Spacemen send disappointed Ducks to Thanksgiving break

By Jim den Hollander
Editor/Publisher
Saukhockey.info
The Dells Ducks hoped for a better finish to the first half of their regular season but there have been plenty of positives to grab from their recent games.


The Ducks wrapped up play at the Detroit Showcase Sunday with a 6-2 loss against the Fort Wayne Spacemen, perhaps the toughest opponent faced at the Motown event.

Dells Ducks


After winning its opener against the Decatur Blaze, the Ducks dropped a pair against the Motor City Gamblers and Columbus Mavericks Saturday, then closed it out Sunday against the Spacemen.
Fort Wayne entered the contest with a 2-1 record on the weekend, including a win in its first game against the Metro Jets on Friday. On Saturday the Spacemen defeated the third Metro team, MHC and added a 4-3 edge against 4-3 edge against the Steele County Blades. The win against the Ducks clinched them as one of only two teams that wrapped up the weekend with a 4-0 record.
Two goals in both the first and second had the Spacemen up 4-0 heading to the third and they added another before Ethan Matthews (‘02/South Bend, IN) finally got the Ducks on the board with help from Bryce Jacobsen (‘02/DeForest, WI). The assist for Jacobsen was his 50th point as a Duck.


One of the team’s newest additions, Mikel Ferran Cobo (‘04/Mexico City, Mexico) collected his second goal of the weekend later, from Jacobsen and Matthews.
Jacobsen and starting goaltender Jadon Mammen were both playing for the first time on the weekend after sitting out a three-game suspension following an altercation the previous weekend in Isanti.
The weekend win moved the Ducks past the eighth place Minnesota Mullets but the Steele County Blades, currently seventh enjoyed a five-point weekend and widened its gap on the Ducks while climbing into a sixth-place tie with the Blue Ox – both six points up on the Ducks now.

The Ducks will return to action on Dec. 1 with a quick dash to the Twin Cities for a Thursday night contest against the Minnesota Mullets at Augsburg University Ice Arena. The following Thursday will see the team back at Augsburg for a rematch, but they will stay in town a Friday/Saturday pair against the Minnesota Moose in Blaine.

Next home game for the Ducks will be Jan. 7, 2023, against the Steele County Blades.

Late goal from Behnke clinches first Ducks win

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks have been better every time they hit the ice this season and were finally rewarded with a win this past weekend. 

Dells Ducks

The team has been closing in since the beginning and afer 14 games, including a pair of overtime losses and another heartbreaker in shootout, the defending USPHL Premier Midwest-West Division Champion Minnesota Blue Ox were the victims of the Ducks’ first win. 

Blades 3 Ducks 2  

The team started the weekend with another of those heartbreaking defeats as the team made a Friday night dash to Owatonna, MN to start the weekend off with its first meeting of the season against the Steele County Blades.  

After deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 the Ducks took control and led 3-2 before the Blades pulled even with 90 seconds to go and snatched the win in overtime. 

Jack Kopfstein, Ethan Matthews and Jacob Behnke fired the Ducks’ goals, Adam Brown and Bryce Jacobsen collecting assists on each of them. 

Ducks 2 Blue Ox 1  

Saturday night, the Ducks faced the Blue Ox for the first time this season and collected its first win against the defending champions since 2019. 

Goaltenders ruled this contest with only one goal allowed in each period. The Blue Ox scored first, Dylan Smith firing the only shot to get by Jadon Mammen with a little under five minutes to go in the first period.  

Braydan Kirchmann fired his fourth of the season 14 seconds into the middle frame and that stood up until Behnke stripped the puck off a Blue Ox defender just outside the blueline, went in alone and sank the game winner. His goal came with just 2:19 to play and a combination of solid play by Mammen and great defense, including a penalty kill late took it home for the Ducks. 

Blue Ox 4 Ducks 2 

On Sunday the Ducks wanted to show their win from the previous night was no fluke and what ensued was another close battle from start to finish. 

