First break in busy schedule for Dells Ducks

By Jim den Hollander


With four games behind them (1-3-0), the Dells Ducks head into its first off weekend of the regular season.

Dells Ducks

While the team will continue twice-a-day practices at the Lake Delton Ice Arena, the carrot of Friday/Saturday games on the horizon will be removed for this week, but Assistant Coach Mario Lachica the team is working hard with ‘flow drills’ run at game tempo to improve on timing and communication.

This past weekend was a busy one for the Ducks who not only wrapped up a stretch of eight games in two weeks but also adhered to a busy off ice schedule that included heading to Bobber’s Island Grill Thursday to check out former Dells Ducks forward Colin Cross, now a Nashville-based country-western artist in town on a short Midwest tour, promoting and selling tickets for a local outlet mall that had an open house type event Saturday and finally, attending the final day of a big championship points weekend at Dells Raceway Park on Sunday.

Colin Cross in the middle of back row, took a minute away from his four-hour show at Bobber’s last Thursday (September 23) to stand with his new Dells Ducks brothers. In front are Cross’ bandmates Tim Angsten (left) and Mac Watts on the right.

Monday seemed like a break despite a pair of practices.


Ducks looking to improve defense for Cougars meeting

By Jim den Hollander  


The Dells Ducks moved closer to its second weekend homestand of the season with Coach Anthony Rohde paying his weekly visit to the Dells. 

Dells Ducks

Personal and work commitments are keeping the skating and stickhandling expert in the Chicago area permanently this season, but he makes the most of weekly visits to the Dells area. His practices are known to be the toughest and most specific in terms of areas that need improvement and the players love his ability to get the most out of them.  

Before hitting the ice on Tuesday, Rohde said in an interview (see below) he discussed the areas of concern with the coaches and not only found the drills for a pair of Tuesday practices, but also mapped out the rest of the week with Head Coach Shaun Falzone and Coach Mario Lachica. 

The Ducks continue to work back to front, working hard to lower enemy shots on goal and devise a plan for a quick transition from defense to offense in their own zone.  

The Cougars are generally known as a high-octane offensive machine and the perennial Midwest-East will prove a formidable opponent this weekend. 

 Game time Friday and Saturday at the Lake Delton Ice Arena is 7:30 p.m. 


Happy Birthday Seth  

The Ducks are happy to have reaquainted with Seth Stoutenburg this season. A young team member in the 2019-20 season, the Roseville, MN native is back with the team this season and has made his presence felt on the ‘Blue’ line as a winger.  

Held off the board on the opening weekend it’s just a matter of time before Stoutenburg hits the scoresheet. He plays a regular role on special teams as well as at regular strength and will be a big addition to the Ducks’ offense this season. 

On Tuesday (September 21), Stoutenberg celebrated his 18th Birthday with teammates. Happy Birthday Seth! 

Seth Stoutenburg

Crosser back in town  

Old School throwback hockey player Colin Cross was a fan favorite for his on-ice effort and sometimes pugilism when he starred with the Dells Ducks in 2013-14 and 2014-15, both ending with a return trip to Simsbury, CT which just happened to be the site of the USA Hockey National Championship tournament. 

Both a fan favorite and popular with his teammates, everyone was aware of ‘Crosser’s’ love of Country-Western Music. In recent years, Crosser went all in on his passion and he has become a regular on the Nashville Music Scene where he now makes his home. In the midst of a tour that has taken him back to New England already, Cross will make making several stops in the Dairy State, including Bobbers Island Grill on Thursday night.  

Please join us in welcoming Crosser back to town. Check out the set a Bobber’s, support a former Duck and a Ducks’ sponsor. You won’t be disappointed. 

Colin Cross

Jr. Blues provide inspiration for Ducks

By Jim den Hollander


Game Week!

While last week was also billed as a Game week, it was for exhibition contest. Today (Sept. 14), the Dells Ducks hit the ice at the Lake Delton Ice Arena for games one and two of 44 on the USPHL Premier Midwest-West schedule against the Rum River Mallards.

Dells Ducks

After returning in the wee hours of Sunday night from a busy and distant exhibition weekend near Detroit, the lone activity Monday was a team meeting and a visit from the trainer for the players nursing bumps and bruises.

On Tuesday, Coach Mario Lachica said the team ran a practice with flow drills and most stayed near the rink for a treat in the early afternoon as the Springfield Jr. Blues, a North American Hockey League (Tier 2) team stopped by to run a practice at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.

