Both Flyers bantam squads wrap up at State tourneys

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Both Sauk Prairie Flyers Bantam teams made the trip to their respective State Championship tournaments this past weekend both the Bantam ‘A’ and Bantam ‘B’ Flyers returning home with Consolation Final hardware. 

Both also faced a tough opening round opponent, going to the Consolation side of the draw with tough losses to eventual State Championship finalists. 

The procedure was the same at every state tournament played last weekend, each team playing twice on Saturday and returning for one final match on Sunday. 

In Shawano at the WAHA State 3A Championship tournament, the Bantam ‘A’ Flyers dropped a 5-2 decision to Ashland before bouncing back with a 7-3 decision against Marshfield Youth Hockey Blades. In the Consolation Championship game, the Flyers handled Waupun by a 7-2 score.  

The Ashland bantams moved to the State Championship game before falling 3-2 against Tomahawk. 

The weekend results wrapped up the WAHA season for the Bantam ‘A’ Flyers who posted a record of 25-13-1.

The Bantam ‘B’ Flyers were moved up from the WAHA State 3B to 3A Championship event facing some tougher caliber teams, due to a lack of teams at the 3B level.  

After dropping a 4-2 decision to the River Falls Wildcats in its opening game the Flyers rebounded with a 6-2 win against the New Richmond Tigers. 

That advanced the Flyers to the State Consolation Final where they handled the Mosinee Pride by a 6-4 score. 

Flyers 2 Wildcats 4  

The Flyers played the Cats even through a period, both teams scoring once. The Wildcats notched the lone goal of the second then outscored the Flyers through the final 15 minutes by a 2-1 margin. 

The first period Flyers’s goal came from Tucker Acker on a feed from Jacob Wilhelm and the other Flyers’ goal was scored by Caleb Chetwood with an assist for Lucas Rehlinger. 

Ethan Goodman handled the work in goal for the Flyers, stopping 29 of 33 shots. 

The loss moved the Flyers to the Consolation side of the draw.  

Flyers 6 Tigers 2  

In the second-round game, played later on Saturday, the Flyers jumped in to a 3-1 first period lead and never looked back, adding one more unanswered marker in the second and outscoring the Tigers 2-1 down the stretch.  

Slater Denu opened the scoring for the Flyers and set up the other two first period goals, scored by Ryan Flynn and Ryan Jorgenson before wrapping up his own hat trick with both third period goals.  

The second period goal came from Chetwood with help from Greyson Dunn. Flynn and Dunn both collected assists as well.  

Goodman stopped a dozen of the 14 shots he faced to help move the Flyers into the Consolation Final. 

Flyers 6 Pride 4  

On Sunday, the Pride and Flyers were even at 2-2 after a period and still knotted at 3-3 heading to the final period.  

The Flyers finally grabbed control with two goals in the opening 2:36 of the final period, then matched then another in the middle of the period before Mosinee added one more in the final six minutes. 

This time it was Chetwood with the hat trick to wrap up a five-goal weekend with goals in all three contests. Denu fired a pair and Tyler Jorgenson fired the Flyers’ first goal of the contest. Gavin Krueger chipped in three assists with others for Jacob Wiegmann and Flynn.  

Goodman backstopped the win with 26 saves, including 14 of 15 in a wild third period. 

The Bantam ‘B’ Flyers’ weekend record finished their season at 22-11-1. It was the final youth event for Chetwood, Flynn, Wilhelm, Acker and Denu who will all move under the Eagles’ umbrella next season. 

Cheavers-Red Raiders squaring off again in Monk’s final

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Another two goals for junior John Scott and the third shutout of the season for senior Cooper Oakes helped the RWD Cheavers reach the prime stage to defend its 2020 Monk’s Cheeseburger crown. 

A 3-0 win in its semi-final set up a date with the Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders Wednesday (Dec. 30) at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. 

The path to the final went through the Kenosha Thunder and while the game was not clinched until late, the Cheavers were in control the whole way, outshooting the Thunder by a 49-11 margin.  

Thunder junior goaltender Zach Mitchell was the busiest man in the barn, kicking out 46 shots but once again it was the trio of Scott, senior Tomas Korndorfer and sophomore Brady Baldwin who solved the goaltender. 

Scott fired both the game winner 7:43 into the opening period and the clincher, early in the third Korndorfer notching the middle goal, also in the first period and assisting on the final goal. Baldwin set up Korndorfer’s tally. 

After wearing out a path to the sin bin the previous night, the Cheavers produced a more disciplined effort against Kenosha as the two teams combined for six minutes of infractions, just one minor called against the locals. 

The win sets up the final against the Red Raiders, the same team RWD defeated for the burgers last season. 

Teams met in Rapids to open this season, the Red Raiders rallying back from an early 2-0 deficit to pull out a 3-2 edge. The Raiders outshot RWD 36-15 on that night and have brushed aside La Crescent-Hokah and Onalaska by a 17-5 margin in its first two games at the Monk’s tourney. 

Other Games  

The second game for the Red Raiders was a lopsided 7-1 win against Onalaska on Tuesday. They carried Lout of the opening period and added another before the Hilltoppers scored its only goal. 

Senior goaltender Dakota Blasky stopped 26 shots for the Red Raiders with two goal games for senior Carson Gunderson and junior Trevor Vilbaum. Gunderson also collected two assists.  

The game’s first game, saw La Crescent-Hokah Lancers picking up a 5-4 win in overtime against the McFarland Spartans and River Falls Wildcats bounced back from its opening game loss to RWD with a 7-1 win against Tomah/Sparta. 

Scott hat trick leads Cheavers past Wildcats

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD Cheavers opened play at the Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic ready to defend its title and putting together what might have been its best 51-minutes of the season so far this season. 

Led by a junior John Scott who fired his first varsity hat trick and 22 stops on 23 shots for senior goaltender Cooper Oakes, the Cheavers got by the River Falls Wildcats, a team they had never faced before. 

RWD dominated the contest from start to finish, including a long stretch in the middle period played one or two skaters short. After a lackadaisical final five minutes of the second which allowed the Wildcats a chance to score its lone goal, the Cheavers responded with a renewed vigor in the final period, turning a 3-1 cushion into the 5-1 final. 

Juniors Caden and Carsen Brandt had the set ups on the game’s first goal, scoring by senior C.J. Pfaff and Scott fired the other two first period goals, the first on a feed from senior Tomas Korndorfer. 

The Cheavers re-established control with a 14-3 edge in shots through the final 17-, minutes and it paid off with goals from Scott and junior defenseman Logan DeMars.  

Korndorfer collected assists on both third period goals and sophomore Brady Baldwin, the third man on the line with Scott and Korndorfer, also picked up one. 

Other Scores  

The first day of the tournament began with Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders collecting a 10-4 win against the La Crescent-Hokah Lancers, an independent Minnesota team. 

Sophomore Carson Gause led the Raiders with four goals and two assists, first year Pagel Jax scored a pair. 

In the second game, Noah Clemment turned aside all 29 shots he faced and junior Gavin Schuster scored four to lead the Onalaska Hilltoppers to a 6-0 shutout against the McFarland Spartans.  

The third game was the closest of the day, the Kenosha Thunder holding off a late rally by Tomah/Sparta for a 2-1 edge. First-year goaltender Mark Michelson stopped 33 of 34 to lead his team to the win despite a massive 34-12 edge in shots for Tomah/Sparta who didn’t find a way past him until late in the final period. 

Monk’s Culver’s and Mullet Cup tournaments

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

RWD, Baraboo/Portage and Sauk Prairie varsity teams will all hit the tournament trail this week, seeing some different teams and getting a break from their respective conference schedules. 

