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Raider hockey reaches state title game

Hudson's Aaron Grounds celebrates his power play goal to give the Raiders a 3-0 lead in the third period of their WIAA State semifinal against Wausau West Friday, March 3. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Bob Burrows)1 / 5
Grady Gornick tips a shot high.2 / 5
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For the first time this postseason the Hudson boys' hockey team was outshot and allowed a goal.

It didn't matter.

Aaron Grounds scored twice, Cole Danielson and Dan Lienemann had a goal apiece and Anthony Howard made a postseason-high 24 saves as the Raiders defeated Wausau West, 4-1, in a WIAA State Tournament semifinal Friday, March 3, at Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

Hudson (26-2-1) will face Waukesha North (26-3-0) in the WIAA state title game Saturday, March 4, at 2:15 p.m.

After Howard made a pair of saves on a West power play to keep the game scoreless, Hudson' Chase Blackmun found Danielson on a rush and Danielson wristed a shot from the left circle for a 1-0 Raider lead.

Just 23 seconds later Grounds attempted a pass the from behind the West net and the puck deflected off a West player and in for a 2-0 lead after a video review.

After a scoreless second period, Grounds' second goal of the game, 42 seconds into a Raider power play, at the 8:14 mark of the third period made the score 3-0.

Lienemann added an even strength goal just over two minutes later to boost the score to 4-0.

Howard, who entered the game with a 0.72 goals against average and four straight shutouts in the postseason, made 11 of his 24 saves in the third period and came within 1 minute, 55 seconds of becoming the first goalie to shut out Wausau West this season.

Wausau West, who went 3-for-5 on the power play in its state quarterfinal win over West Salem/Bangor on Thursday, came up empty on eight opportunities with a man advantage against Hudson's penalty kill.

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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