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Spartans fall to the Raiders from Hudson and Greenway

The Hudson Raiders took a big step in securing the No. 1 seed for the upcoming WIAA playoffs with a 4-1 win over the Superior High School boys hockey team Saturday at Wessman Arena.

Wisconsin’s top-ranked Raiders improved to 16-0 with their second win of the season over the Spartans. Hudson also defeated Superior 2-1 on Dec. 2 in Hudson.

Both the Spartans and Raiders still have games against New Richmond, which is still in the hunt for the top seed with a 13-3 record.

Hudson plays at Breck (Golden Valley, Minn.) tonight then hosts New Richmond Thursday.

“We still have New Richmond left and that will be a tough opponent for us,” Hudson coach Brooks Lockwood said. “There’s three teams still vying for the No. 1 seed, but however it turns out I’m sure we’ll meet up with these guys again — it always seems to be that way.

“We just have to make sure we get better. I thought we got pushed a little bit today and the score indicates we won 4-1, but it was a much closer game.”

The Spartans’ final five games of the season are against some of the top teams from Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Superior plays at Cloquet-Esko-Carlton (13-5-1) Thursday before playing at New Richmond on Jan. 30. After that they play Duluth East and Hermantown (9-5-2), ranked No. 4 and No. 1 in their respective classes in Minnesota then wrap up the regular season against Eau Claire Memorial (13-2-1), which is ranked No. 4 in Wisconsin.

“We can’t dwell on this loss, we have a lot of big games left,” SHS senior captain Luke Drougas said. “Cloquet, Hermantown and East are all very good and the New Richmond game is going to be huge, it’s always fun playing them. We still have some work to do.”

The Raiders outshot Superior 6-1 in the first period and scored the only goal when John Gornick deflected a shot past SHS goaltender Caden Welch on the power play at 5:24.

Both teams had excellent scoring chances early in the second period, starting when Superior’s Taylor Burger got behind the Hudson defense but was stopped by goaltender Alex Cohen.

Five minutes later it was Welch stopping a Hudson 2-on-1 breakaway which seemed to give a spark to Superior, which eventually tied it up when senior defenseman Luke Drougas raced down the right wing and snapped a shot into the top right corner from the right circle. Drougas’ team-leading 12th goal was unassisted at 9:07.

“I looked at the goalie, I don’t know if there was a guy coming down the other side, but I noticed he wasn’t looking so I shot,” Drougas said.

Hudson answered a little more than two minutes later when Ben Lundeen flipped home a rebound after Welch made a save on a shot by Aaron Squires.

“Responding like that is always big,” Lockwood said. “When you’re hit with a little adversity you have to make sure the guys get back on their toes and move their feet more.”

Hudson made it 3-1 when Cole Danielson stole a puck at neutral ice, broke in alone on Welch and beat him with a back-hander. The unassisted goal came 4:55 into the third period.

Superior called its timeout with 1:45 remaining and seconds later Lundeen seemed to score into an empty net from neutral ice, but the play was called off sides.

The Raiders eventually got their empty-netter when Peyton Hanson scored on a back-hander from deep in Hudson’s defensive zone.

Cohen finished with 12 saves for Hudson and Welch had 23 saves for Superior.

“We’re hoping to see them again, it would be nice to beat them my last time playing them,” Drougas said.

SPARTAN SPIN: Superior won the JV game 5-1. Dayton Podvin had 30 saves for the Spartans, who were outshot 31-5. … Gornick, who scored Hudson’s first goal, is the grandson of John Gornick, for whom the Hudson Civic Center is named after. … Superior is 14-11-2 all-time against Hudson, but 0-8-1 in the last nine games. The teams skated to a 1-1 tie last year at Superior Ice Arena and Superior’s last win over Hudson was a 2-1 victory in the 2015 sectional final at Wessman Arena.

Hudson..................................... 1          1           2          —   4

Superior.................................... 0          1           0          —   1

First Period — 2. H, Grady Gornick 7 (Jack Flattum, Jordon Halverson), 5:24 (pp).

Penalties — Jordon Halverson, H, (roughing), 1:04. Max Curtis, SHS (interference), 5:35. Max Plunkett, SHS (slashing), 7:59. Kolton Prater, H (slashing), 11:08. SHS (too many men on the ice, served by Taylor Burger), 12:49.

Second Period — 2. SHS, Luke Drougas 12, 9:07. 3. H, Ben Lundeen 8 (Aaron Squires), 11:55.

Penalties — Ty Christianson, SHS (roughing), 6:48. Peyton Hanson, H (high sticking), 13:05. Max Plunkett, SHS (interference), 13:05. Curtis, SHS (cross checking), 15:04.

Third Period — 4. H, Cole Danielson 11, 4:55. 5. H, Hanson, 16:25 (en).

Penalties — Tucker Stamper, SHS (interference), 7:41. Kaleb Ullan, SHS (charging - major), 8:40. Halvorson, H (cross checking - major), 8:40. Flattum, H (slashing), 11:00.

Saves — Alex Cohen, H, 1-4-7—12. Caden Welch, SHS 5-13-5—23.

Greenway 6, Superior 5

The Spartan lost to the Greenway Raiders 6-5 Thursday night at Wessman Arena.

A five-minute major penalty helped Greenway jump out to a 4-1 lead in the first period and the Spartans won the second period 2-1.

Superior then tied the game 5-5 in the third period on goals by Ullan and Burger, but Wes Johnson’s third goal of the game also proved to be the game-winner with 2:29 remaining.

A goal by Brock Trboyevich and back-to-back goals by Johnson gave Greenway an early 3-0 lead. The first two goals were scored during Superior’s major penalty.

Drougas scored unassisted for Superior at 14:34, but the Raiders go that one back when Mitchell Vekich scored with 44 seconds left in the opening period.

Superior got within 4-3 when Tucker Stamper scored 40 seconds into the second period and Max Curtis scored 10 minutes later.

Donte Lawson’s 30th goal of the year gave Greenway a 5-3 lead in second period.

Ullan’s power-play goal 1:31 into the third period was assisted by Burger and Stamper, and Burger’s ninth goal was assisted by Stamper and Ty Christianson.

Ville Hyttineen had 34 saves for Greenway (13-5). Welch stopped 27 shots for Superior.

SPARTAN SPIN: Superior is 0-2 all-time against Greenway. The Raiders also won 5-4 last year at Coleraine.

Greenway................................ 4          1           1          —   6

Superior.................................... 1          2           2          —   5

First period — 1. G, Brock Trboyevich (Bailey Thorson, Aaron Elich), 0:23 (pp); 2. G, Wes Johnson (Christian Miller, Cameron Lantz), 3:38 (pp); 3. G, Johnson (Donte Lawson), 13:00; 4. SHS, Luke Drougas, 14:34; 5.G, Mitchell Vekich (Peyton Orhn, Thorson), 16:16.

Second period — 6. SHS, Tucker Stamper (Taylor Burger), 0:40; 7. SHS, Max Curtis (Kaleb Ullan), 10:08; 8. G, Lawson (Johnson), 14:31.

Third period — 9. SHS, Ullan (Burger, Stamper), 1:31 (pp); 10. SHS, Burger (Stamper, Ty Christianson), 7:55; 11. G, Johnson (Aaron Elich), 10:31.

Saves — Ville Hyttinen, G, 34; Caden Welch, S, 27.

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