Tourney showing vaults Eagles into second half

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

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. 

Luke Mast (left) looks for a way past RWD defender Carsen Brandt during their game at SPARC Tuesday night. Mast is on a torrid offensive pace that could be highlighted with him becoming the second player in team history to reach the 200-point plateau. Photo Courtesy Jessica Othmer.

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. 

Froese sinks overtime winner for Eagles

By Jim den Hollander
Editor/Publisher
Saukhockey.info
Freshman forward Landon Froese fired his second of the game with 5:13 to play in overtime, lifting the Sauk Prairie Eagles to a 5-4 road win at the Onalaska Omni Center Thursday (Dec. 1) night.


The win came in the first game without senior Luke Mast in the lineup and it was an impressive victory against the always strong Onalaska/La Crosse Hilltoppers.
Sidelined with a wrist injury, Mast, who finished among the state leaders in scoring last season had 136 career varsity points.
Hilltoppers hit the board first for the Hilltoppers 8:59 into the contest but Froese fired his first of the contest 25 seconds later from sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner.


Junior Thor Peterson continued that trend later in the period, responding to the second Hilltoppers’ goal again 25 seconds later with his unassisted goal.
Junior Colin Harrington gave the visitors their first lead with a shorthanded goal, unassisted with just over five minutes to play in the opening period.
After a scoreless second period, the Hilltopers pulled even 6:29 into the third and this time it was 31 seconds before Harrington’s second put the Eagles in front again with a set up from junior Garret Mittelsteadt.
For the Hilltoppers, junior Noah Gillette scored twice and senior Carter Hayes notched the other before Gavin Shuster evened it up again with 7:26 to play.
That set the stage for Froese with another unassisted marker in the extra period.
Senior goaltender Kaden Stracke played a big part in this one, stopping 39 shots for his third win of the season in the Eagles’ crease and sophomore Josh Pogreba had 24 saves for the Hilltoppers.


Ironically, with the win, the Eagles have one more win at the Omni Center (2) than at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC). The other win came in the season opener against the Avalanche.
This win came in the first of four-straight road games for the Eagles. The next three for the 3-1 (1-0) will be Badger West Conference match ups at Pierce Park Pavilion against the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds Saturday (Dec. 3), Tuesday at Reedsburg Area Community Arena against the RWD Cheavers and Thursday at LeBahn Arena against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders.
Next home game for the Eagles will also be a conference game as the Monroe Cheesemakers pay a visit Dec. 13.

Mast, Harrington pace Eagles past Panthers

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

On paper they should be about even, but the Sauk Prairie Eagles continued its run of Badger West Conference wins against the Oregon Panthers Tuesday night with a 4-2 doubling in their home opener at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC). 

The Eagles now have three straight wins against the Cats since Badger conferences were realigned to start the 2021-22 campaign. 

Senior Luke Mast and junior Colin Harrington paced the Eagles with two goals apiece in a game the home side never trailed.  

A powerplay solo effort from Mast opened the scoring 7:32 into the match put the Eagles on the board, but Oregon senior Simon Dosher tied it up five seconds from the end of the opening period.  

Mast’s second put the Eagles in front again 7:48 into the second but the Panthers rallied back again, this time just over two minutes later.  

Harrington notched the eventual game winner to give the Eagles its third and final lead of the night 82 seconds from the end of the middle period and he added insurance near the three-minute mark of the final period. The final Eagles’ goal was the only one with set ups, Mast and sophomore Gunnar Nachreiner collected the assists. 

For Mast, the three-point contest gives him five goals and eight points just three games into the season. 

Senior Kaden Stracke stopped 23 shots to collect his second win of the season while Oregon junior Nate McAlpine made 19 saves. 

The Eagles moved to 2-1 on the season with the win and 1-0 in Badger West play while the Panthers fell to 1-1 and 0-1 in league play. The Panthers will play its first home game Friday, entertaining the RWD Cheavers in another conference battle.  

The Eagles will go back on the road for its next four games, beginning Tuesday (Dec. 1) at the Onalaska Omni against the Onalaska/La Crosse Hilltoppers with a 7 p.m. puck drop. Following that the Eagles will play Badger West Conference matches Saturday at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo Saturday, at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) Tuesday (Dec. 6) and LeBahn Arena in Madison against the Edgewood Crusaders Thursday, Dec. 8. 

Next home game will be Dec. 13 at SPARC against Monroe Cheesemakers, another conference tilt. 

WAHA State Preview — Sauk Prairie Bantam ‘A’ Flyers

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

Sauk Prairie Flyers Bantam ‘A’ Flyers 23-12-1 

Many, if not all members of the Sauk Prairie Bantam ‘A’ Flyers will be wrapping up the youth hockey portion of their respective hockey careers at the WAHA Bantam 3A State Championship in Marshfield this weekend. 

The team wrapped up the lone Region 4 spot at the state tournament on Feb. 6 with a 4-2 edge against the RWD Cheavers in Sun Prairie. The day prior, the Cheavers earned its spot in the regional championship game with a 2-1 win (shootout) against the Monroe Avalanche.  

The local bantam squad is tournament tested heading to Marshfield, putting up a record of 5-3 since the regional tournament and claiming the Bantam Championship at the Ultimate Tournaments Dairyland Classic on Feb. 20. 

The Flyers move on to Marshfield as one of eight teams, beginning its state championship run against Ashland (25-9-3) at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. 

Each team will play twice on Saturday, the Flyers hitting the ice again at either 6:30 p.m. or 8:15 p.m. against either the Tomah/Sparta (15-7-1 – incomplete) bantams or the host Marshfield Blades (no statistics available), depending on first round results.  

Other teams included in the state tournament include the Tomahawk bantam Hatchets (no statistics available), Shawano Lightning (8-9-3 – incomplete), Somerset Spartans (21-10-5) and Waupun Youth Hockey (11-20-2). 

Teams will return Sunday for four final games, beginning with the 7th Place match at 9 a.m. and wrapping at 1:30 with the puck drop on the WAHA Bantam 3A State Championship game.  

Representing the Sauk Prairie Flyers will be Quinn Payne; Brock Hill; Blayze Caldwell; Taitym Banta; Douglas Jolicoeur; Gavin Goetsch; Landon Froese; Greyden Schomber; Austin Klemm; Joshua Mast; Rylan Burch; Carl Weiss; Benjamin Hanko and Cameron McInerney. 

Marshfield Area Ice Arena does have LiveBarn available so all 12 games should be available online. 

Saukhockey.info would like to wish the Sauk Prairie Bantam ‘A’ Flyers luck this weekend in Marshfield. 

The Sauk Prairie Bantam Flyers prepared for the WAHA Bantam 3A State Championship tournament with a championship run at the Ultimate Tournament Dairyland Classic Classic played in local arena, including SPARC February 18-21.

WAHA State Preview — Sauk Prairie Squirt ‘A’ Flyers

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

This is the first of six previews of WAHA State Championship tournaments involving local youth teams this weekend. 

Sauk Prairie Squirt ‘A’ Flyers 18-10-2 (some game results missing) – Shawano 

The Squirt ‘A’ Flyers will be representing Region 4 at the State Squirt 3A tournament to be held in Shawano.  

The local squad was the top seed heading into the Region 4 playdowns, drawing a bye through the semi-final and straight to the finals.  

The other finalist spot went to the RWD Cheavers who downed the Monroe Avalanche 8-2. The Flyers played host to the Cheavers in the Regional Championship match, collecting a 5-4 win. 

All eight teams at the state championship tournament will play twice on Saturday. The Flyers will be in the third game of the day, against the Ashland Youth Hockey Squirts (18-18-1) at 11:30 a.m. at the Crawford Center in Shawano.   

The teams faced each other for the first and only time this season this past weekend at a tournament in Ashland. A 9-3 win for the Flyers allows them to carry momentum into its opening game. 

The second game of the day for the Flyers will be at either 4:30 or 5:45 p.m. and against either the Somerset Spartans (24-18-3) or the Lakeland Hawks (no statistics available) all depending on the teams’ performances in their opening game.  

The other four teams taking part in Shawano include the Marshfield Youth Hockey Association Squirts (No statistics available); Shawano Lightning (No statistics available); Beaver Dam Golden Beavers (14-12-1) and the Waupaca Area Youth Hockey Association Squirts (33-11-4). 

