The Spartan Spin

Spartans Shock the Tigers in Double-Overtime

Junior+Trevor+Dalbec+celebrates+after+his+goal+at+14%3A41+in+the+second+period+on+Feb.+20+at+Wessman+Arena.+Superior+beat+New+Richmond+4-3+in+double+overtime+and+will+move+on+to+play+Hudson+in+the+section+final+game.+%0A
Junior Trevor Dalbec celebrates after his goal at 14:41 in the second period on Feb. 20 at Wessman Arena. Superior beat New Richmond 4-3 in double overtime and will move on to play Hudson in the section final game.

Junior Trevor Dalbec celebrates after his goal at 14:41 in the second period on Feb. 20 at Wessman Arena. Superior beat New Richmond 4-3 in double overtime and will move on to play Hudson in the section final game.

Gunnar Gronski

Gunnar Gronski

Junior Trevor Dalbec celebrates after his goal at 14:41 in the second period on Feb. 20 at Wessman Arena. Superior beat New Richmond 4-3 in double overtime and will move on to play Hudson in the section final game.

By Gunnar Gronski, Reporter

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SUPERIOR- The Superior Spartan Boys Varsity Hockey team (12-10-2) came out on top in a battle against the New Richmond Tigers (17-6-1), winning 4-3 in a double overtime thriller. With the win, the Spartans will advance to face the Hudson Raiders in the WIAA section final playoff game this Saturday, Feb. 24.

The first period saw the Tigers setting up their own opportunities by keeping a player near center ice for open passes. These setups led to several 2-on-1 breakouts, but senior goaltender Caden Welch stopped all but one of the 14 shots faced in the first.

“It set the tone for the rest of the game,” Welch said. “I knew from this point forward I couldn’t worry about anything else, and I would have to focus on one period at a time.”

The only score of the first period came at 11:39 after a shot from the Tigers’ defenseman Noah Towberman rebounded off the leg pad of Welch and was buried into the net backside by Tigers’ forward Eric Langer. The Spartans ended the period on a 2-on-2 drive with a shot flying wide right of the net.

New Richmond started the second period scoring with the Tigers’ Hayden Bradbury driving through senior defenseman Luke Drougas. He netted the goal unassisted at 7:04. As the period drew to a close, the Spartans put their first point on the board after senior Tucker Stamper dug the puck out of the right corner of the Tigers’ goaltender and sent a pass to junior Trevor Dalbec, who put the shot in with 2:19 remaining. The period ended with the Spartans still down in score 2-1 but managing to tie the shots at 21.

Third-period action was started by the Spartans when a shot from Drougas rebounded to sophomore Gunner Hansen who netted the goal at 1:13. Hansen continued the Spartans’ momentum, receiving a pass from Stamper and putting the puck over the goalie into the top-left corner of the net. The goal came on a power-play opportunity at 3:49 after a Tigers’ roughing penalty assessed on Thomas Garrett. The Spartans’ lead was short-lived, however, as a penalty on senior Ty Christianson turned into a New Richmond power-play goal. The goal was scored at 5:23 by Towberman with an assist by fellow defenseman Chris Lubow. An interference penalty on Hansen gave the Tigers a 5-on-4 advantage. Shortly after, senior Max Plunkett received a major penalty and game ejection for head contact with only 4:59 left. The penalty left the Spartans shorthanded for the rest of regulation. A timeout called by New Richmond with 2:33 left gave head coach Jason Kalin an opportunity to talk to his players.

“I just had to ask the boys to give us a chance to win this thing in overtime,” Kalin said. “It was incredible. They believed in themselves and managed to get out of that period. It really was what gave us the mental edge to win the game.”

The first overtime period brought opportunities for both teams to score, but both Welch and Tigers’ goaltender Jake Erickson turned away all shots faced. At the end of the first overtime, the shots had increased in Tigers’ favor 39-31.

The second overtime saw a renewed strength from the Spartans.

“In the locker room I stressed the importance of just getting the next goal, that’s all we need,” Kalin said.

The Spartans’ attack led them to a 3-on-1 opportunity, with a shot from Hansen ringing wide left of the net. The winning goal came from the outstretched stick of junior Ian Johnson, with the puck crossing the goal line at 11:57.

The goal was Johnson’s first at the varsity level.

“I managed to get [the puck] through the first defender’s legs, and when I saw the second one coming I knew I had to get the shot off no matter what,” Johnson said.

Johnson dove to get a final tap on the puck with his stick, which sent it through the legs of the goaltender Erickson. The game-winner cleared the Spartan bench, surrounding Johnson in celebration.

This Saturday, Feb 24, the Spartans will play the Hudson Raiders (22-1-1) for the WIAA section final.

“In order to win, we’re going to have to figure out our lines in the upcoming practices, but most importantly we’re going to work on our passing and reiterating the importance of not turning the puck over,” said Kalin.

 

 

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Spartans Shock the Tigers in Double-Overtime