Jones first tally is Ducks’ game winner

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Jackson Jones (‘04/Bloomer, Wis.) couldn’t have picked a better time to score his first goal for the Dells Ducks. 

The defenseman’s shot from the blue line went off a Mullets player and gave the Ducks its first and only lead on the way to a 3-1 win for the visitors at Augsburg University Ice Arena Thursday night. 

The goal was the middle tally of a three-goal second period for the Ducks, charging back from a 1-0 deficit and snapping a three-game losing streak. 

The team started December coming off its best month of hockey in three seasons though and picked up right where the boys left off before Thanksgiving Break.  

Ethan Matthews (‘02/Granger, IN) had the first Ducks’ goal tying the game in the fifth minute of the middle frame, from Mikel Ferran Cobo (‘02/Mexico City) and Adam Brown (‘02/Westmont, IL) setting the stage for Jones who got help from Logan Potts (‘03/Allen, TX) and Gabe Krueger (‘03/Blaine, MN).  

Jones scored with 4:44 to play in the period and Kai Neumaier (‘03/St. Charles, IL) added an insurance tally a little over three minutes later from Brown and Braydan Kirchmann (‘04/Waterloo, IA). 

The lone Mullies goal was scored by Ben Willcoxson (’03/Scottsdale, AZ) with 7:11 to play in the opening period.

From there it was up to the goaltenders as Chris Mazurek (‘03/Batavia, IL) collected his second win with 25 stops and Alex Falkenhagen (02/Thornhill, ON), one of the league’s busiest goaltenders stopped 35 shots for the Mullets.  

The Ducks outshot their host in all three periods, including a 16-9 margin out of the gate and 15-8 through the three goal second frame. 

After a busy November that saw three and four-game weekends before the norm, the Ducks enjoy a rare weekend off after this Thursday night contest that boosted the team’s record to 5-16-2-1 for 13 points, already four points more than they collected in 2021-22. 

More importantly, they widened the gap between them in eighth place and the ninth place (4-15-0-1) to four points while creeping to within four of the seventh place Minnesota Blue Ox. Both teams have played fewer games (the Ox several fewer) but the Mullets will make up a couple this weekend with other games in Isanti against the Outlaws Saturday and Owatonna Sunday against the Steele County Blades

The Ducks can prepare a little more for a rematch with the Mullets back at Augsburg next Thursday night – the first of a three-game weekend and seven games in nine days carrying the Ducks to the Christmas Break.  

Numbers – The three goals on Thursday run the team’s total to 57 on the season so far with 20 games to play. That’s just 37 shy of last season’s 94 goal total. At the other end, Ducks allowed 333 goals last season compared to 118 so far this season. The team is on pace to shave a large number off the total.  

Individually, Matthew leads the team in points with 20 while Jack Kopfstein has the most goals with eight, one more than Matthews and Potts. 

In goal, Jadon Mammen (‘04/Wheaton, IL) and Mazurek both have two wins and Mammen leads the way in Save with a .900 showing so far. Mazurek leads in minutes with 498 and shots against with 346. 

Biggest games yet in front of Dells Ducks

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

For the Dells Ducks, November was one of the team’s best months in recent history. With a mini schedule through the first half of December the team is looking to make a big move.  

The Ducks were especially sharp in the early days of the month, capturing three wins and seven points through its first five games and it stayed over .500 until the last game of the month when it dipped to 4-5-1 in 10 games. 

Nevertheless, the nine points collected in one month equaled last season’s points total and the team is rowing together in the right direction. 

The Ducks moved out of the league basement and into the eighth position with a pair of huge games to kick off December. 

The Ducks now sit at 4-16-2-1 one game past the season’s halfway mark and the team will kick off an eight-game December with the first of two at Augsburg University Ice Arena Thursday (Dec. 1) at 7:30 p.m. CST. 

The Ducks made its was past the Mullets in the standings with a win a the Detroit Showcase but heading into the first of four meetings with the Mullets this season, the home team has played four fewer games. There is no doubt this is the biggest game of the season for the Ducks so far this season but it could the start of something bigger.  

While the Ducks got hot in November, the Steele County Blades did the same and their solid play has boosted them into the division’s midpack and within sight of a spot in the top half.  

Head Coach Anthony Rohde not only wants to see that happen, he is confident his team can make it so. 