The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday with the final game of the day facing off at 5:45 p.m.  

Sunday will start with the seventh-place contest at 9 a.m. and wrap up with the state championship match at 1:30 p.m.  

All 12 games at the Crawford Center will be available on LiveBarn. 

Sauk Prairie Squirt ‘A’ Flyers include: Henry Zuelke; Bryce Argall; Isabelle Jolicoeur; Kelton Royster; Brayton Bahe; Luke Hager; Teresa Weiss; Mason Ramirez; Milo Donaldson; Oswald Tippery; Joshua Freeman; Cashton Suchla; Jonathon Bromley and Jaydon Teague. 

Saukhockey.info wants to wish the Sauk Prairie ‘A’ Flyers good luck at their State Tournament in Shawano this weekend. 

Eagles wrap up great run in a super conference

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

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. 

Eagles can’t stop Crusader’s juggernaut

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The final hurdle between the Madison Edgewood Crusaders and a perfect Badger West Conference season, the Sauk Prairie Eagles were unable to stop the freight train who wrapped up the inaugural conference title with a 9-2 edge at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) on Thursday (Feb. 8). 

The visitors started quick with two goals in the first seven minutes and one more before Luke Mast fired his 27th and final goal of the regular season from senior Erik Peterson. 

The Crusaders added one more before the end of the period owned a 5-1 cushion when senior Micah Hanson scored with assists to senior Nick Mast and junior Luke halfway through the middle frame.  

Two goals six seconds apart had Edgewood up 7-2 by the end of the second and two more down the stretch wrapped it up.  

The Crusaders held a 40-18 edge in shots in the contest, junior Kaden Stracke facing 37 before junior Brooks McInerney came on for the final 5:48 stopping two of three. 

The win was further proof to anyone who doubted the Crusaders deserved the top seed in Division 1, Section 3 and both teams clicked into playoff mode after the regular season finale.  

The Eagles finished a solid 17-4 regular season, all four losses coming in Badger West Conference matches. The Crusaders finished at 21-3 with a 10-0 record in Badger West Conference matches.  

The Eagles move into the 2022 WIAA post season as the Section’s fifth seed. They will entertain the DeForest Norskies on Tuesday in the Regional semi-finals, the winner moving on to play either RWD Cheavers or Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds on Thursday night in one of four Regional Championship matches in Section 3. 

Schaetzl stops 51 for T-birds but its not quite enough

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The Baraboo Thunderbirds got a standout effort in goal and came up with one of its best offensive nights as well but fell just short against the visiting Aquinas/Holmen Avalanche at Pierce Park Pavilion on Tuesday (Feb. 8) night. 

Thunderbirds came up with 30 shots in the game, one of its best totals this season, but counted heavily on senior Andrew Schaetzl in goal who stopped 51 of 54 Avs’ shots to keep it close.  

Schaetzl stopped 19 of 21 in the opening period to allow the Thunderbirds a chance to come out of the opening 17-minutes down just 2-1 despite a 21-7 edge on the shots board for the visitors. 

Juniors Tanner Bass and Ethan Meyer scored 11 seconds apart to give the Avalanche a 2-0 lead early in the contest, but Thunderbirds senior Oliver Scanlan converted a feed from senior Gabe Fitzwilliams to cut the lead in half later in the period.  

First year Avs’ forward Casey Keane restored the two-goal margin early in the second period but once again the T-Birds cut into the lead, this time Fitzwilliams pulling the trigger with an assist for sophomore Carson Zick. 

Teams battled through an even third period, the Avalanche with a narrow 14-13 edge in shots, the final one an empty net goal for junior Evan Johnson nine seconds before the final buzzer.  

Thunderbirds fell to 4-19 with the loss to the Avalanche who boosted its own record to 9-14. 

Thunderbirds will play one final regular season game Thursday in Waupun against the host Warriors on Thursday (Feb. 10) before opening the post season on Tuesday in Lake Delton against the RWD Cheavers.  

