The Hudson Raiders scored twice in the first period, then held on against a furious Wausau West attack to down the Warriors 4-1 and advance to the championship game for the second consecutive season.
Cole Danielson started the scoring when he took a pass from Chase Blackmun and fired a wrist shot just inside the far post at 9:23 in the opening period. Less than a minute later, Aaron Grounds tried passing the puck from behind the net out to the slot, but it hit off of a West defender and bounced past Warriors goalie Jacob Warnke for a quick 2-0 Hudson lead.
Warnke and Raiders goalie Anthony Howard were each credited with seven saves in the first period.
There was no scoring in the second period, despite two power play opportunities for Hudson and three for Wausau. Each team managed six shots on goal in the second.
The Warriors generated several excellent scoring chances in the third period, but could not get the puck into the Raiders goal.
Midway through the third period, Kellen Tharaldson received a questionable elbowing penalty after delivering a hard check at the Raider blue line. Aaron Grounds scored off a nice cross-ice pass from Dan Lienemann on the ensuing power play to put Hudson up 3-0.
Lienemann scored just over two minutes later on a rebound to secure the victory for Hudson.
Cade Lemmer scored with just under two minutes to play to put Wausau on the board, but it was too late. Lemmer’s goal was the first allowed by the Raiders in this post-season.
Howard stopped 11 shots in the third period frenzy, while Warnke made 3 saves.