An up and down road for the RWD varsity Cheavers hit a final roadblock in Verona Friday (Feb. 17) against the top seeded Verona Wildcats.
The Cheavers earned its berth in the Section 3 quarterfinals with a 7-3 win against the Aquinas/Holmen Avalanche but that advanced them to the team’s toughest test of the season in Verona.
The Wildcats, wrapped up the regular season with a 17-5 record and wrapped up the Bight Eight Conference title with an 11-1 mark in division play.
The Cheavers represented the community well and while the CWildcats were ultimately too much for them, they overcame a slow start and skated with them through the final two periods.
It was all-Verona in the opening period though as the home team peppered RWD sophomore goaltender Alex Griebe with 23 shots and opened a 2-0 with goals from seniors Blake Herburger and Charlie Scadden.
After a 23-7 margin through the opening period though the Cheavers nearly matched the Wildcats in the middle frame, the home side with a 14-12 margin in favor of the hosts. Down the stretch the Cheavers threw all it had at the Wildcats, owning a 17-12 edge in shots in a scoreless final period.
Crusaders led 4-0 before the Cheavers hit the board with an all -senior effort – Logan DeMars pulling the trigger with assists for Lukas Vana and Caden Brandt.
The Cheavers entered the game as heavy underdogs and the effort was impressive despite the final result. The loss wrapped up a successful run for the senior players including DeMars, Vana, Caden and Carsen Brandt, John Scott, Nate Stando, Yevgeny Dedun, Caleb Eastman and Conner Putz.
The Cheavers finished with an overall record of 15-11.
Other Section 3 Quarterfinal matches saw second seeded Madison Edgewood Crusaders getting past Sun Prairie United 4-0 while third seed, Middleton Cardinals downed Waunakee Warriors and number five Sauk Prairie Eagles collecting a 5-4 edge on the road against fourth seeded Madison Memorial 1-0.
Editor/Publisher Saukhockey.info The RWD Cheavers have lost eight times this season, (as of Jan. 24) but there hasn’t been much separation between them and the victors on most nights.
On Tuesday (Jan. 24) the Cheavers lost its third extra-time decision of the season as the host Onalaska/La Crosse Hilltoppers spoiled a great road game with a 4-3 overtime decision.
Of the nine defeats, three have been in extra time and the team has never been separated by more than two goals. At Onalaska, the Cheavers opened a 2-0 lead with two goals in 21 seconds in the second period but it was 2-1 entering the middle period and Onalaska pulled even at 3-3 just 21 seconds after the visitors moved in front for a second time in the final period.
Sophomore Matt Tillman gave the Hilltoppers its first and only lead of the contest with his goal 78 seconds into overtme.
Senior Caden Brandt and junior Andrey Tougas notched the Cheaver first period goals with assists for senior Carsen Brandt along with juniors Brady Baldwin and Trey Lariden.
The Cheavers will stay on the road with a tough assignement againt the undefeated (in conference play) Madison Edgewood Crusaders on Friday (Jan. 27) at LeBahn Ice Arena, then return home to face the DeForest Norskies in its Badger Challenge match on Monday.
Baldwin took a feed from Brandt and buries his second period goal putting the Cheavers in front again at 3-2. Sophomore goaltender Alex Griebe stopped 28 of 32 through the regulation periods and overtime segment. The Cheavers fired 26 at the oppositemend including a 2-1 margin through the brief overtime.
By Jim den Hollander Editor/Publisher Saukhockey.info The Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds varsity hockey team couldn’t stay with the McFarland Spartans in a 7-0 shutout loss at Pierce Park Pavilion on Tuesday (Jan. 24).
Once again it took a valiant effort from junior goaltender Burke Schweda to keep the game relatively close as the visiting Spartans owned an overall edge of 54-18 on the shot counter, including a 24-7 margin out of the gate as the guests jumped into a 3-0 lead.
