SUPERIOR (11-5) VS. ST. MARY’S SPRINGS (25-2)
What: Wisconsin Division 2 state championship game
Where: South Wood County Recreation Center, Wisconsin Rapids
When: 9:30 a.m. Saturday
Outlook: The second-seeded Spartans come into the title game playing their best hockey of the season, having won eight straight. Superior is playing in its 25th state title game — first in Division 2 — and has won 13 championships, in 1971, 1972, 1974, 1981, 1982, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2003, 2005 and 2015. The last three of those titles came under coach Jason Kalin, who has 309 victories in 20 seasons as coach. … Superior is coming off a 4-1 victory over Lakeland Union Thursday at the Spooner Civic Center as sophomore Carson Gotelaere’s second-period goal stood as the game-winner while senior goalie Jamin Durfee kept the Thunderbirds at bay with 23 sves. Durfee finally could relax a bit as junior forward Kell Piggott scored an insurance goal late in the third period and the Spartans added an empty-netter for the final margin. Durfee has been a rock in net, having gone 9-5 with a 2.58 goals-against average, .912 save percentage and four shutouts. … Last year St. Mary’s Springs won Wisconsin’s first Division 2 tournament, winning the program’s first title as a standalone program with a 5-1 victory over Northland Pines in the final. The top-seeded Ledgers are coming off a 5-1 victory over Somerset Thursday at their home arena, the Blue Line Family Ice Center in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, as five Ledgers scored goals and sophomore goalie Hayden Rising stopped 10 shots. Rising is a gaudy 24-2 on the season with a 1.25 GAA, .927 save percentage and five shutouts. Senior forward Brady Welsch leads the team in scoring at 42-33—75, followed by junior forward Dayne Deanovich (27-30—57) and senior forward Calvin Grass (26-31—57).
“They’re good. They’ve got some speedy guys. They have a good first line. They can score and have a really good power play so we’ve got to stay out of the box. We have a good penalty kill, too, so I believe we can shut down some of those if we end up getting in those situations.” — Superior junior forward Carter Kalin, coach Kalin’s son
“I’m looking forward to going and traveling with these guys. We haven’t had an opportunity to travel all year long, and hopefully we’re over that hump and we can just go down there and enjoy each other.” — Coach Kalin