“I fully believe this team will be able to start making a run to finish in the top four in our division,” said the Coach in an email interview with his team just back from a short Thanksgiving Break, there first time away since Labor Day. 

Rohde has added new players and faced a little adversity with some top players leaving in recent weeks. 

“With some new faces coming in, it has changed the locker room a little bit,” said the coach. Getting used to new guys and figuring out lines (has been interesting). Today’s (Wednesday) practice showed that when tey click, they have a huge upside.” 

Among the tough recent losses was the departure of Jacob Behnke who was expected to be an offensive leader and was starting to get hot before moving on to the Florida Division a few weeks ago. However, a trade with the Minnesota Moose landed the Ducks its first ever Mexican-born player and Mikel Ferran Cobo made an instant impact, scoring twice and setting up another in four games at the Detroit Showcase tournament. 

“It is a huge loss losing Behnke,” said Rohde. “He is a great player and a great kid. But picking up Cobo has been huge, he brings in that attitude that we are going all the way to Nationals. As a coach you love to have him around. With the break we just came back from I think the guys are more refreshed and excited to get back into games. So hopefully tomorrow they can get their minds set on coming to Minnesota for a win.” 

Like everyone in the Midwest-West, the Mullets have had the Ducks’ number in recent seasons, but Rohde has already collected more Midwest-West Division wins that any Ducks team since 2019 and he will have a plan in place when the team takes the ice against the Mullies. 

“I’ve watched the Mullets play a couple games here and there. From what I’ve seen they like to play very systematic, and simple,” said Rohde “(If we) Play strong Defense and take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves (we will get good results). This game should be similar to playing Isanti in my opinion.” 

After Thursday’s contest, the Ducks will be done for the weekend and begin preparing for a game back at Augsburg Dec. 8, the first game of a three-game weekend with the other two in Blaine, MN against the Minnesota Moose. 

The other four games will be played at the annual Chicago Showcase tournament Dec. 15-17. 

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.

Falzone, Brown lead Ducks past Decatur Blaze

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

We’re Number Eight! We’re Number Eight! 

The Dells Ducks avenged a Showcase defeat from a season ago and packed up their belongings to move out of the USPHL Premier Midwest-West Division basement. 

The Ducks took on the winless Decatur Blaze from the Midwest-East Division Friday in its first of four games at the Detroit Showcase. Despite missing three players due to suspensions, the Ducks never trailed on their way to a 4-2 win. 

The same two teams met in the first game for both at the Chicago Showcase in what might have been the toughest loss of the season for the Ducks. Despite battling back from a 5-1 deficit in the third period to even the score, it was Decatur with the overtime game winner. 

This time around the Ducks left no doubt, building a 3-0 lead through the first two periods and adding one more down the stretch. 

Ethan Matthews (‘02/South Bend, IN) fired the only goal of the first period for the Ducks. 

Adam Brown notched the next for the Ducks in the fifth minute of the middle period and the team’s newest player, Mikel Ferran Cobo (‘02/Mexico City, Mexico) made an immediate impression scoring the eventual game winning marker 24 seconds from the end of the period. Cobo’s goal was a tip on a shot from the point by Brown.

Backing up the players in goal was Anthony Falzone (‘03/Prosper, TX) who collected his third junior victory and first of the season, stopping all but two of 27 shots faced. Ryan Zeno scored the first Blaze goal but Logan Potts (‘03/Allen, Texas) responded with just over three minutes to play. 

The Blaze added one more just 29 seconds from the final buzzer. 

The win is the fourth in the past six games for the Ducks who have resurrected a dismal start to the campaign. After playing through 14 games without a win, the locals have not just hit the win column, but now have officially moved into playoff contention, moving by the Minnesota Mullets into eighth place in the division.  

It’s worth noting the Mullets, the only team in the division the Ducks have yet to play against, have played fewer games. The Mullets have dropped six straight including this afternoon (Friday, Nov. 18) with a 3-0 loss to the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings.  

The Ducks sit at 4-13-2-1 for 11 points, now two up on the 4-13-0-1 Mullets and just one point behind the seventh place (6-11-0-0) Steele County Blades.  

The local squad will be back on the ice at 2:30 EST Saturday to take on the 10-9-0-1 Motor City Gamblers from the Midwest-East and return at 8:30 EST against the 6-10-1-0 Columbus Mavericks from the Great Lakes Division. 

