HUDSON, Wis .-- Through its first six games, the Hudson boys’ hockey team outscored its opponents 42-4 on the way to a 6-0 record and a No. 1 ranking in the state.
But the team knew it wasn’t going to be that easy all season.
The Raiders were challenged for the first time all year last Tuesday, Dec. 22, in Chippewa Falls, and came out of it with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Cardinals to improve to 7-0 overall, 2-0 in Big Rivers Conference play.
It was a small bit of revenge for the Raiders, who saw their season end last year with a 2-1 loss to the Cardinals in the sectional title game.
Hudson found itself trailing for the first time all season when Chippewa Falls scored a shorthanded goal just under five minutes into the game last Tuesday night, but Bryce Handberg evened things up under a minute remaining in the opening period with an even-strength goal assisted by Hunter Danielson.
After falling behind 2-1 early in the second, the Raiders scored two power-play goals following a five-minute major penalty on the Cardinals to take a one-goal lead.
Max Giblin knotted it up at the 9:19 mark with assists from Brody Dietz and Zach Kochendorfer before Matthew Mauer gave Hudson its first lead of the game at 14:56 with Giblin and Dietz assisting.
Chippewa Falls scored 4:42 into a third period that saw the Cardinals outshoot the Raiders 8-1. But Raider goalie Alex Ripplinger came up with some big saves down the stretch to send it to overtime and Nick Jilek netted the game-winner 1:50 into the extra session with assists from Reese Richardson and Carson Strapon.
Ripplinger finished with 18 saves as the Raiders outshot the Cardinals 30-21.
The Raiders will return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2, at home against Hayward before visiting Rice Lake Tuesday, Jan. 5.