Crusaders send Eagles to WIAA sidelines in semis

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The final Sauk County team remaining in the WIAA post season was sent to the sidelines Wednesday (Feb. 23) as the Sauk Prairie Eagles were shutout 6-0 by Section 3’s top seed, the Madison Edgewood Crusaders in the Sectional semifinals at La Bahn Arena in Madison. 

The Eagles were looking to solve the Crusaders who wrapped up the first Badger West Conference crown without a loss, including two wins against them in regular season play. 

The job got tougher quick as senior Parker Murn put the Crusaders on the board with the goal that turned into the game winner just 21 seconds into the match. 

Crusaders added another three seconds away from the first period buzzer off the stick of senior Cody Menzel and that 2-0 cushion held up all the way to the final period.  

The Crusaders held a narrow 8-7 edge in shots through the opening 17 minutes and ran it 19-13 by the end of a scoreless middle period. 

The Eagles needed to find the mesh in the final period, but the Crusaders tightened its grip, limiting them to four shots while piling up four more goals to pad its margin.  

The daggers were likely two goals scored 51 seconds apart giving the near a 4-0 cushion 5:37 into the final period. Menzel and senior Aidan Lenz fired those goals.  

First years Matt Richter and Easton Kinsler both scored in the final seven minutes to wrap up the scoring and send the Crusaders to the Sectional Championship game Friday night against the Waunakee Warriors who moved on by knocking off two-time defending Sectional champion Verona Wildcats with a 2-1 margin at the Waunakee Ice Ponds, also on Sunday. 

Eagles’ junior Kaden Stracke faced 31 shots in all, the Eagles firing 17 at sophomore Rowan White who stopped them all.

Winner will represent Section 3 at the WIAA State Championship tournament in Madison next week. 

Four-goal middle period lifts Eagles over Cheavers 5-3

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

For a third straight season, the Sauk Prairie Eagles have advanced to the WIAA Sectional semi-finals and for a second straight season it came at the expense of the rival RWD Cheavers by a 5-3 margin at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA) Thursday (Feb. 17) night. 

The second period, in particular a stretch of 6:08 that saw a 2-1 RWD lead turned into a 5-2 Eagles’ cushion. Of the four goals, Eagles produced one on a powerplay and another shorthanded.  

The Eagles held 18-6 shots lead through the period and carried that lead into the final 17 minutes. A desperate Cheavers team threw all it had at the Eagles in the final frame, but the Eagles showed a proficiency in playing a simple defensive game and breaking up numerous RWD rushes through the neutral zone.  

The final seven minutes the Cheavers found more success penetrating the Eagles’ end and it paid off with the second goal of the night for senior Trevor Slaght with 6:37 to play. That left plenty of time for two more, but the Eagles again mostly kept RWD chances to the outside. 

Senior Micah Hanson fired the game’s first goal, from senior defender Hakon Peterson 3:39 into the game but RWD struck back with two in 55 seconds from seniors Tomas Korndorfer and Slaght to grab its first lead 7:17 into the contest. 

Senior Grant Marsich, junior Caden Brandt and sophomore Brady Baldwin each contributed an assist on the first period markers. 

Peterson fired a seeing-eye slapper from the blue line that found its way past a host of bodies in front and past senior RWD goaltender Cooper Oakes who never saw it until it whizzed past him 92 seconds into the middle period. Senior Hanson and junior Luke Mast had the assists.  

RWD took a penalty, but the Eagles had also assessed one seconds later. Shortly after the Cheavers’ penalty expired, Nick Mast notched an unassisted shorty to put his team in front to stay. 

Senior Erik Peterson doubled the Eagles’ lead from the Mast brothers, senior Nick, and junior Luke just over three minutes later and an Eagles’ powerplay made it a three-goal cushion just under three minutes after that one.  

Hanson fired the power play tally with an assist for Luke Mast.  

The win pushed the Eagles’ overall season record to 19-4 on the season and they advance to the Sectional semis against the Madison Edgewood Crusaders who moved on with a narrow 3-2 edge against the Sun Prairie Cardinals.  

