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WIAA State Hockey: Raiders repeat champs

Hudson players including captain Jordon Halverson carrying the state championship trophy, celebrate in front of the Raider student section after defeating Eau Claire Memorial, 7-1, Saturday, March 3, at Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
The Hudson Raiders celebrate their second straight WIAA state championship after defeating Eau Claire Memorial, 7-1, Saturday, March 3, at Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

The Hudson boys' hockey team completed a dominant state tournament run by beating Big Rivers Conference rival Eau Claire Memorial, 7-1, in the WIAA State Championship game Saturday, March 3, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

It's the second straight state title for Hudson, and fourth overall, and came in its third straight appearance in the championship game. The Raiders are the first team to win back-to-back state championships since Superior won three titles from 1993-95.

Cole Danielson had a hat trick, Peyton Hanson recorded a four-point game and AJ Cohen was unflappable in goal as the Raiders wore down the Old Abes, who had to go to double overtime to beat Waukesha North, 2-1, just 17 hours earlier to reach the title game.

Danielson opened the scoring 5 minutes, 48 seconds in when he picked up a loose puck behind the Old Abe net, wheeled out front and snapped a wrister past Memorial goalie Trevor Hudacek from a sharp angle.

Memorial responded 1:42 later on a rebound goal by Max Savaloja to tie the score.

The Raiders took the lead for good at the 11:21 mark when Ben Lundeen benefitted from a great individual effort by Hanson. Hanson skated in from the blue line with an Old Abe defender and got off a shot that was stopped by Hudacek and bounced over the net. Hanson slid into the boards and while lying on his stomach was able to center the puck back out front to Ben Lundeen, who tapped it in for the go-ahead goal.

Danielson scored his second goal 1:01 into the second period on a deflection of a Jack Flattum shot and Hanson scored at the 12:31 mark before a Joe Martin redirect of a Dylan Carr shot with 20 seconds left in the period extended Hudson's lead to 5-1.

Danielson finished his hat trick with a power play goal 2:48 into the third and Jack Flattum scored from the right circle with 7:54 remaining to make it 7-1 and institute a running clock.

Cohen, meanwhile, came up with a pair of big saves late in the first period, including stopping a back-door shot that would have tied the score at 2-2. Ten of his 25 saves came in the third period as the Old Abes tried in vain to get back into the game.

Hudson outscored its three opponents 18-3 in its three state tournament wins, beating St. Mary’s Springs, 7-1, in the quarterfinals, Verona, 4-1 in the semifinals and Eau Claire Memorial, 7-1 in the title game.

Hudson finished the season with a record of 28-1-1 while the Old Abes finished 25-3-2 with two of those losses and a tie coming at the hands of the Raiders.

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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