking forward to finally playing a regular NCAA Division 3 campaign this fall.

Kaylee Engel from Lavalle, captain of the 2019-20 Badger Lightning varsity team, will begin her sophomore season with the Northland College Lumberjills while, Jordan O’Connor, a 21-game winner in her senior season with the Sauk Prairie Eagles, will also be back for her second year between the pipes for the UW-River Falls Falcons while Julianna Teske, a Reedsburg resident will begin her sophomore season with the Augsburg Auggies. Regular seasons will begin in late October for all three players.

Former Baraboo/Portage captain, Jack MacDonald will begin his freshman season with the St. Michael’s College Purple Knights in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Purple Knights play out of Colchester Vermont and that season is also scheduled to begin in late-October.

Before you know it, full time hockey will be upon us again.

Three eras for SP Eagles since 2010-11

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Part three of my four-part summer project (It will turn into 8-12 parts, I believe) wrapped up on the weekend as I finally wrapped up tabulating the games for the Sauk Prairie Eagles beginning with the 2010-11 season.

Again, I must give thanks and praise to www.wisconsinprephockey.net for having game sheets and statistics’ dating back that far. In the case of the Eagles, it goes back a season or two further, but I started at the 2010-11 season to keep it level with the RWD and Baraboo/Portage programs which started that season.

The Eagles have an interesting modern history which saw the team start out the 11-season stretch as a solid mid to high pack squad, led by players like Luke McElhenie who played just three seasons with the Eagles, compiling a total of 80 goals and 80 assists with just 42 PIM.

That was followed by some extremely lean seasons, from 2013-14 to 2015-16 that saw the club endure an overall record of 12-58-0.

The team turned a corner in 2016-17 which coincided with the arrival of David Lohrei as Head Coach. Lohrei, with mentoring experience at the highest junior levels as well as stints in the pros, has put together a 71-30-6 mark so far, highlighted in 2019-20 when a tough 3-2 loss in the regular season finale against Middleton prevented the team from posting 20 regular season victories – a rare feat.

Ironically, the team has posted 20 regular season defeats, in the 2014-15 season with a tough 3-21-0 run through that campaign.

The Eagles longest winning streak is nine games which were the first nine games of the 2020-21 campaign, a shortened season that saw the Eagles entering the playoffs with a 12-1 record. The teams longest losing streak is 15 games, from Dec. 12, 2014, to Feb. 5, 2015.

McElhenie had a solid supporting cast two with names like Travis Jacobson, Jacob Free, Dayne Leonard and others that were regular scoring contributors. McElhenie went on to play USHL hockey in Madison and in three seasons at UW-Stevens Point he helped the team to both WIAC and National D3 Championship in 2018-19. Look in this space for story and interview with McElhenie in the next week.

McElhenie held the team’s points lead until Riley Jelinek who led the entire state in scoring in both 2018-19 and 2019-20 compiled a massive run of 92 goals and 148 assists for 240 points in 89 games. Linemate Camden Desroches also moved past McElhenie with 94 goals and 87 assists for 181 points in 91 games.

It’s hard to imagine anyone coming close to Jelinek’s total but 2022 senior Nick Mast will factor in as he enters his final varsity season with 58 goals and 68 assists for 126 points in 60 games. Rounding out the top five for the Eagles at this point is Jacob Free with 34 goals and 57 assists for 91 points in 60 games.

Luke Mast is not far off the pace, the incoming junior already compiling 26 goals and 33 assists for 59 points in 37 games while Hakon Peterson, an incoming senior sits at 16 goals and 41 assists for 57 points in 60 games.

The top point getters also lead both goals and assists while the team’s highest Penalty minutes total goes to Cam Gesicki with 129. The only player over 100 minutes in his career is Ryan Fitzsimmons at 108.

In goal, Dakota Pickhard leads in games (it appears having a name on the game sheet is classed as a game played which is a little unusual for goaltenders) with 83 and he also has the most minutes played – 3,019:12. Pickhard bridged the Dark Ages era and the Revival era, facing 1,737 shots in that period and beaten 184 times. He lowered his Goals Against Average each season after that tough opening year, ending up with a 3.11 GAA and Save Percentage of .894.

In Wisconsin High School games, it appears a Save Percentage over .900 is rare and only one Eagles’ goaltender with at least 10 games played have hit that mark.