As this is written the date and time are still TBA but the game will likely be Tuesday night at La Bahn Arena in Madison.  

The other Sectional semi-final will match the second seeded Waunakee Warriors against number three Verona Wildcats who are also two-time defending Sectional 3 Champs. 

The Cheavers had one of its most successful seasons come to a sudden end. Even at 5-5 just before Christmas, it was a win against the same Eagles that sent the team on a 14-1 run heading into this one.  

Several RWD seniors played their final varsity contest, but at least a few will likely take part in the seniors tournament in a few weeks with the luxury of having some of the Eagles’ rivals as teammates. 

Rivals since they started out in youth hockey, Sauk Prairie Eagles senior Nick Mast and RWD senior Trevor Slaght met for an emotional sendoff at center ice following what will likely be their final game against each other. Unseen in the picture is RWD senior Grant Marsich standing behind. Mast will likely play as a teammate to the other two for the first time in a few weeks at the annual Seniors Tournament.

Cheavers, Tbirds and Eagles together in WIAA draw

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher  

Saukhockey.info 

High School varsity hockey teams are entering the final week of their respective regular seasons and as of Sunday (Feb. 6) the playoff seeds have been set. 

The four Sauk County teams will start their respective playoff runs Feb. 15-18, and the number will be cut by at least one in the opening round as the RWD varsity Cheavers will play host to Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds in its first-round match. 

The Cheavers drew the #4 seed in the 14-team Section 3 with the Sauk Prairie Eagles ranked #5 and the Thunderbirds were ranked #13. 

Top seeded Madison Edgewood Crusaders and second seed Waunakee Warriors both drew a bye through the first round of play.  

The other 12 teams will start on Feb. 15 with the six opening game winners heading to regional finals Feb. 17 or 18. 

The top half of the draw has a distinct Badger West flavor with RWD, Baraboo/Portage, Sauk Prairie Eagles and the Crusaders in that half of the draw.  

The Eagles will entertain the 12th seeded DeForest Norskies in its opening contest with the winner confronting either RWD Cheavers or the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds in the Regional final round. 

The other top-half match will see #8 Sun Prairie Cardinals from the Big Eight Conference hosting #9 Onalaska Hilltoppers from the Mississippi Valley Conference. 

The bottom half of the draw will include five Big Eight teams. 

While the Warriors draw the first-round bye, the third seeded Verona Wildcats will begin its quest for a third straight trip to State against #14 Madison LaFollette/East, #6 Middleton Cardinals will host the Aquinas Co-op Avalanche, seeded 11th and #7 Madison Memorial Spartans will play #10 Madison West Regents.

Lightning ranked sixth

The Seven-team Section 3 draw gives the Badger Lightning a shot at one more meeting with the Cap City Cougars.  

The Lightning took the Cougars to overtime at Pierce Park Pavilion on Thursday (Feb. 3) and as the number six seed in Section 3, they will make the trip to third seeded Sun Prairie to face the same team either Feb. 17 or 18 for its first playoff encounter.  

Winner of that game will move on to play either second seeded Viroqua or number seven Beaver Dam in the Sectional semis.  

The other half of the draw includes the Metro Lynx drawing a first-round bye as the top seed and #4 Icebergs playing host to the #5 Rock County Fury.  

The unique draw which sees all seven Badger Conference teams in the same draw makes the Sectional tournament double as a sort of unofficial Conference championship series as well. 

Peewee Cheavers win two of three weekend tests

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers started a busy weekend taking a 10-0 knock from the Verona ‘A’ Peewees Saturday (Dec. 4) morning, but things improved the rest of the way.  

On the way home, the Cheavers stopped at Hartmeyer Ice Arena in Madison Saturday afternoon and bested the Patriots 3-1.  

On Sunday, the Cheavers played on home ice at RACA, collecting a 10-1 win against the Monroe Avalanche. 

In the opener at Verona, goaltender Jesse Arnold was the busiest player in the game, facing 50 Verona Wildcats shots and turning away 40. The home team carried a 3-0 lead out of the opening period and widened it to 7-0 heading to the third. 

