Wagner’s nine point day paces Peewee Cheavers

By Jim den Hollander 



The RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers stayed hot, rebounding from its first loss in seven games the previous weekend with 16 goals in two wins on a Mississippi Valley swing Sunday. 

After collecting a 9-4 win against the La Crosse Flames at Green Island Ice Arena, the Cheavers stopped at the Panther Den in West Salem on the way home, collecting a 7-2 win against the West Salem Panthers.  

Cheavers 9 @ Flames 4  

Six third period goals turned a close game into a cakewalk for the Cheavers who led 1-0 after a period and 3-2 heading to the final period. 

Tyler Krieski scored the first two for the Cheavers and ended the game with three goals and an assist. Dayne Wagner and Andrew Stando both scored twice, Wagner assisting on one and Stando setting up a pair. Ethan Wilcox and Teaghen Geffert both collected a goal and assist, and Ethan Pope also had a helper.  

Jesse Arnold stopped 17 shots to pick up the win in goal for the Cheavers.  

Cheavers 7 @ Panthers 2  

Wilcox donned the pads for the second game and kicked out 10 of 12 to pick up the win in goal.  

The Cheavers helped him out jumping into a 4-1 first period lead and extending the margin to 5-2 in the middle frame. 

Wagner, Landen Uminski and Geffert each fired a pair in the game, Wagner adding three assists to wrap up a nine-point road trip. Krieski scored the other and picked up an assist.  

The Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers have gotten hot at the right time, picking up wins in eight of 10 since putting up the 2022 Calendar. Overall, the team sits at 18-11-2. After a couple weeks on the road the team returns home for a busy weekend as it goes through final preparations before Regionals the following weekend. 

The team will play a rare game at the Lake Delton Ice Arena playing the Waunakee ‘B’ Wildcats at 9:30 to start a three-game day. The other two games, at 2 and 5 p.m. will be against the La Crosse Flames at Reedsburg Arena Community Arena (RACA). 

Sunday the Cheavers will play two more at RACA against at 10:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. against the Madison Patriots. 

Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers reach final at Spooner tourney

By Jim den Hollander 



The RWD Peewee Cheavers took its act on the road to the Northern Shootout tournament in Spooner last weekend (Jan. 15-16) collecting a pair of wins to reach the championship game and extend its longest streak of the season before running into a Minnesota powerhouse. 

A 7-0 shutout against the Dodgeville Ice Wolves and a 4-2 doubling of the Ashland Youth Hockey Program advanced the Cheavers to the championship game where it ran into a Cottage Grove, MN team playing below its level. As a result, the locals saw its streak end by an 8-0 margin. 

Ice Wolves 0 @ Cheavers 7 

The Cheavers took care of things quick in the opening game on Friday with five unanswered first period goals, four of them scored in a span of 3:06 in the middle part of the period.  

Meanwhile, goaltender Jesse Arnold stopped all 13 shots he faced to collect the shutout win in goal.  

Tyler Krieski paced the Cheavers’ offense with a three-goal game, Landon Uminski adding two goals and two assists. Dayne Wagner and Evelyn Gurney fired the other RWD goals while Ethan Wilcox and Noah Backeberg picked up assists.  

Ashland Youth Hockey 2 @ Cheavers 4  

The Cheavers were home team again for the second game and made it work thanks to a pair of unanswered middle period goals.  Both teams fired once in the first and final periods. 

This time it was Uminski with the hat trick, the final three after Krieski notched the first period marker. Wagner and Wilcox collected assists and Arnold kicked out 11 of 13 to pick up the win in goal.  

Cheavers 0 @ Cottage Grove Wolfpack 8  

The Cheavers were unfortunately no match for the Wolfpack who were playing in a division below their level. Arnold was the busiest player in the game with 50 stops despite the lopsided score.  

The loss ended a six-game winning streak for the locals who will stay on the road Saturday with games at Green Island Ice Arena in La Crosse and the Panther Den in West Salem Sunday. 

RWD Peewee ‘A’ Cheavers won two of three and wrapped up the Finalists trophy at the Northern Shootout in Spooner this past weekend. Team members (in no specific order) include Hailey Dietl; Tyler Krieski; Landen Uminski; Ethan Wilcox; Dayne Wagner; Teaghen Geffert; Noah Backeberg; Evelyn Gurney; Andrew Stando; Jesse Arnold and Ethan Pope.

