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Prep boys hockey: Drotts’ four goals leads Grand Rapids past Superior

Spartan goalie Trevor Soderlund made 41 saves in the loss.

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Superior’s Trevor Anderson (8) fights for the puck with Grand Rapids’ Justin Kerr (16) in the first period of the game at Wessman Arena on Tuesday evening, Jan. 11, 2022, in Superior.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — Before much of the crowd got settled in their seats Grand Rapids had already taken a lead Tuesday.

Fifty-seven seconds into the first period, Garrett Drotts took a pass from Joey DelGreco and fired it past Spartan goalie Trevor Soderlund to give the Thunderhawks the 1-0 lead.

Grand Rapids took a 2-0 lead into the second period, when Drotts scored twice in the matter of 20 seconds.

“My linemates really set me up there, we were just buzzing and it was just a fun time,” Drotts said. “Easton Young gave me a good pass on the side and I just picked a corner. On the second one, Bauer Murphy shot it and I just got the rebound and crashed the net.”

Superior coach Jason Kalin was impressed with the way Grand Rapids was able to keep the puck moving and away from Spartan defenders.

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“If you look at one thing that was a difference between the two teams, it was puck movement and finding open spaces,” Kalin said. “They did a really good job, they communicated well and were in the the right spots at the right time.”

Grand Rapids coach Wade Chiodo said the team came out fast and built a cushion before going into “neutral” later in the game. The top line with Drotts and DelGreco has been moving the puck well all season.

“They get it, they move it and they get it up the ice quick,” Chiodo said.

The team is playing pretty well and is starting to implement more into its game plan as the Thunderhawks get deeper into their season, Chiodo said.

While the Spartans were unable to score, Kalin was impressed with the play of Soderlund, who made 41 saves on the night.

“He’s been playing a a very high level lately and he’s gotten into a rhythm,” Kalin said. “He saved us against Denfeld and again tonight, he kept it close for a while. We were looking pretty good after the first period, but you can’t take penalties against a team like this and once they got a couple, it just takes the wind out of a team’s sails.”

Kalin was forced to watch the game via streaming on Tuesday after a positive COVID test forced him to stay home. Kalin said he has mild symptoms right now, but the experience of watching his team from a distance was “horrible.”

“I want to be there and that’s the hard part,” Kalin said. “You go into battle with a group of kids so many times for so long, it just becomes something that is part of you and you just want to be there.”

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Grand Rapids (11-3) will play Duluth Denfeld at 7 p.m. Thursday in Duluth.

Superior (4-7-1) will play at Baldwin-Woodville at 7 p.m. Friday.

Grand Rapids 2-3-2—7

Superior 0-0-0—0

First period — 1. GR, Garrett Drotts (Joey DelGreco), 0:57; 2. GR, DelGreco (Ren Morque, Easton Young), 8:05 (pp).

Second period — 3. GR, Drotts (Young), 8:02; 4. GR, Drotts (Kaden Nelson, Bauer Murphy), 8:22; 5. GR, Murphy (Hayden DeMars, DelGreco), 16:17 (pp).

Third period — 6. GR, Drotts (Young), 4:50; 7. GR, DelGreco, 9:05 (pp).

Saves — Myles Gunderson, GR, 5; Zac Lagergren, GR, 7; Trevor Soderlund, S, 41.

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Superior goalie Trevor Soderlund (33) stops a deflection off of Grand Rapids’ Kaden Nelson’s (7) stick as Trevor Durfee (5) gets in on the play in the first period of the game at Wessman Arena on Tuesday evening, Jan. 11, 2022, in Superior.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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Superior’s Carter Kalin (29) knocks Grand Rapids’ Travis Verbick (11) off the puck in the first period of the game at Wessman Arena on Tuesday evening, Jan. 11, 2022, in Superior.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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Superior goalie Trevor Soderlund (33) slides over to stop a shot from Grand Rapids’ Joey DelGreco (10) in the first period of the game at Wessman Arena on Tuesday evening, Jan. 11, 2022, in Superior.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Jamey Malcomb has been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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