At Hartmeyer, the Cheavers hit the scoreboard first, Ethan Wilcox hitting the mesh after taking a feed from Landen Uminski, but a last-minute goal had the host Patriots even by the end of the first period.  

Tyler Krieski buried the game winner unassisted and Dayne Wagner added insurance with help from Wilcox later in the middle period.  

Arnold made it stand up, stopping all but one of the 28 shots he faced and helping the Cheavers to the win despite being outshot 28-23. 

The following day against the Avs, the local peewee squad picked up a big win against a regional opponent, carrying a 3-0 lead out of the opening period and building it to 8-1 in the second before wrapping up with two more unanswered in the final frame. 

Krieski, Evelyn Gurney and Noah Backeberg scored twice each for RWD and Krieski also added a pair of assists. Andrew Stando, Wilcox and Teaghan Geffert each added a goal and assist, and Uminski set up a pair. Wagner fired the other RWD goal and Ethan Pope collected an assist. The Cheavers held a 35-9 edge in shots in the contest.  

The loss on Saturday stopped a five-game Cheavers’ winning streak, but the team has now won seven of its last eight and heads into play this weekend sporting a 7-6-1 record.  

On Saturday, the peewee Cheavers will play the Middleton ‘A’ Cardinals peewees at 5:15 p.m. at RACA, returning Sunday at 8:30 a.m. to play the Oregon ‘A’ Panthers peewees. Wrapping up the weekend, the locals will move to Lake Delton Ice Arena to play Waunakee Wildcats at 2 p.m. 

Back to back hatties for Uminski

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD Peewee A squad played host to the Viroqua Peewee Thunder on the weekend and sent them home disappointed with 6-1 and 7-2 wins at the Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA). 

The first game ended up 6-1 but it was Viroqua on the board first, Caden Williams hitting the mesh with 1:44 to go in the first period.  

The lead lasted 31 seconds before Tyler Krieski tied it with a set up for Ethan Wilcox and teams were even at 1-1 heading to the middle period.  

Cheavers took its first and only lead 1:50 into the second with a goal from Landen Uminski, unassisted and Andrew Stando scored the next two before Uminski finished off a hat trick with two more in the third period. Krieski collected assists on two of the goals.  

Jesse Arnold picked up the win in goal with 22 saves and Jack Ray stopped 19 in goal for the Thunder. 

A few hours later teams hit the ice again and again it was the guests on the board first, Jackson Morrison netting his first of a pair 20 seconds into the contest.  

Wilcox scored and teams were again even at 1-1 after a period. A second Wilcox put the Cheavers in front early in the second period, but Morrison notched the equalizer a few minutes later and teams were even again with 15 minutes to go. 

Uminski fired his second game winner of the day and started his second hat trick of the day 4:46 into the final period and the Cheavers rolled to five unanswered goals in the period.  

Krieski fired the other two RWD goals and Noah Backeberg wrapped up the game with a couple assists, others going to Stando, Wilcox and Dayne Wagner.  

Another case of déjà vu saw Arnold once again getting the win with 22 saves and the Thunder had a pair of goalies combining on a 31-save effort. 

The wins continued the team’s recent streak to five straight wins and after a tough start to the season, the Cheavers are now 5-5-1. They will look to climb over .500 for the first time traveling to the Madison area for three games.  

On Saturday, the team will travel to Verona to play the Wildcats who defeated them in their first two games this season at RACA for a 9 a.m. faceoff and RWD will stop at Hartmeyer Ice Arena on the way home to faceoff against the Peewee Patriots at 2 p.m.  

On Sunday, the Monroe Avalanche will be at RACA for an 11:30 a.m. contest, the first meeting between these Regional rivals this season. 

Peewee Cheavers overcome rough start

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers entered the 2021-22 Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association (WAHA) campaign through a gauntlet of tough opponents.  

As a result, the team took its share of lumps with five losses and a tie through its first six contests. But a key win against the regional rival has turned things around.  

