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Late goals lift boys' skaters over River Falls

Hudson junior August Nuutinen reacts after Lawrence Pruitt's shot from the top of the right circle beats River Falls goaltender Corbin Renslow to give the Raiders a 3-2 lead with 3:02 remaining in the game last Thursday at Wildcat Centre in River Falls. Hudson scored two goals in the final four minutes to pull out the 3-2 come-from-behind win. Photo by Bob Burrows

It seemed like only a matter of time before the Raider boys' hockey team would put a puck in the net to tie the score 2-2 at River Falls last Thursday. But as the game went on, that time seemed to be running out.

The Wildcats scored a pair of first period goals, sandwiched around a Raider goal by Henry Brose, and clung to a 2-1 lead despite Hudson spending most of the night in its offensive zone.

Finally, with 3:29 remaining in the game, Dylan Haskins put back a rebound of a Daniel Tripicchio shot for the tying goal on a Raider power play. Then, just 27 seconds later, Lawrence Pruitt ripped a shot from just inside the right circle that found the back of the net to give Hudson a 3-2 come-from-behind victory.

Hudson dominated from the start, outshooting the Wildcats 11-5 in the first period but trailed 2-1 before Haskins and Pruitt scored late to lift the team to the win. The Raiders finished with 50 shots on goal compared to 14 for River Falls.

The Wildcats struck first, at the 6:54 mark of the opening period, on a goal by Jack Pilney. Brose tied the score at the 13:10 mark, assisted by James Falls, but the Cats took a 2-1 lead on a goal by Brady Stocker with 1:18 remaining in the period.

The scoreless second period was interrupted when Wildcat senior Travis Mathiesen landed hard on his back with 6:05 remaining. The officials sent both teams their respective locker rooms while an ambulance was called, and after resurfacing the ice the game resumed about 30 minutes later.

Mathiesen was taken to River Falls Area Hospital with a bruised lower back, but Wildcat head coach Brooks Lockwood reported he expected him back at practice this week.

Last Saturday night the Raiders dropped a 5-2 nonconference decision at Red Wing.

Pruitt gave Hudson a 1-0 lead with an unassisted shorthanded goal less than two minutes into the game, and after Red Wing tied the score at the 2:17 mark, Haskins netted a power play goal, with an assist from Taylor Casey to give Hudson a 2-1 lead after one.

Red Wing scored three second period goals to take a 4-2 lead after two, and added another in the third period to make the final 5-2.

Raider coach Mike Stoskopf said he was pleased with the play of his team in both games.

"I thought, overall, our players have worked very hard and the attitude and fun level is great," he said. "We have had a tough time scoring, but if we keep putting shots on the net, hopefully we will see the results we are looking for."

The Raiders, now 4-2-0 overall, 2-1-0 in the Big Rivers Conference, hosted Rice Lake this past Tuesday, Dec. 21 before preparing for the Schwan's Cup in Blaine, Minn., Dec, 26-28.

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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