Stephen Schultz was the team’s workhorse in the first few seasons, compiling a record of 22-16-3 with 2,089:26 minutes played, which converts to 40.97 games. He stopped 1,141 of 1,226 shots for a 3.15 GAA and a SP% of .901.

Jordan O’Connor played all 1,239:15 minutes of the 2019-20 season, compiling an awesome 19-4-1 record. She put up a goose egg in five games and kicked out 311 of 347 shots for a 1.48 GAA and a SP% of .899.

Schultz leads the goaltenders in shutouts with nine and Pickhard blanked the opposition a half dozen times.

Saukhockey.info will wrap up the varsity summer project with the Badger Lightning. I am not 100 percent sure when the schools all combined to form Badger Lightning, but we will use the 2010-11 season as the start point for this as well.

Soon after, stats from the first decade of Dells Ducks will be highlighted.

Engel and O’Connor faceoff tonight

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Two area hockey players will make their official NCAA D3 hockey debut tonight when the Northland Lumberjills make the trip to River Falls to play UW-River Falls Falcons.

Kaylee Engel, a freshman at Northlands is a product of Reedsburg Polars and Badger Lightning hockey programs locally and is the first area player in several years to play at the college level.

After a long delay, the Lumberjills along with the other four Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Conference (WIAC) teams begin their respective eight-game regular seasons tonight. There was one tune-up match played last week at UW-Superior last weekend, a 5-1 win for the Yellowjackets.

The Lumberjills will play home and away games against each of its four conference rivals and all five teams are slated to qualify for post season action.

Jordan O’Connor

Meanwhile, Jordan O’Connor who won 21 games in goal with the Sauk Prairie varsity Eagles last season could be in goal for the Falcons tonight. She is one of two freshman keepers on the team and there is also a junior goaltender. Who will be in goal is likely a game time decision.

Locals interested in watching the match can view it on this link — https://uwrfsports.com/watch/?Live=388&type=Live

Puck drop tonight is at 7:05 p.m. at Hunt Arena in River Falls.

The other WIAC opener tonight will see UW-Eau Claire Blugolds playing host to the Stevens Point Pointers at 7 p.m.

The Lumberjills and Falcons will return to Ashland for the return match on Friday, starting at 7 p.m. at Bay Area Civic Center.

Engel, O”Connor and Teske set to start college campaigns

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

Three players with local ties are set to  begin their long-anticipated college hockey careers.

The recently released Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Conference (WIAC) Women’s Hockey schedule shows Badger Lightning 2019-20 captain and Reedsburg resident Kaylee Engel, now with the Northland College Lumberjills will face off against Sauk Prairie’s Jordan O’Connor, one of the top-ranked  goaltenders in the WIAA last season who will begin her own college career with UW River Falls Falcons.

Generally, teams would be closing in on the post season by now with seasons getting underway in the fall, but COVID restrictions put in place by WIAC held things up until now.

Meanwhile, in the Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Association, the Augsburg Auggies, including Julianna Teske, a former Reedsburg resident who moved back to town with her family recently.

Teske will also be suiting up for the first time in her college career.

Engel captained and led the Badger Lightning in scoring last season with 14 goals and 23 points. In 75 career games with the Lightning over four seasons, Engel notched 29 goals and 55 points.

While the Jills begin the regular season on Feb. 3 at River Falls, the team will also play a pair of exhibition contests beginning Tuesday (Jan. 26) at UW-Superior Yellowjackets and then Friday at home at Bay Area Civic Center in Ashland, also against the Yellowjackets.

O’Connor played every minute of last season for the Sauk Prairie Eagles varsity squad, compiling a record of 19-4-1 in regular season action, then adding two more in the post season, helping the team reach Sectional semi-finals.

Her 19 wins ranked he second in the WIAA through the regular season and her Goals Against Average and Save Percentage also ranked her among the best.

Jordan O’Connor

Her career stats with the Eagles saw her collect 21 wins in 27 starts with a 1.61 GAA. As a sophomore and junior, O’Connor spent time with the Madison Capitols.

O’Connor is one of three goaltenders on the Falcons, and one of two freshmen.

As this is written, there are no pre-season games scheduled for the Falcons.

Teske spend much of her youth career with the Madison Capitols and moved with her family to Warroad, Minnesota for her freshman year of High School.