The game started like the previous day, the Blue Ox opening a first period lead before the Ducks struck back early in the second with a goal from Brown. 

The Blue Ox scored twice in 45 seconds to open the first two-goal lead of the game. 

Ryan Hammer pulled one back for the Ducks in the final five minutes of the second period, but despite a 10-6 edge in shots the Ducks were able to notch the equalizer in the final period. To make it tougher, the Ducks were once again assessed a penalty late in the contest and the Blue Ox kept the pressure on, scoring one more to pad its margin as the buzzer sounded. 

The inspired play in all three weekend contests showed the Ducks, who will not play on home ice again this calendar year, are ready to give all the other eight teams in the division a run for the money for the remainder of the regular season.  

The Ducks come out of the weekend with a 1-12-2-1 regular season record and five points in the standings. Not a great start, but the team is currently just four points behind eighth place Minnesota Mullets who currently hold down the final playoff spot and five behind the Blades who they will face off against once again in Owatonna Friday night. 

Following that, the Ducks will play their final two games of the season against the Outlaws, in Isanti. The Outlaws roll in as the division’s hottest team, riding a 10-game winning streak. The Ducks have dropped three decisions to the Outlaws, two by 5-3 margins and the other 6-5 in overtime. These games will be played in Isanti.  

The following weekend the Ducks will make the long trip to Detroit for a four-game showcase weekend against teams from the Midwest-East and Great Lakes Divisions, carrying the players into their first break of the season as they all return home to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. 

Havoc, Steele dominate Ducks in final three games

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks wrapped up the USPHL Premier regular season with a tough trio of games but some friendly faces on the finale on Sunday night. 

Back-to-back losses (10-0, 6-1) in Hudson against the Havoc Friday and Saturday and a 7-0 loss in both its home and regular season finale at Lake Delton Ice Arena Sunday against the Steele County Blades wrapped up a stretch of 13 losses suffered by the team since returning from the Christmas Break. 

Some trades in the past few weeks have seen the team’s top two scoring players – Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL) to the Chicago Cougars for Francesco Addante (‘02/Glenview, IL) who scored the previous weekend in Wisconsin Rapids and Jayden Tkaczuk (‘02/Channahon, IL) traded to the Detroit Fighting Irish for Andrew Crawford (‘05/Seattle, WA) heading to teams with a shot at a long playoff run. 

 They would be eligible to return next season which could give them a chance to improve on some strong offensive seasons this time around. Glamkowski became just the third player in the 11-year history of the Ducks to hit the 30-goal plateau in a season, joining Aidan Verbeke (37) in the team’s first season and Ian Wood (36, 34) who accomplished it in both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. 

Tkaczuk was the team’s leading scorer last season, and his 56 points (24g, 32a) ranks him 16th all time, two points and one spot in front of Glamkowski. 

Ducks 0, 1 @ Havoc 10, 6 

Friday night was a tough one for the Ducks in Hudson, the home side scoring twice in the opening six minutes on its way to a 4-0 first period lead, a total it matched in the middle period before rounding it off with two more down the stretch. 

Anthony Falzone (‘03/St. Charles, IL) and Drew Moseley (‘02/St. Louis, MO) were the busiest players on the ice, facing a combined 67 shots while the Ducks challenged Matthew Powell with 19 shots, and he kicked them all away. 

While cutting down the shots against and improving its own shots total Saturday night, the goaltending of Moseley was tested once again. He stopped 47 of 53 shots including all 19 of the shots he faced in the first period. 

The Havoc found a way past him in the second period though and scored four times before Ducks’ captain Bryce Jacobsen (‘02/DeForest, WI), notched his 12th goal of the season, unassisted.  

Hudson added one more in the final period to clinch the win. 

Blades 7 @ Ducks 0  

Sunday’s game saw the Ducks once again outshot by a wide margin on a night that saw the team struggle in all three periods to get the puck beyond its own blue line.  

