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Hudson bests Eau Claire Memorial in overtime

By Mason Hammett, 12/10/23, 7:30PM CST


A last second goal decided the game

On Thursday night in Hudson, The Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes played against the Hudson Raiders. Hudson, who’s 1-3 in their first four games, is looking to get a momentum-shifting win against the Abe’s. Eau Claire Memorial is off to a great start with a 3-1 record even though they are coming into this game off a loss.  The starting goaltender for Eau Claire Was Evan Madsen and Hudson’s Owen Prescher.

The game started with two power plays for both teams. Eau Claire's power play seemed to be most effective. Eau Claire’s Junior Nick Madsen led the charge with a couple of good zone entries which created a couple of chances.  Eau Claire could not convert on the power play. Towards the end of the period, a penalty was called against Eau Claire leading to a powerplay. Eau Claire did an excellent job of killing off the first minute of Hudson's power play. Eau Claire’s Nick Madsen stepped up with some big hits to keep the momentum in Eau Claire's favor going into the second.

Into the second period, Eau Claire does a good job finishing off their penalty kill and keeping the pressure on Hudson. About 6 minutes into the 2nd period Eau Claire took two penalties leading into a 5 on 3.  A turnover and some good hand-eye coordination lead to Eau Claire’s Mack Diggins's breakaway after batting the puck down which gives him a chance to score on a breakaway. Diggins shoots underneath the glove of Hudson's goaltender to score, bringing the game to 1-0 Eau Claire.

 Just a little later Hudson is forced to take a penalty to prevent another breakaway for Eau Claire. Unfortunately for Eau Claire, they can't capitalize on this power play. With 3:25 remaining in the second period, a hit behind Hudson’s net by Eau Claire put them back onto the penalty kill. After taking a hit, Hudson’s Gannon Blaiser picks up the puck off a pass from his teammate and drives toward the net from the boards. Blaiser beats a defender and forces a backhand shot five hole catching Eau Claire's goaltender surprised by the shot. Just like that, the momentum shifted into Hudson's Hands.

 Eau Claire struggled to get their footing back right away which led them to make multiple turnovers. Hudson's Everett Haider catches a nice pass from Willy Fischer, which allows Haider to cut a pass to Joey Skaar. Skaar shoots and misses the net but bounces right back in front of the net behind Eau Claire's goaltender and scores off his rebound. The second period ends with Hudson on top 2-1.

The third period started with a couple of chances but nothing to change the score. Further into the third, both teams would have power play chances but both were unable to score. Towards the end of the third Eau Claire took a timeout to give themselves a breather and a chance to formulate a play to tie the game up. Although Eau Claire didn't score directly after the time out they were still able to tie it. Eau Claire wanted to keep it simple by shooting the puck toward the net and hoping it would result in a chance. A pass up to the point to Eau Claire’s Nick Madsen gave him a shot to put the puck toward the net. He shoots a high short side from the blue line. Eau Claire was able to get a stick onto the puck to deflect Madsen's shot. Hudson's Prescher was able to make two big saves, One off the deflection and one off a rebound. Unfortunately for Prescher, nobody was able to clear the puck. Mack Diggins was able get the third rebound to slot the puck away to tie the game at two with just 2:09 remaining in the third. Just like that the period ended in a tie leading to extra periods being added to the game.

The first overtime is an 8-minute 5 on 5 period. The period would start going from end to end with both teams getting decent opportunities but nothing to make the goalies work.  A penalty would be called on Hudson putting Eau Claire onto the power play over time. The man Advantage would lead to a couple of good chances.  A nice pass from Mack Diggins across the ice to his teammate Nick Madsen would give a nice shot opportunity but is saved by Prescher, keeping his team in the game.

Hudson would be able to kill off the penalty. A puck dumped in by Hudson surely gave a twist in the gut after the puck took a weird jump after hitting the ice forcing Evan Madsen to make a glove save that also goes off the post. Later on in the play, Gannon Blaiser would receive a pass from a teammate in the corner. He made two moves passing two defenders and got a shot off. Eau Claire’s Madsen would make the save.Further into the first overtime, Hudson had an offensive zone faceoff. A scramble off the draw led to the puck landing on Hudson’s Mike Mauer’s stick. Mauer riffled the shot glove side and just over the shoulder but was denied by the crossbar. 

With just a few seconds remaining in the period, Diggins got the puck close to the net and tried to get a shot off but fanned on the shot. The puck would continue to go across the crease which found Nick Madsen driving towards the net. Madsen dove to try to get the puck around a diving Prescher who contested just enough to force him to shoot just wide. The first overtime period would then conclude still tied going into another sudden death overtime period but this time 3 on 3.

The 2nd overtime would start with Eau Claire holding most of the possession for the first minute. They would create a great scoring opportunity with a drop pass on the hash marks on the boards.Eau Claire’s Dylan Byrne drove the net from the goaltender's right side. He would drive past the defenders and try to go across Prescher but would be stopped with a toe save to keep the game going. Eau Claire would hold onto most of the puck possession conceding the puck only a few times. Hudson would gain position and would be in on a 2-on-1 but the shot was rifled wide of the net.

Dylan Byrne would create an opportunity for himself after pushing Hudson’s defender off the puck to give himself a breakaway. Byrne would get a shot off and Prescher would make another crucial save this time off his blocker. Hudson would then push the puck down the ice towards Eau Claire's zone and while on the backcheck there was some miscommunication causing an extra player to jump onto the ice causing the refs to call a too many men penalty on Eau Claire. Hudson would then dominate on this powerplay with the puck coming to the net creating dangerous situations. Evan Madsen would make some crucial stops to try to keep his team in the game.

With just 8.1 seconds left in the second overtime, Hudson had an offensive zone draw. A failed clearing attempt by an Eau Claire defenseman would lead the puck toward the point. Coming down to the last second the puck was thrown towards the net by Hudson’s Harrison Ross. Hudson senior Truman Zerse, would get a deflection and beat goaltender to win the game. The deflected puck entered the net with just .2 seconds left in the overtime.

Eau Claire Memorial shouldn't go back home with their head down. They dominated most of this game but were stopped by a great performance by Owen Prescher. Prescher made 32 saves on 34 for a save percentage of .941. Both of the Madsens for Eau Claire Memorial were dominant tonight as well. Nick Madsen found himself in a good offensive chance and recorded himself an assist on the night. Evan Madsen stopped 25 of the 28 shots on him for a .893 on the night. Mack Diggins for Eau Claire also had himself a night with two goals and was unlucky to score a hat trick for his team to win the game.

Eau Claire Memorial Looks to rebound at their next game. They play Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha Rockets at home on Friday the 15th. Hudson will try to continue this momentum into their next game against The River Falls Wildcats in River Falls on Thursday the 14th.

WiPH Game Summaries