Spartan hockey team rolls over River Falls
The Superior High School boys hockey team’s puck bucket was a little bit lighter Saturday night after the Spartans’ 10-3 win over the River Falls Wildcats at Wessman Arena.
While the Spartan got the usual big games from the top line of Aaron Miller, Tyler Nystrom and Anthony Bronson, who combined to put up 16 points with five goals and 11 assists, it was a game of firsts for a number of other Spartans.
Getting game pucks for their first varsity goals were senior Noah Peterson, junior Grant Hanson and sophomores Shane Tetzlaff and Mitch Anderson. Hanson not only scored his first goal, but he added two more to complete the hat trick.
Dylan Skorich notched his first varsity point with an assist and junior goaltender Payton Flanders picked is first varsity victory as well has his first varsity shutout.
SHS coach Jason Kalin singled out the play of Anderson, as well as junior Jesse Polson, both defensemen.
“I really thought Mitchell had a great game today,” Kalin said. “He’s struggled a bit so far, but had a breakout game. So did Jesse. He had a great game against Denfeld and it carried over to Saturday.
“It had a great team effort, we played well end to end and block shots, we back-checked well.”
As for Superior’s No. 1 line, Miller finished with five goals and two assists; Bronson had four assists and Nystrom dished out three assists.
Also for the Spartans, Beau Reder scored his fourth goal of the year and Caden Tchop scored his second.
Up next for the Spartans is the Duluth Marshall Hilltopper Classic. Superior opens against East Grand Forks at 8 p.m. Thursday at Mars Lakeview Arena. EGF is currently ranked No. 3 in Minnesota.
The scheduled doesn’t get any easier as a possible second-round opponent could be Green Bay Notre Dame, ranked No. 1 in Wisconsin.
“That will be an excellent test for us,” Kalin said. “The Christmas tournament is a lot fun for us.”
The month of January won’t be that much fun with games against Eau Claire Memorial, Duluth Marshall, Hermantown, Duluth Denfeld and Wausau West.
“January will be our toughest month, by far,” Kalin said. “We’re just going to be taking it one game at a time, try to focus on getting everybody healthy and getting out team back in order for February and the playoffs.
“Despite having a 3-5 record, I’m having a great time this year. We’re having our bumps, but some of the younger guys are coming around, our team mentality and chemistry are coming together and that’s nice to see this year. It’s still early, only eight games in. I’m looking forward to January.”
The Spartans will play at 3:15 or 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27 against either Delano, Minn., or Green Bay Notre Dame. The tournament runs through Saturday.
The remaining to quarterfinal games are Marshall vs. Appleton at 1 p.m. and Mankato West vs. Madison Edgewood at 3:15 p.m.
Injury update The Spartans have four captains this year and played without three of them the past two games.
Aaron Wakefield-Zubiate’s season never began because of a knee injury suffered during the football season; Daniel Burger has a broken thumb; and Daniel Mikel missed the past two games with an undisclosed illness. Superior is also playing without an injured Kyler Krob.
Burger goes to the doctor on Jan. 3 and Kalin is hopeful Mikel and Krob will be ready to play this weekend.
SPARTAN SPIN: River Falls played without senior goaltender Logan Ottarson and senior forward/defenseman Connor Maxwell. Both played in the Wildcats’ 5-4 win Friday at Hayward, but became ill at Wessman Arena and went home early. … Freshman Brian Miller had 31 saves in place of Ottarson.
River Falls 0 0 0 — 0 Superior 5 5 3 — 13 First Period: Aaron Miller 5 (Anthony Bronson 2, Tyler Nystrom 5), 4:03. 2. SHS, Grant Hanson 1 (Miller 13), 9:35 (5-on-3). 3. SHS, Hanson 2 (Mark Shold 3), 9:56 (pp). 4. SHS, Miller 6 (Nystrom 6), 16:13. 5. SHS, Beau Reder 4 (Hanson 4), 16:51.
Second Period: 6. SHS, Miller 7 (Bronson 3, Nystrom 7), 0:38. 7. Miller 8 (Bronson 4, Jesse Polson 3), 13:09. 8. SHS, Noah Peterson 1 (Reder 4, Braden LaPorte 3), 4:51. 9. SHS, Miller 9 (Bronson 4, Nystrom 8), 7:58. 10. SHS, Shane Tetzlaff 1 (Miller 14).
Third Period: 11. SHS, Mitch Anderson 1 (Hanson 5, Bryan Bergstrom 2), 1:33. 12. SHS, Hanson 3 (Bronson 5), 14:04. 13. Caden Tchop 1 (Reder 5, Dylan Shorch 1), 14:27.
Saves: Brian Miller, RF 13-11-7—31. Peyton Flanders, SHS 5-3-5—13.