By Jim den Hollander
Jimmy D’s Notes
With two teams still competing from the Badger West Conference, it confirms the division’s status as one of the best in the state this season. It was a wild season with four teams boasting stellar lineups with key players in their final season of varsity play
Hockey is no different from any other varsity sport where seniors play a big role as leaders, but there is seldom a season with so many top-notch seniors playing in the same conference.
The last Sauk County based team, the Sauk Prairie Eagles had seven seniors in their lineup including top line forwards Nick Mast and Erik Peterson who both spend off season time with Team Wisconsin along with Micah Hanson, a top six forward and regular contributor who wrapped up a great final season before moving on to his primary sport in the fall as a division 1 lacrosse player. Defensively the team relied heavily on Hakon Peterson who did double duty, protecting his own end while contributing 13 goals to the offense as well. Porter Kreul showed leadership in a supporting and set up role. Forward Brody Wolfe and utility player Brandon Mittelsteadt were both limited in games played this season but made their presence felt whenever they were able to play.
Past Performance and the talent level of the incoming seniors and juniors made the Sauk Prairie Eagles a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, they came along in a season and in a conference filled with talent. The RWD Cheavers had a ton of senior talent as well while the Edgewood Crusaders are among the Division 1 Final Four while the Oregon Panthers will play in their division 2 Sectional final on Saturday. This was an amazing year for all four teams and the Badger West Conference overall.
The Eagles finished this season with a 19-5 record overall. All five of their defeats came against Badger West opponents – three against the Crusaders and twice against the Cheavers. Also, this was the third straight season the Eagles were eliminated in the Sectional semis. The first two were both against the Verona Wildcats who both times reached the State Championship game, winning in 2019-20 and finishing as runner up last season. Ironically, the Madison Edgewood Crusaders were Verona’s victim in the Sectional Championship game on both occasions.
By Jim den Hollander
Three goals in the opening six minutes of the final period helped the Sauk Prairie Eagles varsity hockey team turn a close 3-2 match into a comfortable 6-2 margin in their opening WIAA Division 1 playoff encounter against the DeForest Norskies at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Tuesday (Feb. 15).
While the score was close, the shot clock showed a dominating effort by the Eagles who ultimately carried a 51-17 margin on the shot clock.
DeForest senior Alex Kaminski did his job and more, helping the visitors stay within a goal despite a 34-12 edge through the first two periods.
Junior Luke Mast fired the goal that stood up as the game winner 8:53 into the second period, just 45 seconds after Gabriel Larson, a junior from Lodi pulled his team even at 2-2 with what would be the final Norskie goal of the season.
The younger Mast brother added four assists in the contest while senior Nick Mast fired two goals and set up a pair as well. Rounding out the top line was senior Erik Peterson who also contributed two goals and two helpers.
The other Eagles’ goal came from defender Hakon Peterson who also collected an assist in the contest. Another senior, Porter Kreul picked up an assist for the Eagles.
Scoring the other DeForest goal in the opening period was senior Preston Nichols.
Eagles’ juniors Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInerney shared the work in goal, McInerney coming on for the final 9:13, facing three shots after Stracke stopped a dozen shots playing into the final period.
With the win, the now 18-4 Eagles advance to one of four Section 4 Regional finals, Thursday (Feb. 17) at 7 p.m. at RACA in Reedsburg against the 19-6 RWD Cheavers. Winner of that game will advance to Sectional semis next week against either Madison Edgewood Crusaders or the Sun Prairie Cardinals.
The season wraps up for the Norskies who finish the season with a 7-13-1 overall record.
By Jim den Hollander
The Sauk Prairie Eagles made the trip to Monroe’s SLICE Arena worthwhile, collecting an 11-2 win against the host Cheesemakers in Badger West conference action on Monday (Feb. 7).
The host Cheesemakers hit the board first, but the Eagles responded with three before the end of the first period and five more unanswered goals in the middle frame.
The Cheesemakers hit the board first again in the final period, but the Eagles piled on another three before the final buzzer sounded and dominated the contest overall with a 49-13 edge in shots on goal.
Junior forward Luke Mast enjoyed another huge game for the Eagles, scoring five and setting up another pair while senior brother Nick Mast fired three and assisted on another and rounding out the team’s explosive first line was Erik Peterson with a goal and five helpers. As a unit, they combined for a 17-point night at the office.
Sophomore Thor Peterson scored and added two assists, junior Ethan Tranel scoring the other Eagles’ goal and senior defenseman Hakon Peterson collecting three assists. Seniors Porter Kreul and Micah Hanson had assists as well along with sophomores Colin Harrington and Karsyn Banta.
The Cheesemakers had two goals from sophomore Cole Buholzer.
In goal, junior Brooks McInerney collected the win with 11 stops.
The Eagles boosted its overall record to 17-3 with the win and the team will be back in action Tuesday (Feb. 8) with a non-conference test at SPARC before wrapping it up two nights later with one last shot at knocking off the undefeated (in Badger West Conference play) Madison Edgewood Crusaders.
The Cheesemakers fell to 2-20 in regular season action and finished a winless (0-10) Badger West campaign with one more regular season contest at home to the DeForest Norskies on Friday (Feb. 11).
By Jim den Hollander
The Sauk Prairie Eagles boosted its record to 3-0 on the season and collected its first Badger West Conference win with a 9-0 shutout against the visiting Monroe Cheesemakers Thursday (Dec. 2) at the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC).
Up 4-0 after a period, the Eagles added two more in the middle period and put it away with another three down the stretch.
A rare shared shutout saw junior goaltenders Brooks McInerney and Kaden Stracke for a combined 13-save effort.
On the score sheet, junior Luke Mast led the charge with a hat trick and three assists in the contest while senior Nick Mast collected two goals and two helpers.
Senior Hakon Peterson finished with three assists, senior Micah Hanson collecting a goal and assist. Other goals came from junior Landon Clary, senior Brandon Mittelstedt and sophomore Thor Peterson.
Sophomore Colin Harrington, freshman Gunnar Nachreiner and senior Porter Kreul picked up assists for the Eagles who have now outcored opponents 24-7 in its first three contests.
This game was the first of five straight conterence matches for the Eagles. The tough assignment ahead is a trip to LaBahn Arena in Madison to take on the 2-1 Madison Edgewood Crusaders.
Next home game for the Eagles will be Thursday (Dec. 9) against the Oregon Panthers at 7 p.m.
By Jim den Hollander
Coming off a big win on home ice to open the WIAA regular season, the Sauk Prairie Eagles took its act up the Beltline and crushed the Madison West Regents 8-2 on Friday (Nov. 26) at Madison Ice Arena.
The Eagles fired three unanswered first period goals and four more in the second to all but settle this contest.
Senior Nick Mast scored three and set up another for the Eagles while brother Luke, a junior also collected four points with a goal and three helpers. Senior Micah Hanson scored a pair with other Eagles goals coming from senior defenseman Hakon Peterson and freshman Gunnar Nachreiner.
Senior Porter Kreul set up a pair and junior goaltender Brooks McInerney collected his first varsity win of the season with 15 saves.
The Eagles boosted its record to 2-0 and head into Badger West Conference play beginning Thursday with a visit from the Monroe Cheesemakers at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC).