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Spartan skaters get back on track

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Cayden Laurvick scored two goals to lead the Superior High School boys hockey team to a 5-3 win over Chippewa Falls Tuesday night at Wessman Arena.

The win evens the Spartans’ record at 2-2 and comes just three days after a disappointing 1-0 loss to Antigo.

“The kids were ready tonight, it was a great effort by the entire team,” SHS coach Jason Kalin said. “We need to focus on our effort and we had a great practice Monday. It just goes to show you that when you provide that much effort, you put that teamwork into it, you’re going get a win nine times out of 10.

“I’m really happy with where we’re going. You learn a lot from your losses and you continue to learn even when you win.”

The Cardinals struck first and took a 1-0 lead 2:28 into the first period when Jordan Steinmetz blocked a clearing attempt by Spartan goalie Caden Welch and put the puck into an empty net before Welch could get back into position.

The Spartans answered with three straight goals, starting four seconds into a power play on Laurvick’s first goal of the season and second of his varsity career.

Tanner Sterling and Trevor Dalbec also picked up their first points of the season with the assists.

“The key was everybody just got to the net,” Lauvick said. “Dalbec won the draw back to Sterling, he shot and it went off my stick into the five-hole.”

The Spartans didn’t waste any time in making it a 3-1 game as Max Plunkett scored at 9:58 and Tyler Nelson scored 1:34 after that.

Max Curtis, a sophomore, picked up his first varsity point on Plunkett’s goal when his shot from the right point was deflected by Plunkett over Chippewa Falls goaltender Jaden Hoople.

After taking a lead pass from Burger, Nelson broke in alone down the left side and flipped the puck over Hoople into the top right corner for his first goal of the year.

The Spartans had a 13-5 shot advantage in the second period but the Cardinals had a 2-1 advantage in goals to cut Superior’s lead to 4-3.

With Superior skating on a power play midway through the second period, a defenseman fell down allowing Chippewa Falls’ Lucas Steinmetz to pick up the loose puck in the neutral zone, break in alone and slip the puck past Welch.

Superior got that goal back a couple of minutes later when T.J. LaFlamme scored off a rebound with assists from Brock Gilbertson and Tucker Stamper. It was the first points of the season for all three.

The Cardinals got within 4-3 when L. Steinmetz took a behind-the-net pass and beat Welch with a one-timer on a power play with 1:36 left in the second period.

Laurvick scored the only goal of the third period, helping the Spartans seal the victory.

“It was a lot like my first goal,” Laurvick said. “We just generated the puck back to the defense, LaPorte took a great shot, it bounced around and I just jammed it in.

“It’s nice to get a win after Saturday’s loss. We came back to the rink with a little fire in our bellies and took care of business.”

Superior plays at Menomonie at 3 p.m. Saturday and hosts Cloquet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“When I look at things in terms as our growth for the season, the outcome is secondary to what we really needed to work on, which is our effort,” Kalin said. “When we give more effort like we did tonight, we’re going to be on the right side of the scoreboard more.”

SPARTAN SPIN: Superior won the JV game 9-1. Joe Eliason, Gunnar Gronski and Ian Johnson scored two goals each and Derrick Mattson, Alex Hanson and Tiegen Roden all scored once. Dayton Podvin had seven saves for Superior and Chad Siverling had 43 saves for Chippewa Falls.

Chippewa Falls................... 1    2      0      —       3

Superior........................... 3    1      1—       5

First Period – 1. CF, Jordan Steinmetz, 2:28. 2. SHS, Caden Laurvick 1 (Tanner Sterling 1, Trevor Dalbec 1), 4:30 (pp). 3. SHS, Max Plunkett (Max Curtis), 9:58. 4. SHS, Tyler Nelson (Taylor Burger), 11:32.

Penalties – Steinmetz, CF (interference), 4:26. Laurvick, SHS (hooking), 7:34. Steinmetz, CF (elbow), 12:15. Eric Swenson, CF (tripping), 14:40. Swenson, CF (rough), 16:53.

Second Period – 5. CF, Lucas Steinmetz, 7:52 (sh).  6. SHS, T.J. LaFlamme 1 (Brock Gilbertson 1, Tucker Stamper 1), 10:49. 7. CF, L. Steinmetz (J. Steinmetz, Troy Siverling), 15:24 (pp).

Penalties – Cooper Fosvik, CF (cross check), 7:09. Jake Schimmel, CF (cross check), 8:06. Luke Drougas, SHS (tripping), 8;25. Ty Christianson, SHS (holding), 14:05.

Third Period – 8. Laurvick 2 (Dalbec 2, Braden LaPorte 2), 3:43.

Penalties – Stamper, SHS (check from behind), 8:52 (5-minute major). Austin Sykora, CF (elbow), 11:28.

Saves – Jaden Hoople, CF, 8-12-14—34. Caden Welch, SHS, 5-3-8—16. A—400.

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