Sam Hanson scored three times for Eau Claire Memorial, helping the Old Abes down conference rival Chippewa Falls 4-2 in the Section Two final at Hobbs Ice Arena in Eau Claire on Saturday.
The Old Abes controlled play from the start of the first period. Three minutes in, with a scrum in front of the Chick's Hi goal, Ben Zacho scooped up the loose puck, spun around, and put it past Cardinals goaltender Jaden Hoople.
ECM continued to dominate until Hanson got called for tripping midway through the period. On the ensuing power play, Jordan Steinmetz walked out from the boards to the slot and fired a perfect shot off the inside of the far post, beating Memorial netminder Trevor Hudecek and tying the game at one each.
The Cardinals used the momentum from that goal to balance out the remainder of the period. Each team ended the period with eight shots on goal.
The second period started out evenly, with both teams having opportunities. The tied shifted again on a power play goal, this one by Memorial. Hanson gathered in a rebound of a shot by Dawson Schwengler to put the Old Abes back on top, and seemingly in control. (See video from Justus Cleveland below)
Memorial enjoyed a 15 to 10 shot advantage in the second period, and a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard.
Early in the third period, Hanson skated in on the right side, cut toward the net, looked toward the slot as if to pass, then instead snapped off a quick shot over a surprised Hoople for a 3-1 lead.
Blayde Bowe cut the lead to one with a wrist shot from the left boards that handcuffed Hudecek halfway through the third period.
But Hanson completed his hattrick with a one timer from the slot off a pass from Ben Zacho below the goal line.
The Cardinals pulled their goalie with about two minutes left and put good pressure on the Old Abes, getting several good scoring chances, but were denied by Hudecek.
Hudecek finished the game with 30 saves on 32 shots, while Hoople stopped 35 of 39.