By Jim den Hollander
While Ultimate Tournaments has a longstanding history in Sauk County, it was a new look event in town for the first time in the 2021-22 season this past weekend.
All four Sauk County rinks played a part in the Mite-Squirt-Peewee event that saw 34 teams competing and ultimately whittled down to 10 championship games on Sunday in the first Northwoods Showdown Tournament.
The difference this season is, while the same tournaments will be in the Sauk County area on the same weekends as they always have been, each tournament is now a standalone event as well. For example, the Northwoods Showdown will return next November so it will have its own unique history and traditions.
Below is a quick look at the highlights for each division.
Mite D2 Low/D3 High
The six-team group was divided into a ‘White’ and ‘Red’ Division. After three games each, the Jr. Vipers out of Gurnee IL/Pleasant Prairie, WI captured the ‘Red’ Division title with a 2-0 shutout in the championship game against the Orland Jr. Vikes from the Chicago area, played at the Lake Delton Ice Arena.
The ‘White’ Division title went to the Geneva Cyclones from the Chicago area with a 5-2 margin against the Pekin (IL) Dragons at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA).
The Wisconsin Jets captured the Consolation victory, outlasting another Jr. Vikes team in a 7-6 thriller at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo.
Mite D3 Low/House League
Another six-team group, this division came down to a pair of Championship games as well.
The Geneva Cyclones and Highland Park Falcons battled through three exciting periods without settling anything in the ‘White’ Championship game before the Cyclones finally settled it with a 2-1 overtime victory.
The ‘Red’ Division saw no goals through the first two periods, but a third period explosion led the Gurnee/Pleasant Prairie Jr. Vipers to a 4-1 Championship win. Both Championship games were played a the Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC).
The Division’s Consolation final was won by the West Dundee Leafs with a 3-0 shutout against the Wisconsin Jets.
Squirt Low A/High B
This Squirt Division was divided into the Low A ‘Red Division and High B ‘White Divisions.
On Sunday, the Meramec Sharks from the St. Louis area captured the ‘Red’ Division title with a 5-0 shutout against the Highland Park Falcons at RACA while the ‘White Division crown was won by Kirkwood Stars, also from the St. Louis area with a 5-2 margin against another Meramec team at Lake Delton Ice Arena.
The Consolation Final for the Division went to Twin Rinks Sharks from the Chicago area with a 5-0 win against Peoria (IL) Horsepower at RACA.
This four-team division saw the Wisconsin Jets team collecting the championship hardware as they doubled the Kirkwood Stars 6-3 at the Lake Delton Ice Arena and the Consolation honors went to St. Peters Spirit who edged the Affton Americans in an all-St. Louis area contest played at RACA.
The Siouxland Musketeers, from Sioux City, IA wrapped up a perfect 4-0 weekend with a 6-1 margin against the Kirkwood Stars on Sunday and Lake Delton Ice Arena and the Consolation honors went to Twin Bridges Sharks with a 2-1 win against the Meramec Sharks.
Eagan (MN) Wildcats wrapped up a perfect weekend with a 5-0 win in the Peewee B Championship game against the Kirkwood Stars and Winter Club (Milwaukee) captured the Consolation title with a 2-1 edge against the Peoria Horsepower. Both games were played at Pierce Park Pavilion in Baraboo.
A diverse division with four teams representing four states, saw the Omaha (NE) Hockey Club capturing the Championship with shutout win against the Verona (WI) Wildcats at and the Consolation battle went to the Geneva Cyclones with a 5-3 edge against the Kirkwood Stars.
Ultimate Tournaments will return to the local area again this coming weekend with the first version of the Bucks and Pucks tournament.