Spartans End Season Runner-Up to Raiders


Elise Hintzman

Coaches Jason Kalin and Ryan Hendry, along with juniors Trevor Dalbec, Cayden Laurvick, and Jakob Holmlund, watch as Hudson captains, Jack Flattum, Jordon Halverson, and Grady Gornick, accept the Section One Champion Title on Feb. 24 at the Amery Youth Hockey Association Arena. The Hudson Raiders beat the Superior Spartans 4-1 and will be moving on to the state tournament.

By Gunnar Gronski, Reporter

AMERY- The Superior Boys Varsity Hockey season ended at the WIAA Section 1 Final against the Hudson Raiders, losing 4-1. With the win the Raiders are Section 1 champions and will advance to the WIAA state tournament.

The Spartans had a strong first period, killing off two penalties and setting up scoring opportunities. After a quick escape, senior captain Blake Hanson shot a pass across the ice to the stick of junior Max Curtis. Curtis brought the puck into the Raiders’ zone and sent a shot at senior goaltender AJ Cohen, who extended his blocker to make the save. Both the Spartans’ defense and goaltender Caden Welch kept Hudson off the board. As a 3-on-1 opportunity came down into the Spartans’ zone, senior defenseman Luke Drougas dove onto the ice to interrupt a shot, and Welch stretched across his crease for the save.

“In the first period especially, we executed our game plan nearly perfectly,” head coach Jason Kalin said. “Penalties didn’t hurt us, and we weren’t turning the puck over like we have in the past.” 

Scoring started in the second period off a wrist shot from the point by Raider senior defenseman Jordon Halverson. The goal came at 2:27 and was assisted by sophomore forward Peyton Hanson. Two power play opportunities for the Spartans passed scoreless, and the period ended with a shot through the legs of Welch by junior Cole Danielson at 13:27.

The Spartans’ first score came in the third period after an illegal equipment penalty was assessed on the Raiders’ goaltender. After a faceoff win in the Raiders’ zone, junior Cayden Laurvick pulled Cohen out of position with a move and finished with a wrap-around goal at 10:00.

“It felt good knowing that we got a spark going after the goal,” said Laurvick.

A timeout called with 1:13 left in the period brought Welch onto the bench in exchange for an extra attacker.

“I told the boys we have nothing to lose,” Kalin said. “Scream across the ice, take every opportunity, and get the puck in.”

Unfortunately for the Spartans, the Raiders would capitalize on the empty net with two unassisted goals from Peyton Hanson sealing the win.

The final shot count was in Spartans’ favor, 29-24.

“Hopefully this losing feeling serves as a learning opportunity for the large class of juniors we have,” Kalin said. “It should drive them to work for next season. I want to beat Hudson.”

Elise Hintzman
Junior Cayden Laurvick shoots and scores Superior’s only goal against Hudson goalie AJ Cohen at 10:00 of the third period on Feb. 24 at the Amery Youth Hockey Association Arena.
Elise Hintzman
Senior goalie Caden Welch reaches for the puck after a Hudson Raider shot on goal on Feb. 24 at Amery Youth Hockey Association Arena. Welch saved 20 shots while letting in four by the end of the third period.