The final week of the regular season is underway. The sectional seedings are set. Conference title is determined. However, the games remaining still matter to those playing the game. They will battle until the final horn sounds, coaches will continue to teach and players will strive to get those lessons in play for the playoffs. Last night's game between the Western Wisconsin Stars and the Hudson Raiders was a prime example of teams competing until the clock showed nothing but zeroes after the final period.
I was a little late getting to the game due to the schedule on WiPH stating it was at 7:30 PM and it started a half hour prior to that. I was there for a little over half of the first period and the Stars were applying offensive pressure to the Raiders the entire period. Hudson picked up a roughing penalty at 10:51 of the period, but that was as busy as the scorekeeper got as the period ended in a 0-0 tie. The Stars outshot Hudson 11-0 in the period.
The Stars were awarded another power play opportunity at 3:00 of the second, when Hudson collected a penalty for cross-checking. The Raiders killed off this penalty, too. Hudson's Lauren Kowalsky scored an unassisted goal at 5:36 of the second to give them a 1-0 lead. A body checking penalty against the Raiders at 6:09 put Western Wisconsin on the power play. The third time was the charm for the Stars, when Brooke Olson scored the power play goal with an assist from Josie Sawicki at 7:06. The Stars were accessed a hooking penalty at 12:09 and were able to kill it off. Chloe Julson gave the Stars the lead at 14:56 with Brooke Olson assisting. The Stars picked up a body checking penalty at 15:28, but led 2-1 at the end of two. They outshot the Raiders 12-9 in the period.
The third period stared with Western Wisconsin killing off the final 32 seconds of the penalty from the second period. The were called for hooking at 2:21 of the third giving Hudson their third power play opportunity. Three seemed to be the lucky number for the evening as Hudson scored on their third power play opportunity. Averie Martin scored at 3:30 with Erin Madigan and Juliana Cahoon assisting to tie the game at 2. Western Wisconsin's bench picked up an unsportmanslike conduct penalty at 8:36 and killed it off. Hudson was able to keep the Stars from scoring on another power play opportunity from a hooking penalty at 9:30. Erin Madigan scored an unassisted goal at 11:44 to give the Raiders a 3-2 lead. The Raiders were accessed another hooking penalty at 12:31 and were up to the task at keeping the score 3-2. Western Wisconsin pulled their goalie with 51.2 seconds showing on the clock. Hudson picked up a roughing penalty with 49.6 seconds left in regulation. Unfortunately for the Stars, even with their extra skater making it 6 on 4, Western Wisconsin could not get the game tied.
The Stars outshot the Raiders 32 to 20 for the game. Depending on how each team does in their game on Thursday, February 15th, they could meet again in the sectional two semi-finals.
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