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Hockey: Raider boys skate past local ice rivals

Hudson's Emerson Korum (19) avoids a pair of River Falls' defenders before firing a shot on goal last Thursday in River Falls. Korum scored a pair of second period goals to help the Raiders to a 5-1 victory. Photo by Bob Burrows

The Raider boys' hockey team picked up a pair of big wins over local rivals last week, defeating River Falls, 5-1, Thursday, Jan. 3 in River Falls before blanking New Richmond, 3-0, Saturday, Jan. 5 at home.

Thursday, Hudson broke open a scoreless game with three goals in the second period in head coach Brooks Lockwood and assistants Ben Bosworth and Pat Gunderson's return to River Falls, where the trio spent the previous two seasons coaching the Wildcats.

"It was an emotional game for our coaching staff to go back to where we coached last season," Lockwood said. "It was good to see the kids from last year and catch up with some of the parents and members of the River Falls Association."

After a scoreless first period the Raiders scored twice in a 16-second span of the second period to take control of the game.

Daniel Tripicchio got things started with an unassisted shorthanded goal six minutes in before Emerson Korum scored at the 6:16 mark, assisted by Michael Hommes. Korum netted his second goal of the game with 2:16 remaining in the period, assisted by Adam Lipps, to extend the Raider lead to 3-0.

The Wildcats got on the board with a power play goal by Brady Stocker at the 5:18 mark of the third, assisted by the Big Rivers Conference's leading scorer, Casey Jerry. But the Raider defense and goaltender Mac Alboreo kept Jerry and the Wildcats out of the net the rest of the way while adding goals by Hommes, shorthanded, and Austin Dreher in the final 30 seconds to seal the 5-1 victory and remain undefeated in BRC play (5-0-0).

"The River Falls kids were ready to play and they gave a great effort," Lockwood said. "We were able to contain one of the top players in the state but we had some help from our goal post in the process. Our kids matched the intensity, were focused throughout, and we had great play out of our goaltender. In the end, we were able to bury our opportunities and come out on top for another two points in the conference standings."

Alboreo finished with 22 saves as the Raiders outshot the Wildcats, 30-23. Fifteen of the Raiders' 30 shots on goal came in the second period.

Saturday at home against New Richmond, senior goaltender Josh Mattis stopped all 25 shots he faced and Korum, Wyatt Dove and A.J. Romanoski each had a goal in a 3-0 win over the Tigers.

The Raiders improved to 10-3-0 overall with the win while New Richmond, a potential sectional opponent, fell to 4-5-2.

"This is a big rivalry for the kids; both teams always play hard and it usually comes down to goaltending, execution, and work ethic," Lockwood said. "Fortunately we had great goaltending from Josh Mattis, which allowed us to maintain our energy level throughout the game."

Korum opened the scoring with a power play goal at the 2:07 mark of the second period, assisted by August Nuutinen and Hommes, before Dove made it a 2-0 game at the 10:27 mark of the second with an assist from Tripicchio.

New Richmond outshot Hudson 10-9 in the third period but the Raiders tallied the only goal, off the stick of Romanoski with 30 seconds remaining, to make the final 3-0.

New Richmond finished with a 25-24 shots on goal advantage. The Raiders held the Tigers scoreless in five power play opportunities.

"Our guys did their jobs on all ends of the rink and played a consistent three periods, which is what we need to do to be successful in our section," Lockwood said. "It's always good to beat a rival and hopefully it gives the kids more confidence heading into the heart of the schedule here in January."

The Raiders hosted Eau Claire North (2-9-0 overall, 0-5-0 BRC) this past Tuesday and will host Simley in a nonconference game Thursday, Jan. 10.

Cancer fundraiser

Thursday's game against Simley will be the second game of a doubleheader following the Raider girls' game that will be a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Hudson.

The "Fill the Rink with Pink" fundraiser will kick off with the Raider girls hosting the Eau Claire/Altoona Stars at 5 p.m. while Hudson's boys will face Simley at 7 p.m.

Both Raider teams will wear special pink jerseys for the games and the teams will sell T-shirts with the slogan "Fill the Rink with Pink."

The games will feature special guests dropping the ceremonial first puck, including Lockwood's mother and cancer survivor Donna Lanni dropping the puck before the boys' game.

A donation box will be set up for both games and a "Chuck-a-Puck" raffle will take place at one of the between-period breaks at the boys' game. Any cancer survivors are encouraged to attend the game and pick up a goodie bag if they would like one as well.

To make a donation, contact any Raider hockey player.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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