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Spartan boys knock off No. 1 Hudson (updated)

Superior High School goaltender Paxton Paine stops a point blank shot by Hudson’s Tanner Hanson (11) in the second period of Tuesday night’s sectional semifinal game in Hudson. Paxton made 24 saves in the Spartans’ 7-3 victory. (Bob Burrows/

The Superior High School boys hockey team advanced to the WIAA sectional championship game with a 7-3 win over the Hudson Raiders Tuesday night at the Hudson Sports and Civic Center.

The Spartans (13-12-1) play the New Richmond Tigers for a berth in the state tournament at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Amery Ice Arena. The Tigers advanced with a 6-4 win over Somerset.

“It was an outstanding effort by the whole team, and we were confident that we were the best team on the ice from the drop of the puck,” SHS coach Jason Kalin said. “At this stage in the season, the only thing that is determined by what seed you are is who gets the last line change. It’s the attitude and effort that each team brings to the ice that will determine the outcome of each game.”

New Richmond defeated Superior 3-2 on Dec. 7 in New Richmond.

“We will be focused on New Richmond in practice all week, not looking past them, but rather, looking forward to the opportunity to avenge our early season loss to them,” Kalin said.

On Tuesday, Superior got two goals each from Mark Shold and Aaron Miller and one goal each from Tyler Nystrom, Daniel Mikel and Bryan Bergstrom.

Paxton Paine picked up the win in goal for the Spartans with 30 saves.

Adam Lipps, Parker Shefveland and Charlie Singerhouse scored for the Raiders, who end the year with a 19-4-2 record.

The game got off to wild start with six goals in the first period, including four by Superior.

The teams traded goals with Nystrom, Lipps, Shold and Shefveland scoring for a 2-2 game with 7:29 remaining.

The Spartans finished the period with goals by Mikel and Miller.

“We started the game off the way we needed to — we kept things simple, put pucks on net and reaped the rewards of that hard work,” Kalin said. “All season we’ve been talking about getting garbage goals as a result of having good rushes with ‘net drive,’ and we never have really done it effectively until Tuesday night.

“We got the puck deep and really kept it physical with their defensemen and we were able to cause turnovers in our offensive zone which resulted in the 15 shots on net in the first period. Unfortunately, their two goals were defensive zone turnovers that were uncharacteristic and should have never happened.”

Shold gave Superior a 5-2 lead with the only goal in the second period, unassisted at 14:34.

“The second period was all Paxton and good clears in front of the net,” Kalin said. “We went into the locker room with a two-goal lead, the worst lead in hockey, and we came out flat and they stomped us and did to us what we did to them in the first period.

“Our coaching staff expected it because they are well coached and are very disciplined. But I think the boys let down their guard for the first 10 minutes of the second period.”

Paine stopped three breakaway attempts and came up big on several Hudson power-play chances during the second period.

“Fortunately for us we had Paxton in the net,” Kalin said. “He’s been solid all year long; his numbers don’t show it, but they are a reflection of our inability, earlier in the season, to clear pucks in front of him.

“Paxton almost always makes the first save, and last night the defense cleared the puck and we avoided any second chances by the Raiders offense.”

The Spartans opened up a 6-2 lead on Miller’s power-play goal 4:38 into the third period.

Hudson made it a 6-3 less than a minute later on Singerhouse’s power-play goal, but Bergstrom put the finishing touches on the win with an empty-net goal with 1:50 remaining.

“The third period was played like the first, not as exciting, but well executed,” Kalin said. “We stuck to the game plan, got pucks deep and eliminated odd-man opportunities for the Raiders. We were able to capitalize on a power play and that forced them to pull the goalie with almost three minutes remaining in the game.”

The Spartans take a 13-12-1 record into Saturday’s game with the Tigers, who are 18-8.

“We might not have a very good record, but what people outside of Superior don’t realize is that our schedule is what makes our team better as the season progresses,” Kalin said. “We have very few games, if any, that we can just coast through. We play some of the best teams in the state of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and because of those games we experience the adversity that comes with losing and disappointment; and it makes us stronger, better and hungrier for the victories in the playoffs.”

SPARTAN SPIN: Tickets for the game Friday’s game will be on sale from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today and Thursday and from t7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday in the SHS treasurer’s office. … Saturday’s game may be heard live on WNXR 107.3 FM.

Superior.................................... 4          1           2          —  7

Hudson..................................... 2          0           1          —  3

First Period: 1. SHS, Tyler Nystrom (Aaron Miller), 5:12. 2. H, Adam Lipps (Parker Shefveland), 6:15.  3. SHS, Mark Shold (Noah Peterson, Caden Tchop), 7:12. 4. H, Parker Shefveland, 9:31. 5. SHS, Daniel Mikel (Miller, Nystrom), 9:54. 6. SHS, Miller, 14:35 (pp).

Second Period: 7. SHS, Shold, 14:35.

Third Period: 8. SHS, Miller (Mikel, Anthony Bronson), 4:38 (pp). 9. H, Charlie Singerhouse, 5:23 (pp). 10. SHS, Bryan Bergstrom (Jesse Polson), 15:10 (en).

Shots on goal: Superior, 33; Hudson, 27.