The Cheavers avenged a 4-2 loss on home ice against the Sauk Prairie Flyers on Nov. 6 with a 2-1 edge against the same team at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) a week later and a pair of lopsided wins Nov. 14 has the peewee squad riding a three-game winning streak. 

The games against the Flyers have appeared on Saukhockey.info earlier. Following is a quick wrap on the other seven games in the order they were played. 

Verona Wildcats 8, 5 @ RWD Cheavers 1, 1  

The Cheavers opened the regular season on Halloween weekend with a pair of games against the ‘A’ Wildcats.  

After dropping an 8-1 decision early on Oct. 30, the same two teams returned to the ice later the same day and while the Wildcats won again, the Cheavers trimmed the margin a bit. 

Dayne Wagner scored the lone goal in both games, gaining satisfaction of shattering the shutout bid of Brooke Terrien just 67 seconds from the final buzzer in the opener. 

Andrew Stando collected an assist in the second game and Jesse Arnold picked up 20 saves in goal in both contests.  

McFarland Spartans 1 RWD Cheavers 1  

On Halloween Sunday, the Cheavers engaged in a tight defensive battle with the visiting Spartans.  

Ian Boresh fired the only shot of 23 to get by Arnold in the second period but Landen Uminski pulled it back for RWD in the third with an unassisted goal.  

RWD Cheavers 2, 0 Dubuque Fighting Saints 10, 10 

The Fighting Saints feasted on the Cheavers on Nov. 7, taking a 10-2 win the first game at Mystique Ice Arena and following it up with a 10-0 shutout. 

RWD carried a 2-1 lead out of the opening period in the first game and were even at 2-2 with a period to play before the home side exploded for eight third period markers. 

Tyler Krieski scored both RWD goals, Uminski collecting an assist on the first one. 

RWD Cheavers 7, 9 @ Black River Falls Tigers 4, 3  

Following its win at Sauk Prairie, the Cheavers made the trip to Black River Falls on Nov. 14, taking a pair with a 7-4 win in the opener and 9-3 in the getaway game. 

RWD was up 4-1 after a period in the first game, and 6-3 heading to the third, both teams adding one more down the stretch. 

Uminski paced the squad with three goals and an assist, Ethan Wilcox adding a goal and a helper and other goals for Dietl, Stando and Krieski. Arnold collected the win with 18 saves. 

The second game saw the Cheavers open with a four-goal first again, this time carrying a 4-0 cushion to the second and up 7-1 heading to the final frame. 

Uminski wrapped up a seven goal, eight-point day with four goals, Ethan Pope adding two goals and a helper. Wagner notched a goal and assist with other goals for Krieski and Wilcox. Teaghan Geffert set up one of the goals and Arnold added another win with 24 saves. 

The 3-5-1 Cheavers enjoyed a rare weekend off this past weekend and will look to build on its winning streak hosting the Viroqua Blackhawks for a pair of games Sunday at 1:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

Season Preview — Sauk Prairie Eagles

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

The Sauk Prairie Eagles head into the 2021-22 WIAA season looking to build off the success of its past two seasons.  

After reaching Sectional semifinals in the past two seasons, the Eagles had its progress impeded by the State Champion Verona Wildcats in the spring of 2020 and the same Wildcats who once against reached the State Championship game this past Spring. 

A few key members have moved on, but offensively, many of the key cogs are back for another run beginning Tuesday (Nov. 23) when the Eagles play host to the Onalaska Hilltoppers, a perennial contender as well.  

 The Eagles have solid leadership up front and on the blue line with key seniors such as Nick Mast, Erik Peterson and Micah Hanson at the forward position along with Hakon Peterson on the blueline along with junior forward Luke Mast and junior defender Ethan Tranel.  

In goal, the junior pair of Kaden Stracke and Brooks McInerney helped the team to a 12-1 regular season record in last year’s shortened season. 

The Eagles are looking to step into a higher level of competition beginning with the game against Onalaska, a team it faced off for the first time in regular season competition in January. 

The new Badger West is basically an even trade-off as the always tough Madison Edgewood Crusaders now become a division rival along with Oregon and Monroe while perennial conference championship contender, Waunakee Warriors slide into the Badger East along with Deforest and Beaver Dam. 

