By Jim den Hollander
An up and down road for the RWD varsity Cheavers hit a final roadblock in Verona Friday (Feb. 17) against the top seeded Verona Wildcats.
The Cheavers earned its berth in the Section 3 quarterfinals with a 7-3 win against the Aquinas/Holmen Avalanche but that advanced them to the team’s toughest test of the season in Verona.
The Wildcats, wrapped up the regular season with a 17-5 record and wrapped up the Bight Eight Conference title with an 11-1 mark in division play.
The Cheavers represented the community well and while the CWildcats were ultimately too much for them, they overcame a slow start and skated with them through the final two periods.
It was all-Verona in the opening period though as the home team peppered RWD sophomore goaltender Alex Griebe with 23 shots and opened a 2-0 with goals from seniors Blake Herburger and Charlie Scadden.
After a 23-7 margin through the opening period though the Cheavers nearly matched the Wildcats in the middle frame, the home side with a 14-12 margin in favor of the hosts. Down the stretch the Cheavers threw all it had at the Wildcats, owning a 17-12 edge in shots in a scoreless final period.
Crusaders led 4-0 before the Cheavers hit the board with an all -senior effort – Logan DeMars pulling the trigger with assists for Lukas Vana and Caden Brandt.
The Cheavers entered the game as heavy underdogs and the effort was impressive despite the final result. The loss wrapped up a successful run for the senior players including DeMars, Vana, Caden and Carsen Brandt, John Scott, Nate Stando, Yevgeny Dedun, Caleb Eastman and Conner Putz.
The Cheavers finished with an overall record of 15-11.
Other Section 3 Quarterfinal matches saw second seeded Madison Edgewood Crusaders getting past Sun Prairie United 4-0 while third seed, Middleton Cardinals downed Waunakee Warriors and number five Sauk Prairie Eagles collecting a 5-4 edge on the road against fourth seeded Madison Memorial 1-0.