Superior ends Raiders hockey season in OT
The Raider boys' hockey team avenged a regular season loss to Somerset in a WIAA sectional semifinal last Tuesday, but couldn't pull off a repeat performance in the sectional final Friday night (Feb. 22) in Menomonie.
After blanking the Somerset Spartans 3-0 in Somerset, the Raiders took the top-seeded Superior Spartans to overtime Friday before coming out on the short end of a 2-1 decision.
Sophomore Parker Shefveland accounted for the Raider goal and Mac Alboreo finished with 22 saves, but Superior goalie Paxton Paine came up with big save after big save, allowing Superior to earn its record-setting 35th WIAA state tournament berth. The Spartans have won a record 12 state titles.
"That was probably our best game of the season as a team," Raider head coach Brooks Lockwood said. "We played the right way and had all the chances in the world. Superior's goalie played great and that's going to happen in the playoffs."
The Raiders peppered Paine early, outshooting the Spartans 11-4 in the opening period. Superior took a 1-0 lead with 10:27 left in the second period despite being outshot 13-7 at the time.
Hudson knotted the score when Shefveland stepped out of the penalty box at the end of a Spartan power play, picked up an errant pass at center ice and beat Paine on a breakaway with just under six minutes remaining in the period.
Hudson couldn't capitalize on a power play of its own later in the period and had another shot bounce off the post in the third before the game went to overtime, where the Spartans outshot the Raiders 7-1 and got the game-winner at the 5:39 mark. Hudson finished with a 25-24 shots on goal advantage.
Despite the loss, Lockwood had nothing but praise for his players.
"I was so proud of our kids after the game.," he said. "It is always tough to see the seniors go out with a loss but only one team comes out with a win at the end of the year."
After a scoreless first period three nights earlier in Somerset, Michael Hommes and Wyatt Dove scored second period goals, Henry Brose added a goal in the third period, and Josh Mattis stopped all 27 shots he faced in the Raiders' 3-0 sectional semifinal win over the Spartans.
"They had a great game plan in place to stretch us out and get us away from what we do best but our guys were patient with the approach we put in in place and we were opportunistic with our chances," Lockwood said. "Michael Hommes came up with another big goal and the combination of Shevy and Dove on the penalty kill has been great all year, and they got rewarded for that. Josh Mattis was exceptional in the net and Henry Brose put them away with a clutch goal late."
Hommes also had an assist in the victory while Daniel Tripicchio, Emerson Korum and Shefveland added one assist each. The Spartans outshot the Raiders, 27-16.