T-Birds charge back for overtime win at Sparta

By Jim den Hollander  



The Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds rallied all the way back from a 2-0 deficit on the road for a thrilling 3-2 in in overtime against the host Tomah/Sparta hockey team at Sparta Ice Arena on Tuesday (Nov. 30) night. 

Heading to the third period, the Thunderbirds had played five periods of varsity hockey this season without counting a goal, but that unfortunate streak came to an end 31 seconds into the final period as sophomore Carson Zick converted a feed from junior Luke Schweda and fired it home to cut the home team’s lead in half.  

Junior Kyle Buelow completed the comeback with 9:35 to play, from Zick and senior Oliver Scanlan. 

Still even at the end of regulation, teams headed to an eight-minute overtime period which came to a sudden halt when senior Gabe Fitzwilliams gave the Thunderbirds its first and only lead of the contest at the 3:13 mark. Zick picked up his third point of the contest with an assist along with Scanlan. 

Tomah/Sparta opened the scoring with a goal scored by freshman Parker Holloway, from sophomore Easton Armstrong and the other goal came in the middle period, scored by senior Charlie Joyce on a feed from sophomore Ethan Wildes.  

Senior Andrew Schaetzl evened his record at 1-1 with the overtime win, kicking out 25 of 27 shots while junior Jake Berry made 23 saves for Tomah/Sparta. 

Baraboo/Portage will be looking to carry the momentum from this win into its Badger West Conference opener Thursday night at Oregon with a 7 p.m. faceoff against the Panthers.  

Tomah/Sparta fell to 1-2 with the tough overtime loss and will also be back in action Thursday, traveling to West Salem to play the Panthers in a 7 p.m. puck drop. 

High expectations for Cheavers in 2021-22

By Jim den Hollander 



The RWD varsity hockey team, representing Reedsburg, Wisconsin Dells and Mauston High Schools is rolling into its 12th season as a co-operative squad and once again, the bar has been set high by Head Coach Neil Mattson and his charges.  

With a large group of seniors that have reached some lofty plateaus since they were young and a great supporting cast, the Cheavers appear to have all the bases – offense, defense and goaltending – covered heading into the season. 

Mattson and the Reedsburg Area High School Athletic Director Bryan Yager have worked to put together as tough a schedule as possible each season and the 2021-22 campaign will see the addition of teams like the Onalaska Hilltoppers, River Falls Wildcats, Eau Claire North Huskies and Ashland Oredockers while still maintaining the other already tough non-conference schedule. 

The realignment of the Badger Conferences will see Waunakee Warriors, Deforest Norskies and Beaver Dam Golden Beavers moving out while the always tough Madison Edgewood Crusaders, Oregon Panthers and Monroe Cheesemakers will join the Cheavers, Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds and Sauk Prairie Eagles in what should be a difficult conference with no easy matches. 

Last season, the Cheavers put together an 11-8 regular season record in a tough season due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place. There was no official Badger Conference play, but there was a playoff schedule. After defeating the Middleton Cardinals in the opening round, the Cheavers fell in the Regional Finals to the Sauk Prairie Eagles.  

The team has been hit with a pair of injuries that will keep a pair of key players out of the lineup, but Mattson remains confident this team can overcome the adversity and move forward.  

Senior forward Trevor Slaght was injured on the biggest stage, as a member of the Janesville Jets 18U team playing and winning a USA Hockey National Championship in Green Bay in April. An ACL injury will sideline the speedy forward until at least January although he has been taking part in non-contact drills with the team since practices started last week. 

“He is a big asset to the offense when he returns,” said Mattson in a pre-season interview. “Trevor is one of the hardest working young men. He has the ability for next level and has been working very hard to return this season.” 

Also lost is junior defenseman Carsen Brandt who suffered a shoulder injury during the football season, requiring surgery that will have him sidelined for the entire 2021-22 hockey schedule. 

“He is going to be missed,” said Mattson adding he is one of the team’s top defenders. “But, thankfully, he will have his senior (2022-23) season. 

We have high expectations this season,” said the Coach. “Our mentality now is ‘next man up.’ We have a fantastic group of kids working hard this season.” 

To begin the campaign, the defense will likely include a group of five – Seniors CJ Pfaff, Ty Thompson and Grant Marsich along with sophomores Izak Elder and Mark Othmer, looking to carry the load with the loss of Brandt and the graduation of Schyvinck. 

