Hudson boys hockey coach Davis Drewiske said being the King of December isn’t worth anything right now.
The top-ranked Raiders laid claim to that title with a 5-0 shutout over No. 2 Notre Dame Academy Saturday afternoon at Gornick Arena. But Drewiske said the Raiders can’t afford to let it go to their heads.
“We have to keep getting better and get ready for the end of the year,” he said. “Everyone else is going to get better, so we have to continue to improve and focus on one day at a time.”
Saturday’s win came a week after Hudson suffered its first loss of the season to Gentry (Minn.) Academy, a team Notre Dame had beaten one night earlier. Drewiske said that was all the motivation the players needed going into the game.
“That's something we really didn’t talk about,” he said about the state rankings. “I think it was more the fact that they'd beat a team last weekend that we lost to, so we had to be ready to play. I thought we missed some opportunities, but for the most part, defensively, we played well without the puck and limited their opportunities.”
The Raiders scored twice in the first period and twice in the third while limiting Notre Dame to just 11 shots on goal. When the Tritons did get a shot through, Raider goalie Aiden Tepper-Engh was there to record his second straight shutout and third of the season.
“We just wanted to make it hard on them, and Aiden made some big saves when he had to in the second period when we got into a little penalty trouble,” Drewiske noted.
The Raiders scored their five goals on just 19 shots. Two of those goals came on the power play while Max Giblin had a hand in four of the five scores.
Zach Kochendorfer knocked home a rebound of a Giblin shot for the first goal 4 minutes, 35 seconds in. Then, just nine seconds after going on a power play, Carter Mears cleaned up a rebound of another Giblin shot to make it a 2-0 game three minutes before the end of the first period. Mathew Mauer also assisted on the goal.
Giblin sprung Mauer for a breakaway goal 2:27 into the second period, with Brecken Meyer also earning an assist, to extend the Raider lead to 3-0 at the end of two.
Giblin picked up his fourth point of the afternoon with a power play goal at the 6:47 mark of the third period, assisted by Brody Dietz and Kochendorfer, before Alex Pottratz made the final 5-0 with just under three minutes remaining with Dietz and Harrison Ross assisting.
Saturday’s win came two days after the Raiders stayed perfect in the Big Rivers Conference with a 7-0 victory over New Richmond.
The Raiders came out flying against the Tigers, firing 32 shots on goal in the first period and scoring three times to remain on top of the BRC standings at 4-0-0.
Hudson led 2-0 on a pair of Giblin goals before New Richmond got its first shot on goal. Kochendorfer scored in the final minute of the first period to make it a 3-0 game as the Raiders outshot the Tigers 32-8 in the first 17 minutes.
Pottratz netted a shorthanded goal in the second period and Brayden Hess, Dietz and Pottratz all scored in the third to make the final 7-0.
Giblin, Kochendorfer and Mauer added three assists each to the Raider scoring line and Dietz assisted on a goal while Reese Richardson, Meyer, Carson Strapon and Oliver Schroeder had one assist each and Tepper-Engh stopped all 13 shots he faced.
The Raiders, now 7-1-0 overall, have a 12-day break before a rematch with Gentry Academy at home Thursday, Dec. 30, at 2 p.m. Drewiske said last week’s back-to-back shutout victories are a good way to go into the break.
“Now we're just getting ready to kind of reset and refocus and keep getting better every day,” he said.