Ducks’ McCutchin Ready To Make His Change

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Ducks’ McCutchin ready to make his change October 31, 2012 8:03 AM

This weekend will mark the end of the 22-game “Before” run for the Dells Ducks’ Brett McCutchin.

McCutchin, a senior at Baraboo High School, is practicing with the Minnesota Junior Hockey League team before shifting gears for his final season with the Baraboo Thunderbirds/Portage Warriors cooperative team, starting next week.

McCutchin is with the Ducks as part of its “Before and After” program. The program involves area players before and after their high school seasons, in a push to boost local interest in the team.

McCutchin played in all three games against the Twin Cities Northern Lights Oct. 19-21. While he has never looked out of place on the roster, he has come a long way this season in terms of his comfort level, most notably as a physical presence for the Ducks.

Coach Bill Zaniboni is excited for his young defender’s chances to lead the Baraboo team — and also for his eventual return to the Ducks’ lineup.

“Brett has come a long way since the get-go,” Zaniboni said. “I remember seeing him at the (tryout) camp in Chicago and I thought he was a little timid then. He’s really come out of his shell and stepped up and played really well for us.”

McCutchin said he has no regrets after making the decision to join the Ducks this summer.

“It’s been fun. It showed me what the next level of hockey is and what I need to bring to compete and move on,” McCutchin said.

Big weekend: After taking last weekend off, the Ducks return to action Friday for the start of a three-game home series against the Rochester Ice Hawks — the Ducks’ last home games until Nov. 30.

Game times at Poppy Waterman Ice Arena are 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon Sunday.

Ducks seek local board members: In pursuit of its goal to increase community involvement and interest in its franchise, the Dells Ducks junior hockey team is looking for local participation on its board of directors.

Franchise president John Schwarz said the team is seeking people involved in area junior hockey programs to become members of the franchise’s board.

"Ideally, we’d like to pick up someone from each of the area hockey associations — Reedsburg, Baraboo, Sauk, the Dells. This would help us get the word out in the local hockey community," Schwarz said.

"If not that, then we’d certainly like to hear from other members of the community who might be interested. We’re trying to build a community-based team," Schwarz said.

The team announced last week that coach Bill Zaniboni and team accountant and bookkeeper Elvera Schwarz have joined the board, and Aaron Kirby and Frank Scarpacci have left the board.

For more information, contact John Schwarz at 630-336-6160.

By Jim DenHollander

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