Froese paces Bantam ‘A’ Flyers at Tomah tourney

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

After a lopsided opening win, the Sauk Prairie Bantam ‘A’ Flyers engaged in a pair of close battles on its way to a third place showing at a tournament in Tomah this past weekend.  

The Eagles played twice Saturday, collecting a 7-0 shutout win in its opener against Black River Falls Tigers before dropping a heartbreaker in overtime 5-4 against the Sheboygan Lakers.  

On Sunday, the Flyers engaged in another close battle, capturing third place honors with a 5-4 win against the La Crescent (MN) Lancers in a game that came down to a shootout. 

Flyers 7 Tigers 0  

The Flyers carried a 2-0 lead out of the first period against the Tigers, adding three more in the second and two more down the stretch. 

Landon Froese led the way in this one, scoring three and adding an assist while Brock Hill notched two and added an assist. 

Josh Mast and Gavin Goetsch sank the other Flyers’ goals. Quinn Payne collected a playmaker with three assists with other help coming from Blayze Caldwell and Ben Hanko.  

Taitym Banta picked up the goose egg in goal stopping all seven shots from the Tigers. 

Flyers 4 Lakers 5 (ot) 

Froese enjoyed another big game later Saturday, his third goal of the game coming with 3:31 to play, pulling the Flyers even and sending the game to overtime. Unfortunately, it was the Lakers notching the game winner with 2:28 to go in the overtime frame. 

Teams were even at 2-2 after a period and the Lakers led 3-2 heading to the final frame. 

Caldwell fired the other Flyers’ goals with assists for Hill, Greydon Schomber and AJ Klemm. Banta made 20 saves in goal for the Flyers.  

Flyers 5 Lancers 4 (so) 

The script was similar Sunday morning, but this time it was the Flyers who saw a late goal against sending the game to overtime and finally, a shootout. 

Teams were deadlocked at 1-1 after a period but the Flyers carried a 4-2 lead to the third. The Lancers didn’t surrender, finally pulling even with 3:28 to play and sending the game to overtime.  

The extra session solved nothing, and teams went to a shootout where Mast and Weiss both fired goals to clinch the Flyers’ win. 

Caldwell, Hill, Mast and Hanko notched the regulation goals, Hill adding an assist. Payne set up a pair of regulation goals with other assists for Goetsch, Carl Weiss, Klemm and Cam McInerney. 

The weekend results boosted the Bantam ‘A’ Flyers season record to 17-9-1 and the team will be looking to punch its ticket to the State 3A Bantam Championship tournament, playing host to either RWD Cheavers or Monroe Avalanche at Sun Prairie Tubbs Rink Sunday at 11:15 (see story above). 

Nick Mast hatty enough to Eagles against T-Birds

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Sauk Prairie Eagles kept a long winning streak alive but got a strong push back from the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds at Pierce Park Pavilion on Tuesday (Jan. 25). 

The team’s hottest shooter of late, senior Nick Mast fired all three Eagles goals, the lone goal of the first period and two more in the middle period before Thunderbirds’ sophomore Carson Zick fired his team’s only goal late in the second period. 

Sauk junior Luke Mast collected a couple assists in the game with others for senior Erik Peterson and sophomore Steven Romaker.

Senior Oliver Scanlan and sophomore Dylann Carpenter picked up assists for the Thunderbirds.

T-Birds’ senior goaltender Andrew Schaetzl stopped 29 of 32 shots he faced including all 16 thrown at him in the third period while Eagles’ junior goaltender Brooks McInerney picked up with the win with 10 stops. 

The Eagles’ extended its current winning streak to 11 games, dating back to Dec. 20 and boosted its overall record to 14-2 and its conference record to 5-2.  

The Eagles have five games remaining to play, beginning Tuesday (Feb. 1) when the RWD Cheavers, one of only two teams to defeat the Eagles this season, pay a visit to Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) at 7 p.m.  

Thunderbirds drop to 3-16 on the season so far and 1-7 in Badger West Conference play. The team will play a pair on the road, Thursday (Jan. 27 at McFarland) and Tuesday (Feb. 1) at SLICE in Monroe, before returning to the Pierce Park Pavilion to take on Madison Edgewood Feb. 4.  

Following those three games, the Thunderbirds will have two left on its regular season schedule.