Jake Randolph scored all four of Duluth East’s goals in a 4-3 victory over the Superior High School boys hockey team Thursday night at Wessman Arena.
The game lived up to its billing between the Greyhounds (19-1), ranked No. 1 in the state of Minnesota, and the Spartans (10-8-1), ranked No. 2 in Wisconsin, as the game went down to the wire.
The Spartans managed two quick shots on goal on the first shift of the game, but it was all Greyhounds after that as they took a 3-0 lead on Randolph’s natural hat trick.
Despite getting outshot 21-4 in the second period, the Spartans scored twice to make it a 3-2 game.
Nolan Holcombe scored Superior’s first goal when he put home a rebound after a shot by Caleb Dushkin at 4:18.
Steven Mikel put home another rebound after shots by Gerald and Daniel Mikel. SHS defenseman Aaron Johnson started the power-play goal with a shot on goal from the point.
East had a power-play goal disallowed early in the third period when the referees ruled that Dom Toninato deflected the puck past Spartan goaltender Scott Crawford with a high stick.
The Greyhounds managed to score on the same power play and take a 4-2 lead, seconds later when Randolph redirected a pass from Meirs Moore past Crawford. Toninato also assisted on the goal at 8:45.
The Spartans made things interesting when Daniel Litchke scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season, with an assist from Brett Bukowski, with 1:02 remaining.
Superior continued to buzz East’s net and goaltender Dylan Parker, and Litchke had one last chance to tie the game up but missed the puck on a back-hander in the slot after a centering pass from Holcombe.
Parker finished with 16 saves for East, while Scott Crawford had 41 for Superior.
Superior hosts River Falls at 2 p.m. Saturday.
SPARTAN SPIN: Prior to Thursday’s game East dominated the second period, allowing only nine goals. … Randolph leads East in scoring with 30 goals and 25 assists from 55 points. … The JV game was also a one-goal game as East won 3-2. Tyler Nystrom and Jesse Polson scored for Superior and Cody Schimming had 33 saves.
Duluth East 3 0 1 — 4
Superior 0 2 1 — 3
First Period: 1. DE, Jake Randolph 27 (Dom Toninato, Ryan Lundgren), 10:31. 2. DE. Randolph 28, 12:28. 3. DE, Randolph 29 (Lundgren, Phil Beauleu), 14:46.
Second Period: 4. SHS, Nolan Holcombe 13 (Caleb Dushkin 10), 4:18. 5. SHS, Steven Mikel 8(Gerald Mikel 9, Daniel Mikel 6), 9:20 (pp).
Third Period: 6. DE, Randolph 30 (Meirs Moore, Toninato), 8:45 (pp). 7. SHS, Daniel Litchke 18 (Brett Bukowski 8), 15:58.
Saves: Dylan Parker, DE 7-4-5—16. Scott Crawford, SHS 13-19-9—41.