North boys hockey made a big statement when the Huskies throttled Memorial, 5-1, two weeks ago. The impact of the win was dampened some by the Huskies’ loss to Chippewa Falls five days later, but Saturday the team proved it still deserves to be ranked among the state’s best.
Sam Stange scored a hat trick and added an assist, while Zach Urdahl and Joey Koller had a goal and two assists each in North’s 6-4 come-from-behind victory against Superior.
The Spartans, ranked fourth in the latest WIPH/Coaches Boys Top 10 and USHSCO polls, had only lost twice prior this season. Both defeats came at the hands of Wausau West, ranked second in the state in the WIPH and third in the USHSCO.
North is an honorable mention in the latest WIPH poll along with fellow Big Rivers members Chippewa Falls and Hudson.
The Huskies scored the first goal of the game but went down 4-2 midway through the second after a goal from Superior’s Trevor Dalbec. Two minutes after Dalbec’s goal, Stange kicked off the comeback.
The future Wisconsin Badger scored two straight, one 11 minutes into the second on a wrister in transition and an equalizer seven minutes and 25 seconds into the third off a rebound following a shot from the point.
Koller scored the go-ahead goal 37 seconds after Stange completed his hat trick, and Urdahl iced it with an empty netter with 20 seconds left.
North plays Wisconsin Rapids on Tuesday before returning to Big Rivers action at Hudson next Tuesday.
The Huskies currently hold a two-point lead in the Big Rivers after all the competitors for the conference crown have played seven games.
Hudson, Memorial and Chippewa Falls are in a three-way tie for second with 10 points a piece. River Falls has four points, while Rice Lake and Menomonie are still winless in conference play.
Big wrestling weekend
North wrestling competed against competition from around Minnesota at the Plainview Elgin Millvillle Tournament Saturday, leaving with five place winners and one champion. Carter Duerkop won in 160 after besting previously unbeaten and fifth-ranked Minnesota wrestler Derek Meincke of Lake City in the semifinals and No. 9 Josh Belden of Austin in the final.
The Huskies battle Memorial in the Crosstown Showdown on Thursday.
Saturday’s Ladysmith Invitational saw balance in its winners, as six local schools had first place finishers. Cameron’s Tanner Gerber won in 106, Ladysmith’s Trent Vollendorf in 120, Bloomer/Colfax’s Sawyer Best in 132, Bloomer/Colfax’s Mitchel Harmon in 138, Cumberland’s Reid Olson in 145, Barron’s Tristan Massie in 152, Barron’s William Waldofski in 170 and Cumberland’s Milan Monchilovich in 195.
The Chippewa Falls Invitational was largely dominated by Edgar on Saturday, but local wrestlers did prevail in three weight categories. Stanley-Boyd/Owen-Withee’s Blaine Brenner won in 106, Regis/Altoona’s Payton Kostka won in 152 and Mondovi’s Raith Bauer won in 220.