Falzone got the start and once again faced a barrage from the opening faceoff, the Blades topping 20 shots in each frame while the hosts couldn’t get to double digits. Overall, it was a 74-15 edge for the visitors who scored, three in the first and last periods and once in the middle.  

The seventh goal came against Jadon Mammen (‘04/Grapevine, TX) who replaced an exhausted Falzone through the final few minutes and faced eight shots.  

Playoffs ahead 

The Ducks move on to the post season as a major underdog, the number eight seed in the Midwest-West Division, taking on the top seeded Minnesota Blue Ox who finished the regular season 66 points ahead of the Dells’ squad.  

The Best of Three series will begin Friday at the Coon Rapids Ice Center at 7 p.m. and the second game will be played Saturday night at the same time and place. 

If needed, a third game would be played on Monday at 2:30 p.m., also in Coon Rapids.  

Winner of this series will advance to the second round of four, battling for one of two Midwest-West division berths at the league’s national championship tournament to be played in Hudson, NH March 24-29. 

Falzone stands tall in goal against Riverkings

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks made the short trek to Wisconsin Rapids last weekend (Feb. 17-18) dropping a pair of decisions in the penultimate weekend of the USPHL regular season, 5-2 on the first night before the Riverkings handed them a lopsided 11-0 defeat the following night. 

Looking to snap a long losing streak and gather some momentum heading into the post season. 

The Ducks made some big moves in the time between games with top scorers Caden Glamkowski and Jayden Tkaczuk both wearing new jerseys as of last weekend, giving both a shot at making some post season noise with the Chicago Cougars and Detroit Fighting Irish respectively. 

As they have all season, the Ducks relied heavily on the goaltending this past weekend and Anthony Falzone (‘03/St. Charles, IL) played a big role in keeping the first game close. Falzone faced close to 70 shots while the Ducks triggered just 11 at the opposite end, but Falzone stood tall throughout the 60-minute contest. 

In fact, Francesco Addante (‘02/Glenview, IL) picked up days before in the Glamkowski trade, fired the lone goal of the first period three minutes into the game from Kai Neumaier (‘03/St. Charles, IL). That allowed the Ducks to carry a 1-0 lead into the middle period despite a massive 28-3 edge on the shots board for the home side. 

The Riverkings finally found a way past Falzone near the halfway mark of the second period and that opened the floodgates for three more, giving the Rapids’ crew a 4-2 edge heading to the third period. 

Luca Maislin (‘03/Montreal, QC) fired his fifth goal in nine games since joining the Ducks while Bryce Jacobsen (‘02/DeForest, WI), Ducks’ captain and now, team leading scorer, collected his 19th assist and 30th point. 

Riverkings’ fourth goal was scored by Jeffrey Rebman (‘01/Libertyville, IL) a fifth-year junior who played both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons with the Ducks. 

The Riverkings held an 18-5 edge in shots in the middle period and pounded the Ducks with a 22-3 edge in the third, resulting in one final goal. 

On Saturday, the Riverkings dominated the shot clock again but this time they found the net early and often on its way to an 11-0 whitewash, the 10th consecutive loss for the Ducks who enter this weekend with three final chances – two in Hudson Friday and Saturday and back on home ice Sunday – to break into the win column. 

The Riverkings were up 4-0 after a period and added another five in the middle period before putting it away with a couple goals down the stretch.

Drew Mosely (’02/St. Louis, MO), Jadon Mammen (’04/Grapevine, TX) and Falzone each took a turn in goal in this one, combining to kick out 57 in the contest.

Sunday’s game will give local fans one final chance to get a look at the Ducks this season as they take on the Steele County Blades in a 6:30 p.m. start at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. 

The playoff match ups have been determined, at least for the Ducks who face a tough assignment, going into battle next weekend against the Minnesota Blue Ox. Dates and times for that Best-of-Three series are still to be announced. 

More tough lessons for Ducks in Minnesota

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks junior hockey team hit the ice for the first time in three weeks with a three-game weekend Jan. 28-30. 

