WIAA State Hockey Championships: Hudson, St. Mary’s Springs, Chippewa Claim State Titles

~ From the WIAA ~

Wisconsins Rapids –  Two boys champions and a girls champion were crowned at the 2021 State Hockey Tournament Saturday at South Wood County Rink.

Hudson (20-3) skated to a 4-0 shutout over Verona (15-4) in the Division 1 boys championship game. Carter Mears scored first for the Raiders at 7:49 with an even-strength goal assisted by Carson Strapon.

Alex Pottratz added a goal less than a minute later at 6:56 with an assist from Hunter Danielson. After a scoreless second period, Mears added his second goal of the game with another assist from Strapon at 12:58 left in the game. Matthew Mauer added insurance with an empty-net goal at 2:21 to close the scoring. Zach Kochendorfer and Sam Ross chipped in with assists.

Alex Ripplinger made seven saves to get the win in goal for the Raiders, and Kaden Grant stopped 31 shots for the Wildcats. The Raiders outshot the Wildcats 35-7 in the game.

Hudson wins its fifth State championship in the Raiders’ 12th State appearance. Verona, last year’s champion, finishes runner-up in its 10th experience at State.

St. Mary’s Springs (26-2) captured the Division 2 championship for the second consecutive season with a 4-1 victory over Superior (11-6).

Brady Welsch scored the first of his two goals in the game with an assist from Noah Pickart to get the Ledgers on the scoreboard at the 11:11 mark of the first period. The score remained 1-0 until early in the third period. Calvin Grass score the first of his two power-play goals in succession with assists from Welsch and Connor McLaughlin at 14:55.

He added his second with an assist from Welsch at 10:29 remaining in the third period. Andrew Rude scored the only goal of the game for the Spartans with an unassisted tally at the 6:16 mark of the third period. Welsch capped the scoring with an empty-net goal in the final minute of the contest with an assist from Dayne Deanovich.

Hayden Rising made 11 saves in goal for the Ledgers, and Jamin Durfee recorded 36 saves for the Spartans, who were outshot 40-12 by the Ledgers in the game.

The Ledgers’ title comes in its second appearance as a stand-alone program, and Spartans finish runner-up in their membership-leading 38th time at State.

Chippewa Falls/McDonell Catholic/Menomonie won the State girls championship with a 3-2 overtime triumph over the University School/Divine Savior Holy Angels/Dominican/Milwaukee King/Nicolet/Shorewood/Whitefish Bay co-op.

Joey Schmenauer netted the game-winner 3:20 into the extra period to send the Sabers into celebration mode. Brianna Buoninco was credited with an assist on the play.

The Wildcats scored with 10 seconds remaining in the first period to take a 1-0 lead on an Emily Mueller goal with an assist from Jordan Bonk.

After a scoreless second period, Ella Ausman tied the game for the Sabers with a goal 40 seconds into the third period with an assist from Sidney Polzin. The Wildcats struck back to take a 2-1 lead on a Bonk power-play goal with assists credited to Maddie Wagner and Eileen Carey with 10:08 remaining in the third period.

Sidney Polzin tied the game at 2-2 with a power-play goal at 7:20 with assists from Ausman and Emme Bergh to send the game into overtime.

Caroline O-Dell was the winning goaltender, saving 15 shots, and Molly Jex made 25 stops in goal for the Wildcats. The Sabers held a 28-17 advantage in shots on goal in the game.

It’s the first State title for the Chippewa Falls co-op in this configuration. The Wildcats are the runners-up in their first appearance in the current version of the co-op.

Boys Division 1 Championship Game Stats
Boys Division 2 Championship Game Stats
Girls Championship Game Stats

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]