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Sorensen’s hat trick sparks the Spartans

Superior High School’s Grant Sorensen (10) scores the second of his three goals in the second period of Saturday’s 8-2 win over the Menomonie Mustangs at Wessman Arena. In the play for Menomonie are Jacob Brown (goaltender) and Jacob Miller (22). (Jed Carlson / 1 / 9
Superior High School’s Gunnar Hansen (9) scores a third-period goal past Menomonie’s Jacob Brown (30) in Saturday afternoon at Wessman Arena. (Jed Carlson / 2 / 9
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The first home game of the season for the Superior High School boys hockey team was extra special for Grant Sorensen.

After going scoreless in the Spartans’ first five road games, the junior notched a hat trick in Superior’s 8-2 win over the Menomonie Mustangs Saturday at Wessman Arena.

“I’ve been in a little slump, so it’s a good feeling,” Sorensen said. “It was a great team win.”

Not only did Spartan coach Jason Kalin present Sorensen with a game puck for his three-goal performance, but senior Ty Christianson picked up his own souvenir for scoring his first varsity goal, which gave Superior a 1-0 lead 2:14 into the game.

The Spartans also got two goals from Gunnar Hansen, and single goals from Kaleb Ullan and Luke Drougas. Ullan’s goal was his first of the season.

Taylor Burger also dished out three assists, and Cayden Laurvick, Trevor Dalbec and Blake Hanson all had two assists.

“The boys played well,” Kalin said. “It was nice to finally play at home and front of our home crowd. I wish we were at full strength, but we have had some illnesses and other things going on.

“There are a few things we have to work on, including giving up a few too many odd-man rushes, but we won each period and put a lot of shots on their goalie. Those are a few of the things we’ve been working on.”

Superior ended up outshooting Menomonie 45-14. Caden Welch was the winning goaltender with 12 saves, while Jacob Brown had 37 saves for the Mustangs.

The Spartans didn’t waste any time and peppered Brown with a handful of shots on the first shift of the game.

The pressure paid off when Brown stopped shots by Burger and Spencer Gudowski, but the puck snuck out to Christianson in the right circle where he beat Brown with a low shot for a 1-0 lead.

A couple more saves by Brown, and another scramble in front of the net, were followed by Sorensen’s first goal, with an assist from Laurvick, at 10:17.

“There was another scrum in front of the net, the puck popped right out to me and I just put it home,” Sorensen said.

Drougas made it 3-0 at 11:35 of the opening period when he put the puck over Brown’s shoulder from the slot with assists from Ullan and James Bronson.

Menomonie made it 3-1 on Carter Davidson’s power-play goal with 44.7 seconds remaining in the opening period.

The Spartans sandwiched a couple of power-play goals around a Mustang goal in the second period for a 5-2 lead.

  1. Hansen gave Superior a 4-1 lead when he took a behind-the-net pass from Burger and scored from the goal line on the left side of the net.

Ryan Sisko scored for the Mustangs two minutes later when he put home the rebound after a Frank shot during a 2-on-1 breakaway.

It went to 5-2 on Sorensen’s one-timer after a pass from Dalbec with 1:40 left in the second period. B. Hanson also assisted on Sorensen’s second goal of the game.

The Spartans scored twice in the opening 2:37 of the third period — G. Hansen put home the rebound after a save on a shot by Laurvick, and Ullan scored on a power play with help from Burger and Drougas.

Sorensen completed his hat trick with 1:42 remaining when he re-directed a shot past Brown. Dalbec and Hanson picked up the assists.

The goal was originally credited to Dalbec, but was changed after the game.

“It went off my stick, the refs must not have been able to see it,” Sorensen said. “This was a good team win. We’ve been working really hard in practice and that hard work paid off today.”

After averaging nine penalties a game, the Spartans were called for just five on Saturday.

“I don’t think we were real undisciplined tonight, we have been in the past, believe me,” Kalin said. “In some earlier games we had discipline issues, but we’re working through that.

“We want less than three a game and right now we’re averaging about nine. When we play the better teams we have to stay out of the box.”

The Spartans will need to play at full strength when they host the Cloquet Lumberjacks at 7:30 p.m. today.

Cloquet is 4-2 on the season and is coming of a 12-0 win over Hopkins.

The Lumberjacks have scored 36 goals in their six games. Their losses were 4-1 to White Bear Lake and 1-0 to Stillwater.

Cloquet, which has had goals scored by 13 different players, is led by Gavin Rasmussen (5-5-10), Jon Baker (4-4-8), Landon Langenbrunner (6-2-8) and Jedd Anich (2-6-8).

“They have a very talented team,” Kalin said. “This group has been together forever. We just have to be ready to play some good hockey, possess the puck when we can and try to get our defensive zone squared away.”

SPARTAN SPIN: Superior also hosts North Shore (Two Harbors-Silver Bay) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. … Thomas Sitek scored four goals in the Superior JV’s 9-0 win over Menomonie. Gudowski, Sean McCoshen, Ethan Welch, Kobe Hansen and Tiegen Roden added a goal apiece.

Menomonie............. 1....... 1         0      —       2

Superior.................. 3....... 2         3      —       8

First Period – 1. SHS, Ty Christianson (Taylor Burger, Spencer Gudowski), 2:14. 2. SHS, Grant Sorensen (Cayden Laurvick), 10:17. 3. Luke Drougas (Kaleb Ullan, James Bronson), 11:35.

Second Period – 5. SHS, Gunnar Hansen (Burger), 5:36 (pp).  6. Men., Ryan Sisko (Franks, Davidson), 9:46. 7. Sorensen (Trevor Dalbec, Blake Hanson), 15:20 (pp).

Third Period – 8. SHS, G. Hansen (Laurvick), 1:11. 9. SHS, Ullan (Burger, Drougas), 2:37 (pp). 10. SHS, Sorensen (Dalbec, B. Hanson), 15:18 (pp).

Saves – Jacob Brown, Men., 15-8-2—37. Caden Welch, SHS, 4-6-2—12.