After a pair of tough losses on the road against the USPHL Midwest-West Division’s top entry, the Ducks returned home Sunday afternoon to wrap it up with a narrow 3-2 loss to the visiting Steele County Blades.  

Sunday’s game went past chippy, teams combining for more than 70 minutes in the sin bin – more than half of those in the third period. 

The Ducks spent a large part of the third period shorthanded. The good news for the Ducks was it was able to successfully kill every second of the infractions in the final period and the bad news was it left no time for the team to mount a counterattack to tie the score. 

There was no scoring in the third and the Ducks saw a 2-1 lead after a period taken away with two unanswered goals for the Blades in the middle 20. 

Jacob Cartland (‘02/Mukwonago, WI) opened the scoring for the Ducks with a shorthanded tally after taking a feed from Justin Green (‘01/Fort Worth, TX) 8:01 into the contest but the Blades struck back less than a minute later on the same powerplay. Cartland’s goal was his 11th of the season. 

Kai Neumaier (‘03/St. Charles, IL) scored on a solo effort with 4:35 to play in the opening period to give the Ducks a lead at the break. 

Blades scored before the end of the opening minute of the middle period to knot the score and fired the game winner 6:24 from the end of the frame. The tying goal was a shorthanded effort for Seva Bannikov (‘01/Minsk, Belarus) and the game winner came from Jake Miltko (‘03/Colorado Springs, CO). 

Once again, Ducks’ goaltender Drew Moseley (‘02/St. Louis, MO) stepped up in a huge way, stopping all but three of 60 shots faced in goal for the Ducks. 

Ducks 2, 3 @ Blue Ox 15, 9 

The Blue Ox showed the Ducks on Friday and Saturday nights why they are not only the leaders in the Midwest-West Division but a legit threat at capturing the League’s National Championship in March. 

The Ducks opened and closed the scoring in the opening period Friday but in between was five Blue Ox markers, the first three coming together in a span of 53 seconds.  

That was the story of the two-game set as the Blue Ox frequently scored in bunches. With a number of new faces in the lineup, it was a tough assignment trying to work the chemistry in a game situation against a team that turned nearly every Ducks’ miscue into a goal. 

Cartland started a solid weekend of play with the Ducks’ first goal, the other Ducks’ goal scored by Samuel Soltes (‘04/Trnava, Slovakia) in his first game in North America. Defenseman Gage Senio (‘04/Red Deer, AB) had an assist on both Ducks goals. 

Saturday’s game saw a Ducks team determined to keep the game closer and they were successful through the first half of the game.  

Down 2-0 after a period, the team went to work and pulled even with goals from Luca Maislin (‘03/Montreal, QC), his third in four games with the team since being acquired from the Florida Eels and defenseman Luke Taylor (‘04/Chandler, AZ).  

Assists came from Cartland giving him a point in all three games and Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL). 

The tying goal came three minutes into the second period and stayed in place until the Ox fired four in the final seven minutes of the period and added three more in the third. 

The Ducks could take the first two games in stride. Although the first game was its most lopsided loss of the season to date, it chalked up to learning against a solid team that has returned a huge number of players from last season’s team that reached the National Championship tournament. 

The loss to the Blades was tough to take, Ducks facing some adversity in the contest with some tough calls on the ice. 

They get an immediate shot at redemption though as the team kicks off another three-game weekend with a trip to the Four Seasons Center in Owatonna, MN to play the same Blades on Friday night (Feb. 4). Following that, the team will head north to Blaine for Saturday and Sunday matches against the Minnesota Moose. 

The Ducks have eight games remaining in regular season play. This weekend will wrap up its season series with the Moose, leaving two-game weekends in both Wisconsin Rapids and Hudson before wrapping up the campaign on home ice against the Blades Feb. 27. 

Below are interviews done before weekend series. For some reason, the preview story and photos did not upload.

Despite losses, bolstered lineup improves Ducks

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks returned from the Christmas Break and returned to the USPHL Premier Midwest-West regular season with a new sandpaper look.  

