Spartans blank Rails 1-0
A shorthanded Superior High School boys hockey team extended its winning streak to six games with a 1-0 victory over the Proctor Rails Tuesday night at Wessman Arena.
After two scoreless periods, the game was decided in the opening six seconds of the third period when Cayden Laurvick deflected a Grant Sorensen shot past the outstretched leg of Proctor goaltender Lucas Nordquist.
The Spartans, who were playing without seven players because of illness, outshot the Rails 41-10 to improve to 8-2 overall and 2-0 in the Lake Superior Conference.
After outshooting Proctor 26-7 through two periods, then getting a stiff talking to from coach Jason Kalin between periods, Trevor Dalbec won the third-period faceoff to Sorensen, who skated into the right circle and took a shot. As the puck neared the slot, Laurvick got his stick on it, the puck veered left and went inside the left post.
“I saw Laurvick was going hard to the net so I shot it, it tipped off his stick and went in,” Sorensen said. “Coach told us to give the guys a spark. We weren’t playing a very good game, so we needed to come out and lead the team.”
The Spartans weren’t in the clear just yet as they had to kill off three third-period penalties, including the final one with 23.9 seconds remaining.
Proctor shot the puck wide of the net off the ensuing faceoff and Spartan defenseman Luke Drougas eventually sent the puck the length of the ice, just missing the empty net.
“Our effort was non-existent for two periods,” Kalin said. “I had to light a fire under them before the third period and let them realize that was still a four-point conference hockey game. I think we have a team that can compete for a conference title this year, but we can’t come out and not play hard.
“We saw a lot of things that we need to fix, but these experiences provide us with learning opportunities and we learned a lot tonight.”
Spartan junior Dayton Podvin picked up the shutout with 10 saves in his first varsity start.
The Rails didn’t waste any time testing Podvin with two close-range shots on goal in the opening minute of the game.
The Spartans gradually took control, and, thanks in part to a Proctor penalty, ended up with a 12-3 shot advantage in a scoreless first period.
Superior’s best chance among its dozen shots was when Drougas hit the cross bar on a slap shot from the point with 1:50 on the clock.
The second period was much like the first — scoreless with Superior holding a 14-4 shot advantage.
Superior had a couple of short-handed scoring chances in the middle period when Ian Johnson got behind the Rail defense but was stopped by Nordquist, who then stopped James Bronson on the rebound.
The Rails’ best chance came when Jordan Linder hit the right post with 15 seconds left in the second period.
“We had a couple of 2-on-1 chances and if we convert on one of those we’re in the game,” Proctor coach Dan Stauber said. “We knew they were shorthanded, but we still needed someone to step up.
“I thought our guys played well defensively. When we played these guys in the Jamboree they were running all over us, getting us caught in the neutral zone, and I think we did a good job of slowing them down this time around.
“Their goal at the start of the third period shouldn’t have happened. Our goalie was lined up right and when it hit a stick it went the other way.”
Nordquist had 40 saves for Proctor.
“We got some good fortune, their goalie played well,” Kalin said. “We shot a lot of pucks at him, but we didn’t have a lot of misdirection because we were making individual plays all game long.
“But we’re happy with the ‘W’ and now we have to move on and get rid of this illness.”
Superior played at Duluth Denfeld Thursday.
“Denfeld’s had our number the past couple of years,” Kalin said. “We need to be ready, have the right attitude and even have a little chip on our shoulders. It’s in their barn and it’s another four-point hockey game.”
SPARTAN SPIN: Stauber is the former UWS men’s hockey coach. … Dayton Podvin is the son of Kevin Podvin, a goaltender for the Spartans from 1975-1977. The elder Podvin posted an 8-2 record as a senior and was 2-0-1 as a junior. Both teams advanced to state championship games, but lost to Madison Memorial both times 4-3 in double OT and 3-2 in OT, respectively.
Proctor........................... 0 0 0 — 0
Superior......................... 0 0 1 — 1
First Period Penalties — Noah Ward, P (high sticking), 12:46.
Second Period Penalties — Isaac Mosher, P (trip), 4:36. Luke Drougas, SHS (interference), 11:03. Matt Headtke, P (holding), 14:24.
Third Period — 1. SHS, Cayden Laurvick (Grant Sorensen, Trevor Dalbec), 0:06.
Penalties — Laurvick, SHS (holding), 8:35. Dalbec, SHS (roughing), 12:05. Ty Christianson, SHS (tripping), 16:37.
Saves — Lucas Nordquist, P, 12-14-14—40. Dayton Podvin, SHS, 3-4-3—10.