Wrapping up the weekend Sunday is a game against the Fort Wayne Spacemen, another Midwest-East team at 3:30 p.m.  

Players will disperse for their first break since Labor Day weekend, heading home for Thanksgiving. After returning the Ducks will play the Mullets twice at Augsburg University Ice Arena Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. 

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. 

Learning curve still steep for improving Ducks

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks have shown a marked improvement over the course of the season, but the Minnesota Moose showed them in games Saturday and Sunday, the road to the top half of the USPHL’s Premier Midwest-West Division still features several cutbacks up the side of a steep mountain. 

Recent games against the fifth place Steele County Blades showed the Ducks who for a second season are by far the youngest team in the division are closing in on being more than competitive with mid pack teams.  

But back-to-back 11-2 defeats at the Fogerty Icehouse in Blaine, MN against the Moose were a tough pill to swallow for the locals.  

In the opener on Saturday night, the Moose fired nearly 80 shots at Anthony Falzone (‘03/St. Charles, IL) and Drew Moseley (‘02/St. Louis, MO). 

Again, the Ducks showed promise, staying with the Moose through the opening 20, but a 2-1 Moose cushion turned into a 5-1 lead in the second period and the Moose exploded for a half dozen down the stretch.  

There have been some bright spots and one is the play of Samuel Soltes (‘04/Trnava, Slovakia). He scored his third goal in six games since joining the Ducks on a feed from Justin Green (‘01/Fort Worth, TX). The other goal came from Ethan Matthews (‘02/South Bend, IN) making his debut with the Ducks. 

On Sunday, the start was similar, the Moose carrying a 1-0 lead into the second period before Jayden Tkaczuk (‘02/Channahon, IL) tied it with his 12th goal of the season early in the second period from Caden Glamkowski (‘02/St. Charles, IL) and Bryce Jacobsen (‘02/DeForest, WI). 

The Moose responded with the next 10 goals, five in the second period and five more in the final 20 before Tkaczuk notched his 13th, again with help from Glamkowski and Jacobsen 47 seconds from the final buzzer.  

Falzone and Jadon Mammen (‘04/Grapevine, TX) shared the work in this one, sharing the workload against another 70-plus shots on goal. 

The losses in Blaine extended the team’s current losing streak to eight games with five games to play. 

The first four are on the road in Wisconsin with a pair at the South Wood County Recreation Center in Wisconsin Rapids Friday and Saturday (Feb. 18-19) against the second place Riverkings and a week later in Hudson against the third place Havoc. The Ducks will wrap up the campaign at the Lake Delton Ice Arena Feb. 27 with one last chance to get by the Steele County Blades before the playoffs start. 

Glamkowski reaches milestone for Ducks in loss

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

The Dells Ducks opened a three-game weekend Friday (Feb. 4) night with a 6-3 loss to the Steele County Blades at the Four Seasons Center in Owatonna, MN. 

Coming off a 3-2 loss on home ice to the Blades the previous Sunday at the Lake Delton Ice Arena. This time around the Blades grabbed a 2-0 first period lead, but saw it trimmed to 4-3 by the end of the second. 

Two more unanswered down the stretch padded the lead for the Blades and extended the Ducks’ current losing streak to six games.  

There was some reason to celebrate though as the Ducks’ first goal came off the stick of Caden Glamkowski (‘04/St. Charles, IL) for his 30th goal of the season. He is only the third player in team history to record 30 goals in a season. The others were Ian Wood (twice) and Aidan Verbeke. 

Assists on the Glamkowski goal went to Gage Senio (‘04/Red Deer, AB) and Alex Grove (‘02/Waldorf, MD). 

The Blades scored the next two to go up 4-1 but the Ducks struck back with two in the final 5:05 of the period to get within a goal again.  

Samuel Soltes (‘04/Trnava, Slovakia) fired his second goal since joining the Ducks a few weeks ago and another newcome, Luca Maislin (‘03/Montreal, QC) notched his fourth. Glamkowski had set ups on both goals, pushing his team leading points total to 52, Grove and Oliver Cabala (‘05/Kezmorok, Slovakia) adding the other assists.  

Drew Moseley (‘02/St. Louis, MO) handled 38 of 44 shots in goal for the Ducks who were outshot by a margin of 44-17. 

The team hit the road after the game for Saturday and Sunday games in Blaine, MN against the Minnesota Moose to wrap up the team’s final three-game weekend of the season. 

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.