Unfortunately, with several new players in the lineup, communication was off a bit, but the improvement was evident in a pair of games against the Minnesota Mullets, a team that has had the Ducks’ number in recent seasons. 

The Mullets dominated the second half of what started out as a close game Friday, taking a 9-2 win in the opener at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. In the second game it was the Ducks rallying late but ultimately falling short by a 5-3 score.  

The Mullets collected more than 50 shots on goal on both nights, but the Ducks trimmed the total by 15 – from 69 to 54 in the second game while putting 27 of their own at Mullets’ goal, a solid total against a team in the Midwest-West. 

Mullets 9 @ Ducks 2  

The visitors dominated the opening minutes Friday, jumping into a 10-0 lead on the shot clock, but  a disciplined Ducks team took advantage of three powerplay opportunities to cut the margin to 21-15 by the end of the opening 20. 

Mullets scored first, but defenseman Drake Johnson (‘01/Grand Rapids, MI) sank his first as a Duck 10-seconds from the first period buzzer and teams were even at 1-1 heading to the second. 

Unfortunately, the Mullets snatched the momentum away in the middle frame with four unanswered goals and two more in the first two minutes of the third to widen the gap to 7-1. Luca Maislin (‘03/Montreal, QC), playing his first game with the Ducks, scored the game’s second goal with set ups for Johnson and team captain Bryce Jacobsen (‘02/DeForest, WI). 

Between them, goaltenders Anthony Falzone (‘03/St. Charles, IL) and Drew Moseley (‘02/St. Louis, MO) kicked out 60 shots. Falzone turned in a heroic effort in the first period stopping all but one of 21. 

Mullets 5 @ Ducks 3  

The Saturday game started with a similar barrage from the Mullets but once again the Ducks played a more even second half of the opening period, the Mullets carrying a 1-0 lead into the second after a 20-10 edge on the shot counter. 

The second period saw the Mullets pull away again with four goals, Maislin pulling one back with a well placed shot from a tough angle.  

The most promising sign came in the final 20 as the Ducks battled both figuratively and literally through a physical period with another goal by Jayden Tkaczuk (‘02/Channahon, IL) and another from Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL) with a little under two minutes to go, making for an interesting final few minutes. Assists came from defenders Gage Senio (‘04/Red Deer, AB) and Johnson. 

Moseley turned in another 49-save effort for a Ducks team that showed improvement not just from one game to the next, but one period to the next.  

Boasting a full lineup for the first time, the Ducks enter its longest downtime of the season, allowing plenty of practices for players to get used to each other. Also, a few more new faces will be added in the days ahead making players compete not just for ice time, but starting spots in the lineup. 

The team will be out of action until a busy weekend Jan. 28-30, starting with a pair in Coon Rapids, MN against the Division leading Minnesota Blue Ox followed by the penultimate home game of the campaign, Jan. 30 against the Steele County Blades.  

DUCK PRINTS – The Ducks have 11 games remaining in the regular season, all against Midwest-West Division’s top five teams as they have now wrapped up against the seventh place Rum River Mallards and sixth place Mullets.  

The Mullets swept a five-game series with the Ducks and have won the past nine against the Ducks, dating back to a 5-4 road win for the Ducks on Jan. 26, 2020. 

Caden Glamkowski scored a goal in Saturday’s game, giving him 28 on the season, moving him into a tie for fourth best single season total with Sherman Mowery and Jake Stima. The next two ahead of him are both Ian Wood – with 34 in 2014-15 and 36 the previous season. The all-time leader is Aidan Verbeke with 37 in 2011-12, the Ducks premiere season.

Jayden Tkaczuk also picked up a couple points on the weekend, pushing his career total to 54 (22g, 32a) in two seasons so far. He sits 16th all time on a list of more than 200 players, six points behind Reedsburg native Sean Teske who collected 60 points (16g, 44a) in 94 games with the Ducks. Heading into the weekend, Tkaczuk was even with Jason Heard who played with the Ducks on the weekend as well.  

