Bud Light/Dugout wins fifth straight pond hockey title
Bud Light/Dugout Lounge won its fifth straight Great Lakes Pond Hockey Classic championship with a 25-16 win over the Wet Bandits Sunday afternoon at Barker’s Island.
Sunday’s title game was a rematch of last year’s championship game, which Bud Light/Dugout narrowly won 18-16.
Bud Light/Dugout went undefeated through pool play, including a 26-17 win over the Wet Bandits. Bud Light then defeated Dekes of Hazzard 30-12 in the quarterfinals and Lofty Goals 22-12 in the semifinals.
Members of the five-time championship team include Kyle Nosan, Dustin LaValley, Kevin Kuklinski, Rheese Carlson, Derek Miller and Dustin Cosgrove. All are former UW-Superior Yellowjackerts with the exception of Kuklinski, who played at St. Scholastica.
“We had blast, it was a lot of fun,” Nosan said. “There were some better teams this year and the three games on Sunday were probably the three hardest games we’ve had on a Sunday in the past five years.”
Miller and Cosgrove were playing in their first Pond Hockey Classic.
“We had a couple of new guys this year,” Nosan said. “Miller has been asking to play for a while, and when Eric Dahlberg wasn’t able to make it Miller was able to fill in.
“As the paper said, we are getting older, so we added another player with Dustin Cosgrove as well. We thought we should have six players, and it worked out well.”
Miller has actually been bugging Nosan to play for the five years and is glad he finally got the chance.
“I love any excuse to come back to Superior,” said Miller, a 2006 graduate of UWS who now lives in Ottawa. “I’ve been begging Nosan for five years and he said I couldn’t play until somebody actually bowed out, and I got my chance this year. He called me Wednesday and I had my flight booked on Thursday.”
Miller currently trains more than 5,000 youth hockey players a year and has four fulltime coaches working for him.
“I never had to grow up, I got to stay in the rink,” Miller said.
The Wet Bandits’ roster included Adam Johnson, Dane Morin, Chris Sislo, James LaPine, Matt Bouvine and CJ Makela, all from Superior.
After finishing second in Pool A, behind Bud Light, the Wet Bandits defeated the Lucky Pucks 20-8 and Gopher Rejects 16-10 for a berth in its second straight title game against the defending champs.
“They’ve played together for so many years and have a unique chemistry,” said Morin. “They play the game totally different than any other team out here. They adapt to teams they’re playing, find their weaknesses and play to it. They move the puck well and are strong on their sticks. They’re just a solid all-around team and they’re very difficult to play against.”
Weather almost didn’t cooperate. Temperatures near 40 degrees on Friday and Saturday forced changes to the schedules and the moving of the inaugural Big Pond Curling Bonspiel indoors to the Superior Curling Club.
“The weekend has definitely been a whirlwind,” said Jason Rauner, pond hockey tournament organizer. “Mother Nature made us change our original plans several times, but in the end the curling and pond hockey finals were down here, we have great ice and people seem to be having a great time. I don’t know if I have ever seen this many people down here ever on a Sunday, so that’s a huge plus.
“It’s definitely been a challenge with all of the water, not being able to keep the curling, and the amount of work it took to keep the rinks usable, but we had a lot of great help.”
Rauner pointed out that Dave Johnson did a great job on the ice and the event also got help from Stack Brothers and Lakehead Construction.
“Dave Johnson is the ice king, without him there is no way we could have put this event on,” Rauner said. “Stack Brothers and Lakehead Construction were also non-stop in helping us out.
“The Upper Lakes food guys were knee deep in water most of the weekend, but they kept the food going. We also had great help from CocaCola and Northwest Beverage. We really appreciate all the help from the business and the volunteers.”
With cooler temperatures Saturday night, curling returned to Barker’s Island on Sunday and the finals were played under ideal conditions.
“This is exactly what we hoped for — you couldn’t ask for anything better than Sunday’s conditions,” Rauner said.
Nosan also complimented Rauner and the volunteers.
“This is a great event,” Nosan said. “Jason, Chris Stenberg and Dave Johnson did a great job. What those guys do out here in just incredible.”
NOTES: Bud Light/Dugout had a 13-7 lead over the Wet Bandits in the title game. … This year’s event included 24 teams in the regular division, five senior teams (no results were kept), 12 mini-mite teams and 14 curling teams. … Members of the Lofty Goals team were Superior’s Kellen McCoshen, Chris Bishop, Andrew Dalbec, Tim Smith, Pat Dalbec and Joel Pettingill. Playing for the Gopher Rejects were Superior’s Justin Johnson and Drew Liebaert and Chris Green, Matt Huipla, Nick Levar and Ben Delwiche. … Rheese Carlson was also a member of the 2009 championship team Heavy Metal Hockey, along with Steve Rodberg, Ryan Vieau, Ben Johnson and Tony Scherber.
Big Pond Bonspiel
This year’s Big Pond Bonspiel included 14 rinks.