The Spartans added three more in the middle period and added just one on 13 third period chances. Juniors Caleb DeChambeau and Mason Pommerening paced the Spartans with two goals apiece. The loss is the third in a row for the Thunderbirds who fell to 3-17 on the season with four games remaining on the schedule, all at Pierce Park Pavilion.
That stretch begins on Tuesday (Jan. 31) with a visit from the Janesville Bluebirds from the Big Eight Conference followed Saturday by the DeForest Norskies from the Badger East. Next week Thunderbirds will wrap up the regular season with a game against Madison LaFollette/East Lakers on Feb. 7 and finally, its regular season and Badger West Conference finale against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders.
By Jim den Hollander Editor/Publisher Saukhockey.info On a night that saw the RWD varsity and junior varsity teams honoring Hometown Heroes, the goaltenders stepped into that role for both the visiting Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds and the host RWD Cheavers. Thursday (Jan. 19) night. RWD sophomore goaltender Alex Griebe wasn’t called on often, but he was perfect when needed, posting his fourth shutout of the season and his second clean sheet against the Thunderbirds in a 2-0 win.
As usual, Thunderbirds’ junior goaltender was supertasked in the blue paint and his 46 saves kept the Thunderbirds in the game until senior Lukas Vana buried the second Cheavers’ goal, an unassisted shorthanded marker 2:07 from the third period horn.
The shutout lowered Griebe’s Goals Against Average to 1.84 which ranks him sixth lowest in the state. Meanwhile, there doesn’t appear to be statistics to back it up, but Schweda has to be near the top of the list in shots faced.
The other RWD goal came from senior Carsen Brandt who snuck up from the blueline on an RWD powerplay to slam home a rebound. Twin brother Caden and Vana chipped in on an all-senior goal scored 4:35 into the contest. The game was played in front of a packed house at Lake Delton Ice Arena. The win boosted RWD’s current record to 9-7 and they sit at 4-4 in Badger West Conference play, a nice rebound after dropping three of their first four league games.
The Cheavers will hit the road for a pair of games this week, at Onalaska Tuesday (Jan. 24) and at LeBahn Ice Arena in Madison to take on the Edgewood Crusaders on Friday.
Thunderbirds fell to 3-16 on the season, but those three wins have all come since the Christmas Break. In Conference play, Thunderbirds have yet to post a win in nine contests with the unenviable task of taking on the undefeated (in conference) Crusaders in the season finale Feb. 10.
Thunderbirds have just one game this week, taking on the McFarland Spartans Tuesday (Jan. 24) to begin a stretch of three straight home games.
Looking to snap a nearly two-year long streak for the visiting Madison Edgewood Crusaders in Badger West Conference play and put themselves into the Conference championship picture, the Sauk Prairie Eagles had it all under control entering the final period Thursday (Jan. 19) at the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC).
Eagles entered the game with just one conference loss, a 1-0 heartbreaker at LeBahn Arena in Madison on Dec. 3 against the Crusaders who have yet to lose a conference match since the Badger West division was created for the 2021-22 regular season.
After a scoreless opening period, senior Luke Mast fired his 22nd goal of the season from junior Colin Harrington and freshman Landon Froese 50 seconds into the middle frame. Thanks in part to 17 saves from senior goaltender Kaden Stracke, that lead held up into the final period.
The goal lifted Mast into a share for the overall state points lead with 52j and he is second in state with 30 assists. Stracke is also ranked in the state’s top 10, his .918 Save Percentage seventh best.
The Crusaders found a way to spoil the night for a packed crowd at SPARC, getting on the board 4:49 into the final frame on a goal by senior Michael Baer and then stealing the win with the game winner scored by freshman Owen Barnet just 3:35 from the third period horn.
An early powerplay set the tone for the Eagles who looked dominant early in the final period but in the end, the Crusaders held a 16-10 edge in shots in the period and a 33-31 edge overall.
The win all but clinches a second straight Badger West crown for the Crusaders who have three division matches remaining but sit at 7-0 while the Eagles have just one conference game yet to play and are equally as comfortable in second spot in front of the 5-4 Oregon Panthers and 4-4 RWD Cheavers.
The Eagles will wrap up its conference schedule Tuesday (Jan. 24) at Monroe’s Stateline Ice and Community Expo (SLICE) and will finish the regular season with four non-conference tests. Next home game for the Eagles will be Friday against the Muskego Co-op Ice Force.
Colin Harrington’s goal late in the middle period broke a 2-2 deadlock and lifted the host Sauk Prairie Eagles to an eventual 4-2 win at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center on Tuesday (Jan. 17).
The Eagles scored the first two goals but the visiting Stevens Point Pacelli Cardinals evened it at 2-2 before the end of the frame, setting the stage for Harrington, an Eagles’ junior.
Senior Luke Mast opened the scoring with an unassisted marker 20 seconds into the match and later set up freshman Landon Froese less than two minutes later to put the host side up 2-0. Junior Karsyn Banta also collected an assist on the second goal.
Cardinals senior Mason Zielinski got his team on the board 20 seconds later and added another before the end of the period to pull teams even.
Harrington’s goal came with 1:28 to play in the second period from Mast and Banta and insurance came off the stick of Mast, wrapping up a four-point night from Harrington 7:46 into the third period.
Brooks McInerney kicked out 21 shots to collect the win in goal for the Eagles and Cardinals junior Carter Herheim stopped 43 shots.
The Eagles improved its overall record to 13-3-2 and now will prepare for a huge home game Thursday against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders with the Badger West Conference championship on the line.
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.
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.
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.
By Jim den Hollander Editor/Publisher Saukhockey.info The Madison Edgewood Crusaders doubled the RWD Cheavers 4-2 with what might have been a knockout punch to the team’s Conference championship hopes, Tuesday (Dec. 13) at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA).
After a scoreless opening period, the Crusaders held a 2-1 margin in both the second and third to wrap up the win, the final goal scored 52 seconds from the final buzzer into an empty cage. The empty netter wrapped up a hat trick for Crusaders’ sophomore David Halbleib. RWD goals came from seniors Lukas Vana and Logan DeMars with an assist for John Scott, continuing a six-game scoring streak for the senior and team leading scorer. Sophomore goaltender Alex Griebe kept RWD in the contest, stopping all nine shots he faced in the opening period as the locals were outshot 9-2. Overall, the goaltender stopped 26 of 29 while sophomore Hayden Reuhl stopped 13 of 15 for the Crusaders.
The loss dropped the Cheavers to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in Badger West conference play. They will wrap up the first half of its conference schedule at RACA against the Monroe Cheesemakers.
The first of two annual meetings refueling the RWD Cheavers vs. Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds rivalry wrapped up Saturday (Dec. 10) at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo and went to the Cheavers 5-0.
A pair of sophomore goaltenders continued awesome campaigns, Alex Griebe earning his first varsity shutout for the Cheavers while Burke Schweda turned in another awesome performance, stopping 42 of 47 albeit once again in a losing cause.
The Thunderbirds have scored just two goals this season and this game marked the fifth time the team has had a shutout hung on it.
The Cheavers got another big game from senior John Scott who notched a hat trick while juniors Iszak Elder and Brady Baldwin counted the other goals, Elder and senior defender Logan DeMars both collected a couple assists as well.
Other assists came from junior Trey Lariden, senior Lukas Vana and freshman RJ Manley.
Elder’s goal was the game winner, scored just past the seven-minute mark of the opening period before Scott contributed a natural hatty, all three coming in the second frame. Baldwin rounded it out with the lone final period tally, 5:28 into the frame.
Both teams entered the contest without a conference win and desperate to get on track. The Cheavers boosted its conference record to 1-2 and its overall mark to 3-3 and the Thunderbirds remain winless in seven and have dropped four Badger West contests.
Both will be in action Tuesday, the Cheavers facing defending conference champion Madison Edgewood Crusaders at Reedsburg Area Community Arena and the Thunderbirds hit the halfway mark in conference at Oregon against the host Panthers.