Regular season contests against Big Eight contenders Middleton Cardinals and Sun Prairie Cardinals will provide some tough challenges late in the season. The Eagles will also be taking part in the prestigious Culvers Cup holiday tournament (usually played out of both Hartmeyer Ice Arena and Madison Ice Arena) over the Christmas break. 

Some of the players took part in both spring/summer teams as well as Before/After squads including Team Wisconsin, so the Eagles should be strong out of the gate. 

Chetwood does it all for Bantam Flyers

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

Ever seen a hockey player collect a hat trick and playmaker honors in the same game? 
Kaleb Chetwood had a monster game Sunday, helping his Sauk Prairie Bantam ‘B’ Flyers rebound from a pair of tough losses the previous day with a 7-5 margin in a return match against the Verona Bantam ‘B’ Wildcats.  

Chetwood played a part in all seven Flyers’ goals, scoring four and setting up the other three. Ryan Flynn scored two and added two assists while Austin Smith scored the other and also notched a helper. 

Rene Repka responded with a hat trick for the Wildcats, Mac Lombardo and Ian Ludmer scoring the others. 

The Sunday game played in Verona came in response to a 3-2 loss against the same team at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) early Saturday. The Flyers also played at Hartmeyer Ice Arena in Madison, dropping a 2-1 decision against the host Patriots Saturday evening. 

In the first game against Verona, the visitors scored all three of its goals in a span of 4:20 in the middle period, Lombardo with the first and Repka with the other two.  

Chetwood finally got the Flyers on the board with 62 seconds to play in the second period and Jacob Wiegmann made it a one-goal game with 5:35 to play in the contest.  

At Hartmeyer, teams played through a scoreless first period and Quinton Greunke had the hosts up 1-0 heading to the third.

Tyler Jorgenson evened it up for the Flyers 65 seconds into the final period but Kyle Theisen notched the game winner for the Patriots with 5:01 to play.

Ten champs at first Northwoods Showdown

By Jim den Hollander 

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

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. 

Gurnee/Pleasant Prairie Vipers

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). 

Geneva Cyclones

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.  

Geneva Cyclones

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). 

Gurnee/Pleasant Prairie Vipers

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. 

Meramec Sharks
Kirkwood Stars

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. 

Squirt B3/C1 

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. 

Wisconsin Jets

Squirt C 

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. 

Siouxland Musketeers

Peewee B 

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. 

Eagan Wildcats

Peewee C 

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. 

Omaha HC Peewees

Ultimate Tournaments will return to the local area again this coming weekend with the first version of the Bucks and Pucks tournament. 

Huge opening weekend for Argall

By Jim den Hollander  

Editor/Publisher 

Saukhockey.info 

After opening its weekend with a big win in Reedsburg (see story below), the Sauk Prairie Squirt ‘A’ Flyers wrapped up a perfect weekend with wins on home ice against Verona and Waunakee. 

Bryce Argall continued his torrid pace, following up the four goals he scored in Reedsburg with another trio in an early morning game at Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC) against the Verona ‘B’ Wildcats in a 4-2 Flyers’ win and another four later in the day against the Waunakee ‘B’ Wildcats, pacing his team to another 4-2 win and an amazing 11-goal weekend. 

Brayton Bahe fired the other goal against Verona and all four goals were unassisted. Mason Ramirez collected his second straight win with his second straight eight-save contest. 

Against Waunakee, Milo Donaldson collected an assist for the Flyers. 

The Flyers will play a pair of games this weekend, traveling to Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena Saturday at 12:15 p.m. to play the Middleton Cardinals Squirt ‘A’ squad and returning home for a rematch with the RWD ‘A’ Squirts at SPARC with a 6:30 p.m. puck drop. 

Bryce Argall, shown here closing in on the Waunakee Wildcats goal Sunday, was a deadly presence for the Sauk Prairie Squirt ‘A’ Flyers collecting 11 goals in three games to get the team off to an awesome start in Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association play.