Big win for Cheavers’ seniors in RACA finale

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Just 48 hours after seeing its nine-game winning streak come to an end, the RWD varsity Cheavers started another with an 11-1 whipping of the visiting Monroe Cheavers on an emotional final night at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA). 

The final night on the schedule saw senior goaltender Cooper Oakes kicking out 13 of 14 Monroe shots and laying claim to the prestigious ‘Team Tracy’ Tracy Jones Plaque (see related story) in a brief ceremony between the first and second periods. 

A 4-2 loss at La Bahn Ice Arena in Madison snapped a nine-game winning streak dating back to Dec. 14 but if there was a pity party, it sure wasn’t evident a RACA Thursday as the home team went to work with three goals in the final seven minutes of the opening period and never looked back.  

The Cheavers carried a 7-1 cushion into the final period and piled on another four down the stretch.  

The team’s leading scorer, senior Clayton Pfaff enjoyed another big offensive night with two goals and three assists while linemates; senior Trevor Slaght added four goals and junior Caden Brandt collected three assists.  

Senior Tomas Korndorfer fired his second hat trick in three games to pace, junior John Scott and sophomore Brady Baldwin both chipping in a goal and assist as the team’s primary two lines both continue to stay hot. 

The d-corps got involved as well, senior Grant Marsich, junior Logan De Mars and sophomore Iszak Elder each picking up an assist in the contest.  

The Cheavers held a 36-14 edge in shots.  

The win boosted the team’s overall record to 14-6 with four games yet to play. The team will hit the road for its next three, it’s final conference test at Sauk Prairie against the host Eagles Feb. 1, followed by the team’s second weekend trip to the northern part of the state this season, playing Hayward Hurricanes and Ashland Oredockers Feb. 4-5. 

The team will wrap up its regular season at Lake Delton Ice Arena honoring its seniors for a second time Feb. 8 against the Janesville Bluebirds. 

The team’s seniors were playing on home ice at RACA, the primary home base for the squad for the final time in regular season play. The team’s 14-6 record to date though should guarantee at least one more chance to play in RACA rink in the post season. 

Barney notches shorty equalizer for JV Cheavers

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD Cheavers junior varsity squad extended its unbeaten streak to nine games thanks in part to a shorthanded breakaway effort and a stand in between the pipes.

The Cheavers collected a 5-5 draw with the Madison Edgewood Crusaders, the tying at La Bahn Arena in Madison, boosting its current streak to nine games without a loss and its overall record to 11-2-2. The last loss for the JV Cheavers came on Dec. 3, 2021 at RACA against the same Edgewood Crusaders. 

Alex Griebe who played a huge part in the team’s latest string with an unreal 17-plus shutout period stretch in goal is likely lost for the remainder of the season due to illness, but this team is accustomed to adversity. 

The goaltending spot will see a revolving door of ‘skaters’ filling in over the remainder of the season and the first to don the pads was senior Malachi Stompolis-Salama who took to the role with a 24-save effort to keep it close.  

The Cheavers battled back from 4-1 and 5-4 deficits, the tying goal coming on a shorthanded breakaway goal scored by first-year Tye Barney with just under two minutes to play. 

The Cheavers started slow, but Strompolis-Salama kept the team in it, stopping all but one of nine shots faced in the opening 17-minutes, dominated on the shot clock by a 9-0 margin by the home team. 

The Crusaders fired two more early in the middle period before Iszak Elder got the visitors on the board with an unassisted marker. The middle period ended with the hosts up 3-1 but Elder fired a second unassisted goal early in the third to get RWD with one. 

Crusaders added another 7:08 into the period but Cheavers replied a little over two minutes later as Kaden Uminski converted a pass from Tristan Edgerton and Caleb Eastman tied it a short time later, also from Edgerton. 

The Crusaders moved in front again 33 seconds later, setting stage for Barney’s shorty. 

The Cheavers did not play against the Monroe Cheesemakers on Thursday night, but will be back in action at a DeForest Norskie’s hosted tournament at Lake Delton Ice Arena Jan. 27-29. 

Eagles stay with Crusaders everywhere but scoreboard

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info

The Sauk Prairie Eagles saw its three-game season opening winning streak coming to a sudden end in Madison Tuesday (Dec. 7) night at La Bahn Arena with a 6-1 Badger West Conference loss to the Madison Edgewood Crusaders.  

Both teams were coming off wins in their opening conference tests the previous week, the Eagles whipping the Monroe Cheesemakers 9-0 and the Crusaders getting by the RWD Cheavers 4-1. 

The first period was promising, but at the same time rough for the visiting Eagles as they outshot the host Crusaders 11-4, but exited the period trailing 3-0.  

The Crusaders added another in the second period before senior Nick Mast got the Eagles on the board, with help from junior Luke Mast and senior Hakon Peterson. The Crusaders responded again just over a minute later and carried the 5-1 cushion into the third period.  

Seniors J.J. Wiebusch (2g, 3a), Cody Menzel (2g, 2a), Parker Murn (1g, 3a) and Aidan Lenz (3a) paced the Crusaders’ offense and the other goal came from senior Nick McCann. 

Overall, the Eagles matched the Crusaders with 30 shots apiece.  

The Eagles fall to 3-1 on the regular season and 1-1 in Badger West Conference games this season while the Crusaders climb to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in Badger West.  

The loss to Edgewood raises the importance somewhat of the next game for the Eagles who entertain the 6-1 (2-0 in Badger West) Oregon Panthers on Thursday night at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC). 

