Hudson boys hockey

Players on the Hudson boys hockey team celebrate after the final buzzer sounded in their 4-0 victory over Verona in the WIAA Division 1 state championship game Saturday, Feb. 20, at South Wood County Rink in Wisconsin Rapids.

First-year Hudson boys hockey coach Davis Drewiske didn’t care where the 2021 state championship game was played.

“It still counts,” he said.

The Raiders won their fifth state championship, and third in the last five years, with a 4-0 victory over 2020 state champion Verona Saturday, Feb. 20, at South Wood County Rink in Wisconsin Rapids.

The state championship game, which had been played at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison since 1976, was shifted to the much smaller rink in Wisconsin Rapids due to COVID-19 restrictions. But that didn’t matter to Drewiske or the Raiders.

It was the fifth boys state championship for Hudson, which also won in 2001, 2004 and posted back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018 under coach Brooks Lockwood.

The title also was a 20th anniversary celebration for Drewiske, who was a member of the Raiders’ 2001 championship team and a teammate of Lockwood’s. And being able to lead his alma mater to another state title was special for him.”

“Hudson hockey means a lot to me,” he said. “I’m very proud to be from Hudson. I’m just really proud.”

The title game win over Verona was sheer domination, as the Raiders held a 35-7 edge in shots. Hudson scored twice 53 seconds apart in the first period that started their convincing win to finish the season with a record of 20-3.

Drewiske called the state title game the Raiders’ most complete game of the year.

“Maybe with the exception of our power play, but five-on-five we did a really good job, and penalty kill we did a really good job,” he said. “And that was a good time to put together a full three periods.”

Carter Mears accounted for two of the Raider goals and Alex Pottratz and Matthew Mauer scored a goal each while goaltender Alex Ripplinger recorded his sixth shutout of the season.

Mears and Mauer, along with Sam Ross, Hunter Danielson, Sam Giblin, Bryce Handberg, Zach Kochendorfer, and Brody Dietz all went on to earn all-state honors while Giblin named the winner of the award named after his coach– The Davis Drewiske Award– as the top defenseman in the state.

After winning a state title at Hudson in 2001, Drewiske played on the University of Wisconsin’s NCAA title team in 2006 and won a Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012. He returned to Hudson as an assistant coach alongside Lockwood and then replaced his brother, Jake, as head coach for the 2020-21 season.

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