REEDSBURG — It might not have been a must-win game this early in the season, but the Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells boys hockey team did pick up a very important victory, beating previously unbeaten Sauk Prairie 5-2 in a Badger North Conference game in Reedsburg on Tuesday night.
The Eagles, who were off to a 7-0 start, turned in another solid effort and led 2-1 after the first period. But the Cheavers mounted more pressure as the game went on, and eventually took a 3-2 lead late in the second period before clinching the victory when Dylan Brown scored two goals 52 seconds apart late in the game.
RWD head coach Neil Mattson was happy with the way his team stepped it up after watching the Eagles take a 1-0 lead with a goal just 24 seconds into the opening period.
“It was a difficult start in the first period. In the second period we outshot them 13-7 and third period, it was 18-7,” Mattson said. “I was able to roll three lines consistently, so we ran them down out of gas, so that was a big benefit to us.
“You know, it’s tough, (Sauk coach Dave Lohrei) runs very good systems, he runs a trap and it’s hard to beat, especially on a small sheet of ice like this. I look forward to playing them at Sauk where I think it’s a bigger sheet of ice, gives us more room to work.”
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead when s sophomore Camden des Roches notched his 12th goal of the season just 24 seconds in, but the Cheavers responded with 5:30 to play in the period as senior Ben Horzewski found the back of the goal off assists from from junior Derek Pawlak and senior Tarren Gruber.
Des Roches scored his second of the game with 1:41 to go in the opening period to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead, but they wouldn’t score again.
RWD senior Jacob Ely scored a pair of second period goals. He tied the game at 2 on a feed from Derek Pawlak near the midway point of the period before giving RWD its first lead with just over a minute remaining on an assist from Horzewski.
RWD senior Dylan Brown has been the best player on the ice in almost every game this season and he came up big with the game on the line. Brown’s first goal was unassisted, giving RWD a 4-2 lead with 1:21 left in the game. He then added an empty-net goal on an assist from Ely to put the game out of reach with just 29 seconds left.
Brown said it was important for he and his teammates to not change anything after watching the Eagles grab the early lead.
“After the first period, you try not to panic,” Brown said. “You know we have two periods left, that’s how our team works. We play our best in the third period and we try not to panic.”
Brown said Tuesday’s game was an important one, because it followed the team’s loss to Waunakee to open the conference season.
“It was a must-win game. We knew that we couldn’t afford another loss this early in the year,” Brown said. “We knew what we had to do and we battled.”
RWD 2, CHIPPEWA FALLS 1 (OT)
Dylan Brown’s goal 2 minutes, 38 seconds into overtime gave Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells a 2-1 victory over Chippewa Falls on Saturday in Reedsburg.
Brown’s even-strength goal was set up by Ben Jones and Reid Marsich, and came after RWD tied the game at 1 midway through the second period on a power play goal by Derek Pawlak.
Nicolas Breunig stopped 35 of the 36 shots he face in goal for the Cheavers to pick up the win.
REEDSBURG/WISCONSIN DELLS 5, SAUK PRAIRIE 2
Sauk Prairie 2 0 0 - 2
Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells 1 2 2 - 5
First period: SP – Desroches, 0:24. RWD – Horzewski (Pawlak, Gruber), 11:30; SP – Desroches (Jelinek), 15:19.
Second period: RWD – Ely (Pawlak), 6:58; RWD – Ely (Horzewski) 15:56.
Third period: RWD – Brown, 15:39; RWD – Brown (Ely) (en), 16:31.
Saves: SP (Pickhard) 29, RWD (Breunig) 16.
Penalties: SP 0-0, RWD 3-6:00.
REEDSBURG/WISCONSIN DELLS 2, CHIPPEWA FALLS 1 (OT)
Chippewa Falls 1 0 0 0 - 1
Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells 0 1 0 1 - 2
First period: CF – Bohland (Schimmel, Fixmer) (pp), 9:29.
Second period: RWD – Pawlak (Brown, Horzewski) (pp), 10:34.
Overtime: Brown (Jones, Marsich), 2:38.
Saves: CF (Hoople) 27, RWD (Breunig) 35.
Penalties: CF 6-12:00; RWD 7-14:00.