Over four seasons with the Warroad Warriors, Teske played 99 regular season games, totaling 26 goals and 71 regular season points along with 20 playoff games where she added seven goals and 11 points. She also played on the Minnesota High School Performance Team in 2019-20, collecting three points in five games.

Julianna Teske

The Aggies are scheduled to begin the regular season against Hamline University on Feb. 6 at Tria Rink in St. Paul, Minn., but they will get an early preview Friday (Jan. 29) on home ice against St. Scholastica and then again, the following night in Duluth against the same St. Scholastica Saints. Both games faceoff at 7 p.m. and the Auggies schedule (https://athletics.augsburg.edu/sports/womens-ice-hockey/schedule) includes a link to watch the games live.

Saukhockey.info wants to wish all three college athletes the best of luck in their upcoming season. Hopefully, local female players watch and see the opportunity to play hockey at the college level is reachable by local athletes.

 

Local players may still play at WIAC and MIAC schools

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced in a press release earlier this week that its Council of Chancellors voted to resume its NCAA Division 3 Winter Athletics schedule on February 1, dependent on the securing of ongoing COVID-19 testing.

Kaylee Engel was captain of the Badger Lightning last season

That is welcome news for athletes with Sauk County connections looking to get their respective college hockey careers underway.

Kaylee Engel, captain of the Badger Lightning varsity girl’s hockey team will begin her first season with the Northland College Lumberjills  while Jordan O’Connor who helped the Sauk Prairie Eagles varsity team reach the Sectional semi-finals last will suit up for the UW-River Falls Falcons.

Two other local athletes will play in the MIAC which as of today has yet to make an announcement on its regular season.

Sebastian Frank began his high school run with RWD as a student at Wisconsin Dells High School, but he was ultimately signed by the Forest Lake Lakers who transformed into the Minnesota Mullets of the United States Premier Hockey League. He wore a ‘C’ on his jersey last season as well and began his next chapter at Gustavus Adolphus as a member of the ‘Gusties’ this past Fall.

Jordan O’Connor makes a stop against Waunakee Warriors in Badger North Conference play in 2019-20.

Also, former Reedsburg area resident, Julianna Teske who played youth hockey with the Madison Capitols organization, moved with her family to Warroad, Minnesota where she played four years of high school hockey with the Warriors, putting up 26 goals and 71 points. Teske will begin her college hockey career with the Augsburg University Auggies.

The MIAC Conference did  announce a start to the winter season but did issue a press release on December 15 announcing it would reconvene in January to investigate and hopefully, confirm plans for winter sports seasons, including both Men’s and Women’s hockey.

 

 

Jimmy D’s Notes — Rising from slumber and on with the season

By Jim den Hollander

Publisher/Editor

Saukhockey.info

I thought 2020 was a dreadfully tough year and couldn’t possibly get worse. October spiked the graph to some newly discovered high points though.

After months of mostly hearing and reading about a condition that seemed mostly far away, it was suddenly on my doorstep and banging to get in. It appears I personally staved it off for now, but it is at least a little scary when you know people who have been struck, no matter how minor the affliction.

Its not like I was so busy battling that I couldn’t add anything, but I think I might have gone through a bit of a hockey depression. However, the good news is I am back now and raring to go again…just in time.

The season is now upon us at every level. The ice is either in, or going in, at all four Sauk County facilities (Lake Delton Ice Arena, Reedsburg Area Community Arena, Pierce Park Pavillion and Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center). The junior team, after a rough start on and off the ice, is ready to get on with the season, the four Sauk County varsity hockey teams are in captains practices and now the local youth outfits are also hitting the ice.

A little further behind are the five locals looking to start their respective NCAA Tier 3 campaigns — freshmen Kaylee Engel at Northland Lumberjills; Jordan O’Connor at UW-River Falls Falcons and Mike Lennon, Assistant Coach of the Northland Lumberjacks from the WIAC Conference along with freshmen Julianna Teske with the Augsburg Auggies and Sebastian Frank of Gustavus Adolphus Gusties — both in the MIAC Conference. Both NCAA Tier 3 Colleges announced recently they have delayed the start of their respective seasons until January.

There are a number of Dells Ducks graduates who will also be entering College seasons and at least five have already kicked off their respective seasons on European professional teams.

Most teams have yet to release updated schedules but check here for details on the local hockey scene and the locals playing abroad.

Back from my brief hiatus, it is on with the show now. The regular season awaits.