WADENA -- The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines boys' hockey team is in relatively new territory.
When the third-seeded Wolverines face the top-seeded Fergus Falls Otters in the Section 4A finals at Alexandria on Thursday it will mark only the second time in W-DC's 12-year hockey history that it has made the section finals.
The last time the Wolverines were in the finals they lost to St. Cloud Cathedral in an overtime shootout back in 1994.
The Wolverines, who boast a 17-8-0 record, played the Otters at home on Feb. 1 and lost 9-6.
"It was a different type of game," Wolverines head coach Brad Shelstad said. "We were down 4-0 before we knew it. It looked like a blowout.
"Ten minutes into the first period they got their fourth goal. We got a couple of power-play goals by the end of the period to make it 4-2. We scored the third goal and all of a sudden it's 4-3. Then they got two more. Then it was even at five minutes into the second period, 6-6. It was a different game starting out that far in the hole."
W-DC beat Marshall 7-3 and second-seeded Detroit Lakes 3-2 in the section to set up the game with Fergus. The Otters come into the contest with a 12-11-0 record. In their first two playoff games they blew out Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 8-2 and Little Falls 10-3.
"They are a fast team," Shelstad said of Fergus. "They have real speedy forwards. They have several good lines up front and a good defensive team.
"Their first line is tough. They're good with the puck and they are extremely fast."
Senior Josh Anderson is leading the Otters with 31 points (17 goals, 14 assists). Sophomore Ryan Miller is second with 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists) and junior Troy Wasiloski has 20 points (9 goals, 11 assists).
The Wolverines are led by Jason Merickel with 74 points (29 goals, 45 assists), Josh Schumacher 69 points (32 goals, 37 assists) and Andrew Stearns 68 points (32 goals, 36 assists).
"Our second line got the overtime winner against Detroit Lakes last week," said Shelstad. "Kyle Davis is a sophomore who we've been playing back and fourth all year. He's played most of the season as a defenseman. He's an offensive-type defensemen.
"There have been many times late in this season that we've moved him with Jeff Metzdorff and Matt Kass to get some offensive punch. As it turns out he got the overtime winner against Detroit Lakes."
In goal for W-DC is Tyler Nelson who has a .860 save percentage and is allowing 3.78 goals a game.
"Tyler has played very well in the playoff games," said Shelstad. "Saturday night against Detroit Lakes he had several outstanding, key saves. It was an overtime situation and he had a lot of saves when we needed them."
In goal for Fergus will be Chester Raguse, who has an .888 save percentage and is allowing 3.5 goals a game.
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