RWD Cheavers will once again host the annual Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic. The 12th version of the tournament will see it once again as an eight-team event after being trimmed to four last season. 

The tournament has been an important launching pad for the Cheavers in past seasons. They won the first tournament and rolled from that to a state championship berth. In 2014-15, a team much like this season’s Cheavers carried a 4-3-1 record into the Monk’s tournament and turned three wins to win the title into an 18-game unbeaten streak that didn’t end until the State championship quarterfinals. 

The Cheavers will begin its latest version of the tournament in the final game of the day on Dec. 28 against the River Falls Wildcats at 7:30 p.m.  

Meanwhile the Sauk Prairie Eagles will begin play at the annual Culver’s Cup, playing out of Hartmeyer Ice Arena and Madison Ice Arena.  

The Eagles will begin at 2:45 p.m. against the Oshkosh Ice Hawks. 

Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds will begin the following day at a tournament in Hartland. 

Here is a little information on the local tournament and the other ones as well.  

Monks’s Cheeseburger Classic  

Lake Delton Ice Arena

Tuesday, Dec. 28  

Game 1 — 12 p.m. — Wisconsin Rapids Red Raiders (5-3, 2-2 Wisconsin Valley) vs. La Crescent-Hokah Lancers 4-2, Minnesota Independent) 

Game 2 — 2:30 p.m. — McFarland Spartans (4-5, 3-2 Badger East) vs. Onalaska Hilltoppers (3-4, 1-1 Mississippi Valley) 

Game 3 — 5 p.m. — Tomah Sparta (3-5, 1-0 Mississippi Valley) vs. Kenosha Thunder (4-2, 0-1 Classic Eight) 

Game 4 — 7:30 p.m. — RWD Cheavers (6-5, 3-2 Badger West) vs. River Falls Wildcats  (3-5, 0-4 Big Rivers)

Wednesday, Dec. 29 

Game 5 – 12 p.m. – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 

Game 6 – 2:30 p.m. — Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2  

Game 7 – 5 p.m. — Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 

Game 8 – 7:30 p.m. — Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 

Thursday, Dec. 30 

Game 9 – 10 a.m. — Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 7 

Game 10 – 12:30 p.m. — Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 7 

Game 11 – 3 p.m. — Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 8 

Game 12 – 5:30 p.m. — Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 8 

Culver’s Cup – Varsity Boys Division  

Tuesday Dec. 28 – Quarterfinals  

Game 1 – 2:45 p.m. — Sauk Prairie Eagles (6-2, 2-2 Badger West) vs. Oshkosh Ice Hawks (3-4, 2-1 Badgerland) — MIA 

Game 2 – 7:45 p.m. — Madison West Regents (3-7, 3-4 Big Eight) vs. Marshfield Tigers (6-3-1, 2-1 Wisconsin Valley) — MIA  

Game 3 – 5:15 p.m. — Marquette Hilltoppers (6-1, 1-0 Classic Eight) vs. Madison Memorial Spartans (4-6, 3-3 Big Eight) — MIA 

Game 4 – 7:45 p.m. — Ashland Oredockers (4-5, Independent) vs. Monona Grove Silver Eagles (3-5, 2-3 Badger East) — Hartmeyer 

Wednesday Dec. 29 – Semi Finals 

Game 5 – 12:15 p.m. — Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – MIA 

Game 6 – 2:45 p.m. — Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – MIA 

Game 7 – 5:15 p.m. — Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 – MIA 

Game 8 – 7:45 p.m. — Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 – MIA 

Thursday, Dec. 30 – Finals  

7th Place Game – 4:45 p.m. — Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 7 – Hartmeyer 

5th Place Game – 4:45 p.m. — Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 7 – MIA 

3rd Place Game – 7:15 p.m. — Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 8 – Hartmeyer  

Championship Game – 7:15 p.m. — Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 8 – MIA 

Mullet Cup  

Howard G. Mullet Ice Center – Hartland, WI 

There will be four teams in this two-day event.  