Winless weekend but solid moments for Ducks

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

It came as no real surprise the Ducks wrapped up play at its first Showcase of the season with a tough loss against the Minnesota Blue Ox.  

The Ducks have improved each time on the ice, but playing in a tough division and wrapping up a four-game weekend with a battle against perhaps the division’s best team, the  9-2 final score defeat didn’t come as a huge shock. 

The Blue Ox carried a 3-0 lead out of the first period before Adam Chaudhri (‘04/Allen, TX) collected his first goal as a junior early in the second on a feed from Jacob Cartland (‘02/Mukwonago, WI) to get the Ducks on the board.

Dells Ducks

Blue Ox responded with another pair before Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL) added a second for the Ducks, his 11th of the season, from Jayden Tkaczuk (‘02/Chanahon, IL) and Dillon Collings (‘02/Golden, CO) who last played with the team in the 2020-21 season. 

The Ox added one more in the second period and widened the gap with three more in the final frame.  

The Ducks finished the Showcase winless and continue to home ice this coming weekend with a 1-14-0-0 regular season record.  

The record is certainly not what the team what hoping for at the beginning of the season, but while the team is having its struggles, there are players who have made their presence felt in a big way. 

It’s hard to miss Caden Glamkowski, on a pace for one of the best offensive seasons in the team’s history. The Illinois rookie has hit the 20-point mark (11g, 9a) in 15 games, one more than Jayden Tkaczuk had as the team’s leading scorer last season. Glamkowski collected points in all four games at the Showcase and has been kept off the sheet just twice in the team’s first 15 matches. 

Tkaczuk also has been making up for lost time. He has three goals and nine assists in just 11 games with the team so far while rookie Jake Cartland has 15 points (6g, 9a) and the 14 points (4g, 10a) is five more than he collected playing in 23 games last season. 

The gap between those players and the rest of the pack is wide, but 16 Ducks’ players have collected at least a point and the supporting cast is becoming more of an offensive factor. 

The Ducks began preparing for another busy weekend against the only two teams the Ducks have not played yet in the Midwest-West Division.  

After a Friday night contest against the always tough Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings (7:30 p.m.) the Ducks will complete an all-Wisconsin weekend with matches against the Hudson Havoc on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday (1:30 p.m.). The homestand will be the fifth of the season for the Ducks who will not play at home again until 2022. 

Kopfstein fires lone Ducks goal against Blades

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The trend of falling behind early proved costly for the Ducks once again in its first of two games on Friday (Oct. 29) at the USPHL Premier Midwest-West Division Showcase event at Fogerty Ice House in Blaine, MN. 

The Ducks found itself trailing the Steele County Blades 1-0 in the game’s sixth minute and 2-0 a short while later, utlimately falling by a 5-1 score. 

Dells Ducks

Jack Kopfstein, the team’s ‘05 defenseman from Vista, CA hammered a shot home from the blue line for his third goal of the season the second of the weekend for the Ducks, but that was as close as this one would get as the Blades piled on another three before the final buzzer.  

Assists on Kopfstein’s goal went to Caden Glamkowski and Jacob Cartland. 

The first two Blades goals were both scored by veteran forward, Seva Bannikov, an ‘01 forward from Minsk, Belarus. 

Other scoring details for the Blades were unavailable at the time this was written.

The Blades and Ducks met on the previous weekend, the Blades capturing an 8-2 victory against a tired, under the weather and understaffed Ducks team 8-2 at the tail end of a three games in three days weekend. 

The Ducks were scheduled to hit the ice at Fogerty again later Friday against the Rum River Mallards before wrapping up Saturday afternoon against the Minnesota Blue Ox Saturday afternoon. 

Ducks prepare for another tough weekend

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

With a promising trio of games behind them this past weekend, a positive group of Dells Ducks entered a short week of practice.  

The first quarter of the season has wrapped up and with a 1-10-0-0 record nobody is popping champagne corks, but it’s not hard to find positives as the team simply looks better every time it hits the ice. 

