Raider skaters fall in sectional
By the time the Raider boys' hockey team was able to gain any momentum last Tuesday in New Richmond it was too late.
The host Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Hudson scored three second period goals to get back in the game. But the Raiders spent much of the third period in the penalty box and New Richmond capitalized with its third power play goal of the game on its way to a 6-3 victory.
The Tigers advanced to Saturday's sectional final against Superior, where the second-ranked Spartans earned a spot in this weekend's WIAA State Tournament with a 3-0 victory. Hudson's season came to an end with a record of 12-9-1.
"The semifinal game seemed to be full of momentum," Raider head coach Mike Stoskopf said. "They had it in the first, we had it in the second. Unfortunately we were unable to gain it back in the third with our 12 minutes in penalties. Not much to say other than the first and third period was disappointing for our team."
The Tigers led 4-0 after one and widened the gap to 5-0 with a power play goal just over a minute into the second period before the Raiders scored two quick goals to get back in the game.
David Kein put Hudson on the scoreboard with a power play goal with 11:53 remaining in the period, assisted by Daniel Tripicchio and August Nuutinen, and James Fall followed with a goal 51 seconds later, assisted by Taylor Casey and Dylan Haskins, to make it a 5-2 game.
The Raiders got a power play goal from Haskins with 4:44 remaining in the second period, with assists from Steven Burke and Mike Hommes, to make the score 5-3 at the second intermission, but six penalties in the third period left Hudson shorthanded down the stretch and the Tigers netted their third power play goal of the game with 7:21 remaining to make the final 6-3.
Matt Strachota and Josh Mattis combined to make 37 saves as New Richmond outshot Hudson 43-25.
Stoskopf said he was proud of his team's performance this season, both on and off the ice. The team's cumulative grade point average this year is 3.69.
"This team was a class act," he said. "They worked hard they had fun. We had outstanding player and parent leadership and it was an outstanding experience to be a part of such a fine group."
Stoskopf noted that senior defenseman Steven Burke will represent Hudson, along with track and field athlete Katie Wetzstein -- for the 2011-12 WIAA Scholar Athlete Award.
Stoskopf said the Raiders' ten seniors -- Haskins, Fall, Kein, Strachota, Burke, Jake Quade, Josh Dardine, Taylor Casey, Lawrence Pruitt and Ben Lewis, will all be missed next season.
"Many of these guys have been playing together since elementary school," he pointed out. "I hope that as a result they will have long lasting friendships and memories."