State Tournament Preview: Olson delivers off and on the iceSenior’s overtime goals gives Spartans 2-1 win over Hudson, berth in state tournament
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
MENOMONIE —Trent Olson delivered a hearty speech to the Superior High School boys hockey team on the bench between the third period and overtime of the WIAA sectional championship game with the Hudson Raiders Friday night at the Dunn County Arena.
Then the senior captain went out and delivered on the ice when he scored the game-winning goal to give the Spartans a 2-1 victory over the Raiders and their record-setting 35th WIAA state tournament berth.
“It’s definitely the biggest goal of my life, especially during my senior year, winning in overtime and going to state,” Olson said. “It’s pretty cool.
As for the speech, Olson just wanted to fire up his teammates.
“I told them to not give up and there was no doubt we were going to do this because we’ve worked so hard,” Olson said. “We just kept a positive attitude and kept grinding away.”
The Spartans (18-7-1) will play the Fond du Lac Cardinals in the quarterfinals of the state tournament at 8:15 p.m. Thursday at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.
Aaron Miller also scored for the Spartans and Paxton Paine had 24 saves.
“Paxton played awesome,” SHS coach Jason Kalin said. “Hudson had about seven shots on a power play in the first period and he was making saves when he wasn’t even facing the puck. His nerves were tested, but he came through with flying colors.”
Parker Shefveland scored Hudson’s goal and Mac Alboreo had 22 saves.
After a scoreless first period, Superior took a 1-0 lead with 10:27 left in the second period on Miller’s team-leading 34th goal of the season.
The junior picked up the puck in the neutral zone, put on a couple of nifty moves to get around two Hudson players then let go with a wrist shot from the left circle where his shot snuck between the left post and Alboreo’s shoulder.
The Spartans, who were getting outshot 13-7 at the time of their goal, had a chance to increase their lead when they went on a power play three minutes later when Shefveland was called for cross checking.
But the Raiders successfully killed off the penalty, then tied the game up when Shefveland left the penalty box, received a pass behind the SHS defense and beat Paine on a breakaway.
Paine redeemed himself and came up big for the Spartans late in the second period when Miller was penalized for boarding. The junior netminder came up with back-to-back saves, including the second while lying on his back, with 36 seconds. Hudson was so sure it scored on the play that one player raised his stick to celebrate.
Paine was at it again when he made a save on a tipped shot at the buzzer.
“I just did whatever I could to stop the puck,” Paine said.
The best scoring chance in the third period came when a Hudson player put the puck off Paine’s arm and then the right post.
“I didn’t know where the puck was, so it was kind of a desperation save to get over there,” Paine said.
Superior dominated overtime, which included a Hudson too-many-men penalty, outshooting the Raiders 7-1.
After failing to score with the man advantage, Dane Sislo, also a senior captain, started the game-winning play when he passed the puck to Olson from the left boards. Olson faked a shot, then with a Hudson player diving in front of him, his low shot from the top of the left circle made it through traffic and through Alboreo’s legs.
“I got the puck from Dane, saw a guy come out to me so I moved over,” Olson said. “Then I saw a lane and just took a slap shot. There was a screen, so I was lucky it got through.”
Kalin didn’t see the winning play develop, but he liked the final results.
“To be honest I was down behind the players trying to set up my next line and I didn’t see the pass out from Dane,” Kalin said. “I don’t even know how it started. All I saw was Trent get the puck and I was worried because he tried to make a little move. The guy was on his rear end, he made a move to the center and I saw him take the slap shot. I saw that thing go right between that goalie’s legs the whole way. It was like slow motion.
“It was awesome it came from captain to captain; two senior guys in the regional finals. It couldn’t have happened any better.”
Superior didn’t get off to its best start and was outshot 11-4 in the first period, including 4-0 early. The Spartans’ first shot on goal game came 6:35 into the game.
“Hudson really pounded us a times,” Kalin said. “They did what we wanted to do, get the puck low and win the little battles. We have a young team and were pretty unsettled in the first two periods, but that was because we were nervous. But we fought back hard, had a nice stint in the second period and then played well in the third.
“The overtime period was our best. It was a do-or-die situation, and even though we didn’t have any legs, the guys mustered enough energy to get it done.”
SPARTAN SPIN: Each team had two minor penalties. … The Spartans have won 11 of the last 12 sectional titles, losing only to New Richmond in 2011. … Superior has defeated Hudson nine straight times since a February 2007 defeat.
First period — No scoring.
Penalties: Dane Sislo, SHS (hooking), 13:00.
Second period — 1. SHS, Aaron Miller 32, 6:38; 2. H, Parker Shefveland, 11:55.
Penalties: Shefveland, H (cross checking), 9:45. Miller, SHS (boarding), 15:02.
Third period — No scoring.
Overtime — 3. SHS, Trent Olson 4 (Sislo 7), 4:15.
Penalties: Hudson (too many men on ice).
Saves — Mac Alboreo, H 4-8-4-6—22. Paxton Paine, SHS 11-7-5-1—24.