Up front, it appears junior Caden Brandt and sophomore Brady Baldwin will stay together after teaming up with Ely last season as a potent trio. Junior Logan DeMars is penciled in as the third member of the unit this season.  

Junior John Scott, sophomore Trey Lariden and senior Tomas Korndofer are slated to play together as well with another line including junior Yevgeny Dedun, senior Mitchell Henke and junior Caleb Eastman will make up a line that will have as much responsibility on the defensive end as it does contribute to the offense.  

Senior Cooper Oakes will enter an already great run with the varsity team, five games shy of Tyler Arneson’s games played record (70) and he already holds the team records for wins (34); Shots (1,703), Saves (1,538) and Shutouts (9). The senior leader will also help in the grooming of freshman Alexander Griebe, who will take the torch in the future. 

The varsity team will hit the ice in West Salem for a scrimmage session Thursday with the host West Salem Panthers and Deforest Norskies. 

The Junior Varsity squad will kick off its season at RACA Monday (November 22) against Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds and both teams will make the trip to Wisconsin Rapids to play the Red Raiders the following day.  

First home game for the Cheavers will be against the Onalaska Hilltoppers on Nov. 30. 

RWD Cheavers varsity players take a break from practice for a chalk talk from Head Coach Neil Mattson.

Back to back hat tricks for Stando

By Jim den Hollander



In a lead up to a key battle with Sauk Prairie, the RWD Peewee ‘B’ Cheavers put up three wins last weekend (Jan. 9-10) at Reedsburg Area Community Arena (RACA).

On Saturday, the Cheavers were visited by the West Madison Polar Caps, capturing back-to-back wins, 6-4 and 10-2 in what was technically a home-and-home series. On Sunday, before heading to Sauk Prairie Area Recreation Center (SPARC), the Cheavers entertained the West Salem Panthers, handing them a 7-1 defeat.

The first game against the Polar Caps was the closest as the Cheavers carried a 2-1 lead out of the opening period and were still up by a goal, 4-3 heading to the third.

Noah Backeberg’s second of the game with 6:34 to play was the game winner and Dayne Wagner added another just over a minute later for insurance. Andrew Stando also scored twice, both he and Backeberg collecting an assist as well  and the other goal was scored by Cassidy Putz.

Olivia Renneberg picked up the win in goal, turning aside 23 shots in a game that saw RWD outshoot its opponent 32-27.

The second game saw the host Cheavers pile up a 5-0 first period cushion. The Polar Caps cut into it with a pair of unanswered second period goals, but the Cheavers responded with another four in the final frame.

Backeberg piled up another four goals for the Cheavers in the win, Andrew Stando adding three goals and an assist. Aiden Knull picked up a goal and assist in the contest with other goals for Putz and Mathew Stando. Nicholas Warneke and Wagner added assists. Renneberg kicked out 16 saves to pick up the win in goal.

A big first period carried the Cheavers again when the Panthers paid a visit Sunday as the locals owned a 5-1 cushion heading to the second, wrapping it up with unanswered single goals in both the second and final period.

Andrew Stando picked up his second straight hat trick in game, Mathew Stando, Knull and Wagner each adding a goal and assist with the other goal scored by Caydence Putz. Molly Stokes collected a pair of assists and Mason Mattson collected the win in goal, unbeaten in the final 38:42 of the contest.




Beale holds hot stick in weekend wins for Bantam T-Birds

By Jim den Hollander



Baraboo Bantam T-Birds wrapped up a couple wins this past weekend with some solid performances from Jordi Beale at Pierce Park Pavilion

Beale scored twice in each game as the T-Birds rolled over Verona Wildcats by a 6-2 count on Saturday (Jan. 9) then handled West Salem Panthers 7-2 on Sunday.

In the opening contest it was the Wildcats on the board first, but Thomas Sarnow fired a pair of first period goals for the T-Birds to put them up 2-1 before the end of the opening period. Beale set up the first goal and Wade Zemanovic picked up an assist on the other one.

Three unanswered middle period goals settled this one, Bobby Meeker scoring the first 3:58 into the period and others added by Bodie Thompson and Beale in the final 5:02. Sarnow and Nathan Gneiser collected assists.

Beale wrapped up the Baraboo scoring from Meeker early in the third and after opening the scoring, the Wildcats wrapped it up with the game’s final goal with 6:21 to play.

Josiah Fanning started in goal for the T-Birds and allowed just one goal before Brayden Goyett-Fuller came in to wrap up in the third period.

