The Sauk Prairie boys hockey team got the 2017-18 season off to a fast start, winning the season-opener at McFarland before bringing home the championship from a four-team tournament in Tomah.
Sauk Prairie 3,
Sauk Prairie opened the season with a come-from-behind nonconference win at McFarland on Nov. 21.
The Eagles fell behind early, giving up a power-play goal to McFarland’s Grant Newcomer 6 minutes, 38 seconds into the first period.
Sauk Prairie’s first goal of the season came from Dayne Leonard, who scored a power-play goal 4:54 into the second period on assists from Riley Jelinek and Camden Desroches.
Jelinek and Desroches teamed up for a pair of third-period goals. The first was a short-handed goal, as Jelinek assisted Desroches to give Sauk Prairie a 2-1 lead 6:29 into the period. Desroches added an insurance goal 10:32 into the period, taking an assist from Jelinek and burying it to provide the final score of 3-1.
Sauk Prairie goalie Dakota Pickhard made 37 saves on the night, while Tucker Jarrett tallied 33 saves for McFarland.
Sauk Prairie 2,
Black River Falls 1
The Eagles opened the Tomah tournament with a 2-1 semifinal win over Black River Falls on Friday.
Both teams opened slowly, as each team took just five shots in a scoreless opening frame.
DesRoches opened the scoring, converting an assist from Jelinek to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead 2:34 into the second period. However, less than two minutes later, Black River Falls’ Jacob Meek snuck one by Pickhard to tie the game at 1-1 entering the third period.
Jelinek also picked up an assist on the game-winning goal, setting up Leonard for a third-period goal to give Sauk Prairie the 2-1 win.
Pickhard collected 31 saves for the Eagles, while Lance Muir Jr. made 21 saves for the Tigers.
Sauk Prairie 3, Marshfield 2
In Saturday’s championship game, the Eagles faced the Marshfield Tigers, who had moved past the host Tomah Timberwolves on Friday.
Despite being outshot 13-7, Sauk Prairie scored the lone goal of the opening period when senior Aziah Webster scored on assists from DesRoches and Jelinek 9:32 into the first period.
The Tigers stormed back with a pair of unanswered second-period goals, as Ryan Krueger and Evan Weister each scored to give Marshfield a 2-1 advantage entering the third period.
Sauk Prairie drew even 7:36 into the third period, as Webster scored his second goal of the day on assists from Leonard and Willy Hanson.
Leonard scored the tournament-clinching goal with 5:29 to play in the third period, with Desroches and Jelinek picking up the assists.
Sauk Prairie got stellar work in goal from Pickhard throughout the tournament. The senior netminder turned aside all but three of the 66 shots he faced as the Eagles were outshot in both matches.
The Eagles have played in the Tomah tournament since 2011-12. The same four teams have participated each year, but 2017 marked the first time that Sauk Prairie came home as champions.
Jelinek has collected seven assists through Sauk Prairie’s 3-0 start, while Desroches has tallied three goals and three assists. Pickhard has all three wins in goal for the Eagles, notching a .962 save percentage while giving up 1.62 goals per game.
Sauk Prairie is three games into a stretch of five straight road games to open the season. The Eagles will be in Stoughton on Tuesday to play the Badger South Conference Vikings before wrapping up their road trip at Milton on Dec. 7. The Eagles will finally play a home game when they open their Badger North Conference schedule against the DeForest Norskies on Dec. 8.