On Dec. 29, the first game will pit the Homestead Highlanders (5-5, 0-0 North Shore) against the Sheboygan Red Raiders (3-9, 0-3 Fox River) at 4:45 p.m. followed by the Baraboo-Portage Thunderbirds (2-7, 1-2 Badger West) against the Arrowhead Warhawks (6-2, 0-0 Classic Eight). 

Game times and match ups for the Consolation and Championship game on Dec. 30 are still TBA as of press time.  

Badger Lightning 

The Lightning will not be in a tournament this season, but locals get a look at them at Pierce Park Pavilion on Wednesday at 5 p.m. when they play host to the Northern Pines Eagles at Pierce Park Pavilion wrapping up a three-game homestand. 

High expectations for Cheavers in 2021-22

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD varsity hockey team, representing Reedsburg, Wisconsin Dells and Mauston High Schools is rolling into its 12th season as a co-operative squad and once again, the bar has been set high by Head Coach Neil Mattson and his charges.  

With a large group of seniors that have reached some lofty plateaus since they were young and a great supporting cast, the Cheavers appear to have all the bases – offense, defense and goaltending – covered heading into the season. 

Mattson and the Reedsburg Area High School Athletic Director Bryan Yager have worked to put together as tough a schedule as possible each season and the 2021-22 campaign will see the addition of teams like the Onalaska Hilltoppers, River Falls Wildcats, Eau Claire North Huskies and Ashland Oredockers while still maintaining the other already tough non-conference schedule. 

The realignment of the Badger Conferences will see Waunakee Warriors, Deforest Norskies and Beaver Dam Golden Beavers moving out while the always tough Madison Edgewood Crusaders, Oregon Panthers and Monroe Cheesemakers will join the Cheavers, Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds and Sauk Prairie Eagles in what should be a difficult conference with no easy matches. 

Last season, the Cheavers put together an 11-8 regular season record in a tough season due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place. There was no official Badger Conference play, but there was a playoff schedule. After defeating the Middleton Cardinals in the opening round, the Cheavers fell in the Regional Finals to the Sauk Prairie Eagles.  

The team has been hit with a pair of injuries that will keep a pair of key players out of the lineup, but Mattson remains confident this team can overcome the adversity and move forward.  

Senior forward Trevor Slaght was injured on the biggest stage, as a member of the Janesville Jets 18U team playing and winning a USA Hockey National Championship in Green Bay in April. An ACL injury will sideline the speedy forward until at least January although he has been taking part in non-contact drills with the team since practices started last week. 

“He is a big asset to the offense when he returns,” said Mattson in a pre-season interview. “Trevor is one of the hardest working young men. He has the ability for next level and has been working very hard to return this season.” 

Also lost is junior defenseman Carsen Brandt who suffered a shoulder injury during the football season, requiring surgery that will have him sidelined for the entire 2021-22 hockey schedule. 

“He is going to be missed,” said Mattson adding he is one of the team’s top defenders. “But, thankfully, he will have his senior (2022-23) season. 

We have high expectations this season,” said the Coach. “Our mentality now is ‘next man up.’ We have a fantastic group of kids working hard this season.” 

To begin the campaign, the defense will likely include a group of five – Seniors CJ Pfaff, Ty Thompson and Grant Marsich along with sophomores Izak Elder and Mark Othmer, looking to carry the load with the loss of Brandt and the graduation of Schyvinck. 

Up front, it appears junior Caden Brandt and sophomore Brady Baldwin will stay together after teaming up with Ely last season as a potent trio. Junior Logan DeMars is penciled in as the third member of the unit this season.  

Junior John Scott, sophomore Trey Lariden and senior Tomas Korndofer are slated to play together as well with another line including junior Yevgeny Dedun, senior Mitchell Henke and junior Caleb Eastman will make up a line that will have as much responsibility on the defensive end as it does contribute to the offense.  

