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WIAA State Hockey: Raiders advance to title game

Hudson's Grady Gornick, left, Bennett Schrank (16) and Kolton Prater celebrate Schrank's second period goal to give the Raider boys hockey team a 2-1 lead over Verona in a WIAA state tournament semifinal game Friday, March 2, at Alliant Energy Center in Madison. The goal turned out to be the game-winner in Hudson's 4-1 victory. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia

It's going to be an all Big Rivers Conference championship game at the WIAA boys' state hockey tournament in Madison Saturday, March 3.

Bennett Schrank scored two goals and Aaron Squires had a goal and an assist to lift Hudson to a 4-1 victory over Verona in the first semifinal game Friday, March, 2. Eau Claire Memorial topped Waukesha North, 2-1, in double overtime in the second semifinal to set up a Hudson and Eau Claire Memorial matchup for the third time this season with the state championship on the line.

The Raiders went 1-0-1 against the Old Abes during the regular season, winning 7-4 Jan. 4 in Hudson before playing to a 2-2 tie Feb. 6 in Eau Claire.

Schrank's goal 1 minute, 14 seconds into the second period proved to be the game-winner in Hudson's 4-1 victory over Verona Friday. Squires' point blank shot was stopped by Wildcat goalie Garhett Kaegi but Schrank was there to clean up the rebound to put the Raiders up 2-1.

Hudson's first goal of the game was a shorthanded tally by Ben Lundeen after Cole Danielson knocked the puck away from a Verona play on a forecheck and Lundeen skated in alone and beat Kaeg at the 14:15 mark of the first period.

Verona tied it up one minute later on the power play but Schrank and Squires scored four minutes apart early in the second period to give Hudson a 3-1 lead. Schrank scored his second goal of the game on a wrister from the high slot 1:34 into the third period to make the final 4-1.

Hudson goalie AJ Cohen finished with 23 saves as the Raiders outshot the Wildcats, 26-24.

Hudson and Eau Claire Memorial will meet for the state title at approximately 2:15 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

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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