Eagles fans may want to circle Jan. 11 on their respective calendars. That’s the day the Crusaders will play a visit to SPARC. This game may not have gone the way of the Eagles, but they showed in the contest they can stay with this team and on home ice, they should make a more formidable opponent. 

Badger West This Week — game on in Conference

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

BADGER WEST THIS WEEK (Nov. 29 – Dec. 5, 2021) 

The Badger West entered the first round of head-to-head conference matches in the second full week of the season and early results were mostly lopsided.  

Oregon Panthers and Madison Edgewood Crusaders both enjoyed two-win weeks while the Sauk Prairie Eagles won its only game and remain the lone undefeated squad in the group. The RWD Cheavers picked up a big win but dropped its conference opener while the Monroe Cheesemakers and Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds both dropped a pair.  

All six teams will play key conference matches in the week ahead so the conference championship picture will begin to take shape.  

OREGON PANTHERS (4-1-0, 1-0 Badger West) 

A wild 20-goal contest saw the Panthers opening conference play with a 14-6 edge against the visiting Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds on Thursday (Dec. 2) and following it up with a 6-2 win the following night, also on home ice against former Badger South rival, McFarland Spartans. 

Those results give the Panthers an overall 42-19 edge on opponents through five games and the trio of Andrew Jicha, Kyle Rohrer and Joe Roemer have combined for 79 points, holding down the top three spots in the state.  

Week ahead – A three-game week begins and ends with conference matches. The Panthers were scheduled to play at Stateline Ice and Community Expo (SLICE) on Monday and wrap it up with a visit to the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Thursday night. In between, the Panthers will play host to the Janesville Bluebirds on Tuesday.  

MADISON EDGEWOOD CRUSADERS (3-1, 1-0 Badger West) 

The Crusaders had most of the week to practice and prepare for Friday and Saturday matches, opening its Badger-West Conference schedule with a 4-2 win at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) on Friday night and adding another 4-1 decision against the Madison Memorial Spartans at Hartmeyer Ice Arena on Saturday.  

The wins give the Crusaders a three-game winning streak and the trio of J.J. Wiebusch, Cody Menzel and Aidan Lenz were in on all four goals against RWD. They combined for 16 points in the two games.  

Week Ahead – After four on the road to open the season, the Crusaders have three in a row at LaBahn Ice Arena but just one this week, Tuesday against the visiting Sauk Prairie Eagles. 

SAUK PRAIRIE EAGLES (3-0, 1-0 Badger West) 

The Eagles played just once this past weekend, traveling to SLICE and opening Badger West for an overwhelming 9-0 win against the Monroe Cheesemakers, giving the Eagles a total of 24 goals through its first three contests. 

The Mast brothers, senior Nick and junior Luke are off to strong offensive starts, combining on 25 points so far and junior goaltenders Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInerney shared the shutout in Monroe.  

Week Ahead – The Eagles have a massive week ahead playing both other first round conference winners. On Tueday the Eagles will be at LaBahn Ice Arena to face the Madison Edgewood Crusaders and on Thursday, the Eagles host the Oregon Panthers at SPARC. 

RWD CHEAVERS (2-3, 0-1 Badger West) 

The Cheavers opened the week with a big 5-4 overtime win against the visiting Onalaska Hilltoppers, the first regular season win against Onalaska since the RWD program was formed in 2010. Despite another solid effort, the Cheavers came up short against the Crusaders on Friday, snapping a two-game winning streak and putting the team under .500 once again.  

RWD has been outscored 16-14 through five games and led offensively by junior Caden Brandt in on 10 of their goals.  

Senior goaltender Cooper Oakes has stopped 193 of 209 shots for a .929 Save Percentage to rank among the state’s best puck stoppers.  

Week Ahead – After a big rivalry game at RACA against the Thunderbirds Tuesday night, the Cheavers will make the trip to Monroe Thursday to face the Cheesemakers and wrap up a busy week with a non-conference duel against Baldwin-Woodville Hawks on Saturday in Reedsburg. 

BARABOO/PORTAGE THUNDERBIRDS (1-3, 0-1 Badger West) 

The 14-goals against at Oregon might be the most allowed in a game since the Badger/Portage Co-op was founded in 2010, but the six goals for in the same game was easily the team’s best offensive showing in a crazy game.

The Thunderbirds have endured a season’s worth of adversity with injuries and illness hampering the lineup but senior forwards such as Gabe Fitzwilliams and Oliver Scanlan have been contributing.  

Week Ahead – Thunderbirds have already opened a busy week, dropping a 4-1 non-conference decision to Madison LaFollette-East at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo Monday and travelling the following night to its conference test at RACA in Reedsburg. 

On Thursday, the Thunderbirds will play a non-conference game against the Brookfield Stars at Pierce Park Pavilion.  

MONROE CHEESEMAKERS (1-5, 0-1 Badger West) 

The Cheesemakers dropped its Conference opener on the road 9-0 against the Sauk Prairie Eagles Thursday and fell 7-2 against KMMO (Kettle Moraine/Mukwonago/Oconomowoc) at SLICE Saturday. 

The losses dropped the Cheesemakers to 1-5. Seth Brandt scored both goals against KMMO. 

Week Ahead – The road will stay tough for the Cheesemakers with the Oregon Panthers scheduled to pay a visit Monday and RWD will be in Monroe for a Thursday night test. The Cheesemakers will hit the road Saturday wrapping up a three-game week against the Muskego Co-Op Ice Force at Wilson Ice Arena in Milwaukee.