Because of warm weather, the curling event was moved to the Superior Curling Club on Saturday, but thanks to cooler temperatures play returned to Barker’s Island Sunday morning.
Team Seitz of Superior went on to win the A Event over Runnoe of Superior.
Members of Team Seitz were Jim Seitz, Rick and Karen Flesvig and Alice Carlson. Playing for Team Runnoe were Paul Runnoe, Doug Runnoe, Dale Olson and Matt Wheeler
The King team of La Crosse defeated the Britton rink of Superior in the B Event, and Button Up (Duluth) def. Bergquist (Superior) in the C Event.
“It was great having the curling this year, and I really look forward to the partnership with the curlers in the future,” Rauner said. “I would really love this event to be more of a winter carnival; this is just step one in that process.”
NOTES: The curling event drew rinks from Crookston, Two Harbors, La Crosse, St. Paul and Chicago.
Great Lakes Pond Hockey Classic
Barker’s Island – Superior
A — 1. Luck Pucks; 2. Dekes of Hazzard.
B — 1. Bud Light/Dugout; 2. The Wet Bandits.
C — 1. Gopher Rejects; 2. Gronk’s.
D — 1. Lofty Goals; 2. Fibs.
Wet Bandits 20, Lucky Pucks 8
Gopher Rejects 15, Fibs 8
Lofty Goals 32, Gronk’s 18
Bud Light/Dugout 30, Dekes 12
The Wet Bandits 16, Gopher Rejects 10
Bud Light/Dugout 22, Lofty Goals 12
Bud Light/Dugout 25, The Wet Bandits 16
Great Lakes Pond Hockey Classic
2005 — Need a Fifth (Tim Nelson, Chad Matushak, Jay Matushak, Kelly Stephens)
2006 — Gopher Rejects (Justin Johnson, Chris Green, Brian Delwiche, Matt Hupila)
2007 — Armadillos (Jeremy Enders, Jamie Dowson, Ryan Johnson, Ryan Sustawenko)
2008 — Lucky’s/Shenannigan’s (Ryan O’Neill, Dan Krenn, Dave Coleman, Andy Klapperick)
2009 — Heavy Metal Hockey (Steve Rodberg, Ryan Vieau, Rheese Carlson, Ben Johnson, Tony Scherber)
2010 — Dodgie’s/Need a Fifth (Chad Matushak, Tim Nelson, Clayton Weiby, Kelly Stephens, Chris Sislo)
2011 — Bud Light/Dugout Lounge (Kyle Nosan, Kevin Kuklinski, Eric Bausano, Dustin LaValley, Eric Dahlberg)
2012 — Bud Light/Dugout Lounge (Rheese Carlson, Eric Dahlberg, Kyle Nosan, Kevin Kuklinski, Dustin LaValley)
2013 —Bud Light/Dugout Lounge (Rheese Carlson, Eric Dahlberg, Kyle Nosan, Kevin Kuklinski, Dustin LaValley)
2014 — Bud Light/Dugout Lounge (Rheese Carlson, Eric Dahlberg, Kyle Nosan, Kevin Kuklinski, Dustin LaValley, Dustin Cosgrove)
2015 — Bud Light/Dugout Lounge (Rheese Carlson, Kyle Nosan, Kevin Kuklinski, Dustin LaValley, Dustin Cosgrove, Derek Miller)
2007 — MHL Fab Four (Rick Eisenmann, Ken Mertz, Gary Kucharyski, Steve Sorenson, Mike Susens)
2008 — Too Old & Cold (Terry Schold, Travis Schold, Greg Kaake, Pete Hanson)
2009 — Rusty Five (Gary Gilbertson, Joel Heikes, Dane Youngblom, Russ Williams, Mike Hinaus)
2010 — Too Old & Cold, (Terry Schold, Travis Schold, Gary Kucharyski, Pete Hanson)
2009 — Don Leigh’s Ladies (Jill Thompson, Terri Fair, Stephanie Keup, Erica VanDamme, DeeDee Kolanczyk)
2015 Big Pond Bonspiel
Seitz (Superior) def. TPCBS Potomac
Savirison dev. Bergstrom (Crookston)
Otis (Two Harbors) def. Vaughan (Duluth)
Kvidera (St. Paul) def. Britton (Superior)
Runnoe (Superior) def. Sheet Faced (Duluth)
Button Up (Duluth) def. Brendler (Chicago)
Seitz def. Savirison
Kvidera def. Otis
Runnoe def. Button Up
Bergquist (Superior) def. King (La Crosse)
Seitz def. Kvidera; Runnoe def. Bergquist
Seitz def. Runnoe
TPCBS def. Bergquist
Britton def. Vaughan
Sheet Faced def. Brendler
TPCBS def. Britton; King def. Sheet Faced
King def. Brittan
Savirison def. Otis
Button Up def. Vaughan
Bergquist def. Brendler
Sheet Faced def. Bergstrom
Button Up def. Savirison
Bergquist def. Sheet Faced
Button Up def. Bergquist