The Superior High School boys hockey team picked up its second shutout of the postseason with a 5-0 win over the New Richmond Tigers on Thursday, Feb. 19, at Wessman Arena.
The Spartans, who opened the WIAA playoffs with a 7-0 win over Barron, will now play the Hudson Raiders in the sectional final 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Wessman Arena. The winner will advance to next week’s state tournament in Madison.
Spartan goaltender Dayton Podvin picked up his second straight shutout Tuesday, but he was quick to credit his defense, especially senior Derrick Mattson, who helped in his shutout bid with a key save with Superior leading 1-0 late in the first period.
“The defense is playing amazing in front of me and that’s why things are going well,” Podvin said. “The boys are just rolling, getting the puck deep and playing good hockey.”
A minute after the Spartans killed off a penalty, New Richmond leading scorer Hayden Bradbury led a 2-on-1 rush, pulled Podvin out of position and had an open net to shoot at. That is until Mattson came in and blocked the shot.”
“I was just in the right spot at the right time, I guess,” Mattson said. “We knew No. 2 was pretty good and I was just trying to take away the pass. I was on my knees, blocked it with my stick and swatted it away with my hand. I had butterflies for a second and almost tossed it right into the net.”
Podvin made all the saves after that and eventually finished with 11 as the Spartans improved to 17-6. Max Davis was much busier for New Richmond (9-14), finishing with 48 saves.
“I think Derrick might be taking my spot next game,” Podvin joked. “It was a great play and a great game.”
Gunnar Hansen gave the Spartans the early lead with the first of his two goals on a power play at 5:11 of the first period. With assists from Cayden Laurvick and Mattson, Hansen found himself along on the left side, where he flipped the puck over Davis.
The Spartans continued their dominance in the second period with a 25-3 shot advantage, and eventually took a 3-0 lead on goals by Taylor Burger and Hansen.
Trevor Dalbec set up Burger’s goal when stole the puck, put a shot on net, and Burger shoved the rebound into an open goal at 7:37.
Hansen’s second goal of the game came unassisted when he skated in from the left side and scored into the top-right corner at 10:13.
The Spartans kept the pressure up in the third period with Laurvick’s team-leading 26th goal at 3:51, and T.J. Sitek’s power-play goal with 10:10 remaining.
Mattson, who has one goal and 13 assists, is having a heck of a playoff so far.
Not only was he key in Podvin’s shutout, but he scored his first varsity goal in the win over Barron and had two assists against New Richmond.
“I’d have to say making the save was bigger,” Mattson said. “A goal is just a goal, I guess, I’m not too worried about it. Just as long as we keep the pucks out and help the team win, that’s all that matters.”
Hudson (13-9-1) advanced to Saturday’s game with a 7-1 win over Baldwin-Woodville.
The Raiders got two goals from Bennett Schrank and one apiece from Max Giblin, Harvey Dove, Hunter Danielson, Ethan Sporn and Carter Maack.
“We have to expect the best from Hudson and come out with our “A” game,” Kalin said. “I thought we played well tonight, cycled well down low, blocked pucks when we needed to and played hard. We’re going to have to do that again on Saturday.”
Superior is 18-13-1 all-time against Hudson, including 2-0 this season with wins of 3-1 at home and 3-2 in OT at Hudson.
The Raiders defeated Superior 4-1 in last year’s sectional final in Amery.
“We know they’re going to come out hard,” Podvin said. “They beat us last year in this same exact game, but the thing we have on them this year is we’re on our home rink. We want to win, this is our year.”
SPARTAN SPIN: Superior is now 69-3 all-time in home playoff games. Four of the wins were in OT. … The Spartans are 30-4-1 all-time against New Richmond.
New Richmond 0-0-0-0
First period - 1. Gunnar Hansen 20 (Cayden Laurvick 17, Derrick Mattson 12), 5:11 (pp).
Penalties - Connor Cook, NR (tripping), 4:14. Trevor Dalbec, S (slashing), 9:16.
Second period - 2. Taylor Burger 17 (Trevor Dalbec 13), 7:37. 3. G. Hansen 21, 10:13.
Penalties - none.
Third period - 4. Laurvick 26 (Mattson 13), 3:51. 5, T.J. Sitek 4 (Spencer Gudowski 8, Burger 19), 6:50 (pp).
Penalties - Hayden Bradbury, NR (slashing), 6:15.
Saves - Max Davis, NR, 14-23-11-48; Dayton Podvin, SHS, 5-3-3-11.