Against the Panthers on Sunday, Sarnow fired an early goal again, from Beale, but the visitors responded just 37 seconds later. Thompson notched another with 95 seconds to go in the period giving the home side a 2-1 lead after a period once again.

Beale fired the game winner, from Sarnow 13 seconds into the second and added another a little more than four minutes later with help from Meeker.

Gneiser added another second period goal with Meeker and Reese Olson collecting third period tallies. Both third period goals came on set ups from Beale and Colin Mattson assisted on Gneiser’s goal.

Fanning played the first period in goal for the T-Birds with Goyett-Fuller taking over in the third.

The wins snapped a two-game skid for the T-Birds and boosted the team’s overall record to 8-7. This weekend, Waunakee ‘B’ Wildcats will be at Pierce Park Pavilion for a game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and the locals will hit the road to Harris Park Ice Arena to meet the Dodgeville Ice Wolves on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

Larson hat trick, Hinz shutout lead Thunderbirds to win

Three goals from sophomore Luna Larson and an 18-save shutout for senior goaltender Dane Hinz – his third of the season – helped the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds to a 5-0 win against the visiting West Salem Panthers at Pierce Park Pavilion Tuesday night.

Senior Josh Beale notched the other two T-Bird goals while junior Campbell Koseor collected three assists, senior Cameron Logan set up a pair and single assists went to seniors George Fitzsimmons, Will Gunnell and Beale.

Larson fired the game winner and lone goal of the first period with 1:28 to go in the session and both he and Beale fired second and third period goals as well.

The win pushed the home team over the .500 mark at 11-10-1 with just two games to go, both on the road.

RWD will host the Thunderbirds Friday at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena in Lake Delton and the Thunderbirds will wrap up its regular season Tuesday with another conference match at Beaver Dam.

Seeding for Sectional playoffs will take place this weekend.

Thunderbirds fall to Evergreens

The Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds hit the road Monday night, dropping a 5-1 decision to the DC Everest Evergreens at Greenheck Field House in Schofield.

The T-Birds trailed 1-0 after a period and the host Evergreens added two more before Oliver Scanlan fired the lone T-Birds goal of the contest, from Will Gunnell and Aidan Collins with a little over a minute to play in the second period.

The home team notched two more goals, 38-seconds apart in the final five minutes of the match, erasing any thoughts of a comeback by the visiting Thunderbirds.

Dane Hinz was the busiest player in the game, turning aside 37 shots as the host squad outshot its guest 42-20.

The loss drops the Baraboo side back to .500 on the season at 10-10-1. The locals will be on the ice again tonight at Pierce Park Pavilion against the visiting West Salem Panthers in its final home game of the regular season.

On Friday, the Thunderbirds will be in Lake Delton to play RWD and the regular season will end next Tuesday at Beaver Dam.

Must win game for Eagles tonight

Sauk County varsity hockey teams are heading into the home stretch of their respective WIAA seasons and the Sauk Prairie Eagles still have a shot at grabbing a share of the Badger North Conference crown.
They will need a win tonight on home ice at the Sauk Prairie Ice Arena against Beaver Dam, a team they lost to 4-2 at Beaver Dam Family Center back in December. That loss snapped a six-game season opening winning streak for the Flyers who will be looking to avenge that tonight on home ice.
The RWD Cheavers are enjoying a rare weekend off. In fact, the local team will not hit the ice in anger again until Friday when they host the Baraboo/Portage Thunderbirds at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena in Lake Delton.
In between the Eagles will make the trip to McFarland Tuesday to play the Spartans, a former conference rival now back in the Badger South, then try to deny the Waunakee Warriors the outright conference title at the Ice Pond in Waunakee Thursday night. In their previous meeting, on home ice, the Eagles dropped a 2-0 decision for one of only two conference losses this season. The Warriors have been bested just once in conference play, that coming just Tuesday at Baraboo’s Pierce Park Arena against the Thunderbirds
Baraboo Thunderbirds
The Thunderbirds will travel to the Wausau area to play DC Everest in a non-Conference match Monday and return to Pierce Park the following night to play West Salem Panthers, setting up its return match with the Cheavers on Friday which will leave the Baraboo squad with just one game left to play.
Badger Lightning
The Badger Lightning plays its next game on Tuesday at the Poppy Waterman Ice Arena against the visiting Black River Falls Tigers in a non-Conference match – Seniors night for the team in a game that will be its next to last home game of the campaign.