Senior Cooper Oakes will enter an already great run with the varsity team, five games shy of Tyler Arneson’s games played record (70) and he already holds the team records for wins (34); Shots (1,703), Saves (1,538) and Shutouts (9). The senior leader will also help in the grooming of freshman Alexander Griebe, who will take the torch in the future. 

The varsity team will hit the ice in West Salem for a scrimmage session Thursday with the host West Salem Panthers and Deforest Norskies. 

The Junior Varsity squad will kick off its season at RACA Monday (November 22) against Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds and both teams will make the trip to Wisconsin Rapids to play the Red Raiders the following day.  

First home game for the Cheavers will be against the Onalaska Hilltoppers on Nov. 30. 

RWD Cheavers varsity players take a break from practice for a chalk talk from Head Coach Neil Mattson.

RWD faces tough schedule in 2021-22

By Jim den Hollander

Editor/Publisher

Saukhockey.info

The focus of high school sports is currently fall sports – football, cross country, boys’ soccer, girl’s golf and tennis, swimming, and volleyball.

We know several players from local teams are already taking part in before/after programs and varsity high school teams will be stepping on the ice in the next few days or weeks to begin captain’s practices, allowing students to begin preparing for their upcoming seasons.

For the RWD Cheavers, the actual season will begin Nov. 5 with a get together at Monk’s with practices getting underway three days later.

The annual pre-season scrimmages will take place at West Salem with both the host Panthers and DeForest Norskies taking part.

For the seventh time in nine seasons, the Cheavers will open the campaign against the Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln Red Raiders. The other two times the teams squared off in the second game of the campaign. This time around the game will be played at the South Wood County Recreation Center.

New this season will be a Thanksgiving Weekend tournament in Somerset and the other Holiday tournament, the annual Monk’s Cheeseburger Classic will return to its normal eight-team field with several new teams raising the caliber of the event.

The Somerset event will involve both the varsity and junior varsity teams with other teams from Eau Claire North, New Richmond and of course, the host Somerset teams taking part.

The RWD varsity team will open the event on Nov. 26 against the Eau Claire North Huskies immediately followed by the JV Cheavers against the New Richmond JV Tigers.  Opponents and start times for the second day will depend on game results.

The Monk’s Battle for the Cheeseburger Classic will see familiar teams like Wisconsin Rapids, Tomah, McFarland, and Kenosha, but will also this season involve the Onalaska Hilltoppers, La Crescent Lancers and River Falls Wildcats.

Here is a look at the RWD Cheavers’ schedule as of Sept. 1. Games and start times are subject to change between now and the start of the season.

One different thing this season will be the Badger Conference Challenge which will pit teams from the Badger West against the Badger East. Opponents and start times will be determined based on standings at the time and the site is still to be determined as well. It will be played Jan. 15.

Badger West Conference games are in bold type.

November

23 — @ Wisconsin Rapids

26-27 — @ Somerset Spartans Holiday Tournament

30 — vs. Onalaska Hilltoppers

December

3 – vs. Edgewood Crusaders

7 – vs. Baraboo Thunderbirds

9 — @ Monroe Cheesemakers

11 – vs. Baldwin-Woodville Hawks

14 — @ Oregon Panthers

17 – vs. Sauk Prairie Eagles

21 — @ Tomah Timberwolves

28-30 MONK’S BATTLE FOR THE CHEESEBURGER CLASSIC

January 2022

4 — @ Waupaca Comets

6 or 8 — @ Edgewood Crusaders

11 — @ Baraboo Thunderbirds

15 — @ Badger Conference Challenge

20 – vs. Monroe Cheesemakers

25 – vs. Oregon Panthers

27-29 JV Tournament at Lake Delton Ice Arena (Hosted by DeForest)

February

1 – @ Sauk Prairie Eagles (JV @ Monroe)

4 — @ Hayward Hurricanes

5 — @ Ashland Oredockers

8 – vs. Janesville Bluebirds