The Blues ran a good practice and looked good in its first two games, back-to-back 4-1 wins in Janesville against the host Jets Friday and Saturday. The Blues stopped off on their way to the annual NAHL Showcase tournament at National Sports Center Super Rinks in Blaine, Minn. All things considered, the season has started well for the Jr. Blues, who sat out the 2020-21 NAHL seson.

That event will begin Wednesday (Sept. 15) with the Blues facing off against the Jamestown Rebels at 7:30 p.m. with its first of four games in four days. Other opponents include the Odessa Jackalopes, Aberdeen Wings and Bismarck Bobcats for the Blues who will then return home and prepare for their own home opener against the Minnesota Magicians Oct. 1-2.

Coaches and players both enjoyed watching the Blues’ practice. It was a valuable experience for the young Ducks team who now know the level of play required to play at the Tier 2 level and for the coaches who were able to chat with Springfield coaches, make some friends and possible contacts for the future as well.

But the real focus for now is on the Rum River Mallards who will be in two for Friday’s season opener at 7:30 p.m.

Tomorrow will run a preview on the series.

Hockey Talk Sept. 3 — Ducks face bag-skate

By Jim den Hollander


The Dells Ducks will wrap up week two of its pre-season training camp this weekend with some hard work and celebration of Labor Day.

Following a tough ‘bag skate’ on Friday (Sept. 3) there was no yoga/fitness scheduled and players returned to the ice for their normal skills skate Friday afternoon. Several players were planning to once again take in a football game as the local high school team, the Wisconsin Dells High School Chiefs attempt to start the season with a third straight win for the first time in several seasons.

On Saturday, players are scheduled to take part in a four-team full ice three-on-three event. While the primary prize will be “bragging rights,” according to Assistant Coach Mario Lachica, those are high stakes on this close knit and highly competitive squad.

The rest of the weekend schedule is not known as of this writing, but Head Coach Shaun Falzone said earlier it would would be fairly light and he will allow the players a chance to enjoy the holiday weekend before returning to work in the team’s first game week of the season.

The team will prepare for a series of exhibition games to be played in Detroit Sept. 10-12 and that will officially kick off the start of preparation for the USPHL regular season the following weekend.

Happy Birthday – Geno Semeniuk

Geno Semeniuk, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, spent 18 games with the Dells Ducks in the 2018-19 regular season, one of three junior squads he played for between 2017-18 and 2019-20. While with the Ducks, Semeniuk, a smooth skating forward, chipped in four goals and 10 points. and the Dells Ducks would like to wish Geno a Happy 22nd Birthday. Unfortunately, there are no photos available from that season other than this team picture taken after the team’s improbably playoff sweep of the Hudson Havoc. Semeniuk is on the far right of the back row.

Ducks open season with Crystal Lake tryouts

By Jim den Hollander


The Dells Ducks wrapped up a high intensity tryout/conditioning session at the Crystal Ice House in Crystal Lake, Ill. This past weekend, taking the first steps toward erasing a nightmarish 2020-21 campaign from its memory.

A combination of factors saw the Ducks getting roughed up more nights than not. The Ducks were a  young squad under original and then new Head Coach/GM Shaun Falzone playing a league that managed to benefit from COVID 19 restrictions across North America with a number of Tier 2 and Tier 1 players primarily from Canada deciding pay-to-play was better than not playing at all.

As a result, the Ducks came up short most nights, collecting just three wins in 43 contests. Obviously the bar is set higher this season and the Ducks are looking for some solid results out of the gate.

Dells Ducks

The Crystal Lake sessions involved four different practices followed by scrimmages, beginning with a 90-minute practice and 90-minute scrimmage on Friday night, then four one-hour affairs (two practice, two scrimmage) on Saturday and two more on Sunday.

Head Coach Shaun Falzone was on the ice and joined for some by Anthony Rohde who is taking a sabbatical from the team duties this season, but available for some workouts, especially these ones, close to his Illinois home.

Also in Crystal Lake was the team’s new Assistant Coach, Mario Lachica along with the team mental coach Matt Houk along with a combination of returning players, signed newcomers and a few hoping to tryout or check out the club while getting an intense workout.

After arriving in Sauk County on Aug. 21, the Ducks will spend a week of dry-land training which includes the installation of ice at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. The following week the team will be on the ice, giving them a couple weeks to tune up before a trio of exhibition games against the Detroit Fighting Irish and Motor City Hockey Club in Detroit Sept. 10-12.

The Ducks will open the regular season the following weekend with the first two of eight straight home games to open the USPHL Premier Midwest-West regular season, against the Rum River Mallards, from Isanti, Minn.