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Raiders rule All-BRC teams

Junior goaltender AJ Cohen earned a spot on the All-Big Rivers Conference First Team after posting a league-high eight shutouts and a 1.12 goals against average during the regular season. File photo 1 / 3
Junior forward Cole Danielson earned All-Big Rivers Conference honors for the second straight year after recording 15 goals and 15 assists during the regular season. File photo 2 / 3
Hudson senior Jordon Halverson (20) was named the 2017-18 Big Rivers Conference Player of the Year after leading the Raiders in scoring with 34 points. Halverson is one of six Raiders named to All-BRC teams, including three to the first team. File photo 3 / 3

The Hudson boys hockey team's dominance of the Big Rivers Conference this season was reflected with six Raiders named to 2017-18 All-BRC teams, including senior defenseman Jordon Halverson being named Player of the Year and head coach Brooks Lockwood garnering Coach of the Year.

Halverson was joined on the six-player All-BRC First Team by junior goaltender AJ Cohen and junior forward Cole Danielson. Senior defenseman Jack Flattum and senior forward Ben Lundeen were named to the six-player second team while senior forward Grady Gornick was one of nine players to receive honorable mention.

It's the second all-conference honor for Danielson, who earned honorable mention to the 2016-17 team, and the first for the other five Raiders.

Halverson is the second Hudson defenseman in two years to be named BRC Player of the Year after Chase Blackmun picked up the award a year ago.

Halverson's 26 assists from his blue line position was second most in the BRC. He tallied eight goals for a team-high 34 points while anchoring a Raider penalty kill unit that allowed just two power play goals all season.

After dishing out two assists at the WIAA State Tournament to help Hudson win its second straight state title, the senior captain tried to sum up the Raiders' season.

"It's surreal," he said. "It's just such a surreal feeling to be able to go back-to-back," he said. "There's no words to describe all this. I'm speechless."

Cohen posted a record of 19-1-1 during the regular season with a league-high eight shutouts, a 1.12 goals against average and .940 save percentage. He allowed just one goal in each of Hudson's three state tournament wins while stopping 58 of the 61 shots he faced.

Cohen said he didn't feel any pressure in his first year as a starter.

"I think that was actually a good thing about the season," he said. "No one knew what to expect from me so I didn't have those expectations. Obviously I had big shoes to fill replacing Anthony Howard; he was an unreal goalie. But nobody knew what to expect from me so I could just be free and not worry that I was going to disappoint anyone."

Danielson earned All-BRC honors for the second time after tallying 15 goals and 15 assists during the regular season. He went on to lead all scorers at the state tournament with five goals on his way to being named tournament MVP.

Joining Halverson, Cohen and Danielson on the All-BRC First Team were forwards Ben Zach of Eau Claire Memorial and Sam Stange of Eau Claire North, and defenseman Josh Berg of Eau Claire Memorial.

Flattum was named to the second team after recording 10 goals and nine assists from his blue line position, while Lundeen tied for the team lead in goals with 17 and added 16 assists for 33 points, tied with Payton Hanson for second most on the team behind Halverson. Gornick finished fifth on the team in scoring with 12 goals and 15 assists for 27 points.

Hudson led the All-BRC picks with six players honored while conference runner-up Eau Claire Memorial, who the Raiders defeated 7-1 in the state championship game, had five players named.

Hudson ended the season with a record of 26-1-1 to become the first team to win back-to-back state championships since Superior won three titles from 1993-95. This year's title was the fourth overall for Hudson with the others coming in 2001, 2004 and 2017.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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