This was supposed to be an easier season without the hassles and trials of a season plagued by pandemic issues from start to finish. But this team has faced adversity on and off the ice. What is left at this point is a understaffed, but focused and determined squad ready to face its challenges and confident it can improve. 

Adding the veteran presence of Jason Heard, a fearless and gritty ‘01 who leaves nothing on the ice and expects the same of everyone else on his team, will bring out the best on a team that includes some talented individuals. 

The Ducks face a tough challenge ahead as Heard will be unable to join them in the next challenge, four games in three days weekend at the Midwest-West Division Showcase, beginning early Thursday. 

In a span of just over 50 hours, the Ducks will hit the ice four times at the Fogerty Ice House in Blaine, MN. The first three games will see the Ducks facing getting rematches against the Minnesota Mullets and Rum River Mallards, the two teams closest to them in the standings and the Steele County Blades, off to an awesome start, but a team the Ducks hung tough with until the final 20 minutes on Sunday. 

The last game will be a tough one, against the Minnesota Blue Ox.  

The Ducks are a combined 0-7 against these four teams so far, but the team is confident with an improvement on previous efforts and solid goaltending they will contend for victories. 

There will be little reprieve for the Ducks in November as the team follows up the Showcase with nine games in the first three weeks of November including a three-game homestand and a second Showcase event at Merrimack College in Massachusetts before the Thanksgiving Break. 

First game of the weekend will faceoff at 12:30 p.m. Thursday against the Mullets. All Showcase games will be on HockeyTV. 

Ducks squad runs out of gas near finish line

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The ninth and final period of a busy weekend was where the understaffed and not entirely well Dells Ducks team hit a wall on Sunday afternoon. 

With a pair of decent, but ultimately unsuccessful efforts in the Twin Cities against the Minnesota Mullets already under its belt, the Ducks stopped at the Four Seasons Center in Owatonna on the way home Sunday afternoon to take on the host Steele County Blades.

 The Ducks entered the weekend with a depleted roster with several team members either battling or just finished with a cold. Even at 2-2 early and down 4-2 with a period to go, the Ducks ultimately succumbed 8-2.

The Ducks were facing a Blades team that opened the season with five wins in its first eight games but coming off an 11-5 win on home ice against the Minnesota Blue Ox who beat them soundly for a second time already this season. 

The Ducks tried to take advantage in the opening periods, staying with the Blades for the most part, but trailing 3-2 after 20 minutes. The Blades added one more in the second and the game was still up for grabs entering the final 20. But the Ducks were running on empty and got beat four more times although the shot clock showed a somewhat closer margin, 15-11 for the host Blades.  

Overall, the Blades outshot the Ducks 53-28, a margin that while still wide, is staring to be narrowed at both ends. Ducks enjoyed its best weekend in terms of shots on goal so far this season.  

Down 2-0 before the game’s three-minute mark, the Ducks fought back with goals from Bryce Jacobsen and Jayden Tkaczuk 18 seconds apart to even the score at the 7:16 mark. Thomas Howell and Jacob Cartland also collected points with an assist apiece.  

Tanner Stendel paced the Blades’ attack firing three goals and adding three assists for his first six points of the season.  

Anthony Falzone started for the Ducks, stopping 38 shots before Drew Moseley mopped up in the third with another seven stops. 

It would be nice to be able to say the Ducks will get a chance to catch its breath, but instead the team is rolling through its shortest off-week of the season, heading back to Blaine, MN for a four-game weekend at the Midwest-West Showcase.  

Ducks will begin play at 12:30 p.m. Thursday with a rematch against the Mullets, then gets a rematch against the Blades on Friday at 9 a.m. The Ducks will play a second game Friday at 5:40 p.m. against the Rum River Mallards, the first meeting since the opening weekend of the season with this rival. Wrapping up play on Saturday, the Ducks will face off against the Minnesota Blue Ox at 5:40 p.m. 

The Ducks enter the Showcase with a 1-10-0-0 record, in eighth place in the division, three points behind the Mallards and a Hudson Havoc team that has played just four games so far.