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Rudman’s hat trick helps power Fort Zumwalt West past Timberland

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WENTZVILLE – Fort Zumwalt West senior Daniel Rudman finished his Christmas shopping Tuesday night.

Rudman’s parents asked for a hat trick before the Jaguars’ game against Timberland. Rudman delivered and led West to a 10-0 win in front of a packed crowd in a Mid-States Club Hockey Association St. Charles Division game at Wentzville Ice Rink.

“That’s all they asked for, so I’m glad to give them what they wanted,” Rudman said.

Aaron Hemmer scored twice, and Josh Eigenmann and Jack Rider each had a goal and an assist for West (5-5-1). TJ Steinman, Brandt Diel and Jacob Cohen also scored, and Jackson Winkles made 13 saves to record his first shutout of the season as the Jaguars snapped a two-game losing streak against the Wolves.

“When they are working like this, they're pretty formidable,” West coach Paul Johnson said. “They move the puck around and their forecheck is pretty solid when they're when they're moving their feet. So, today was a good day. Everything clicked.”

Maleigh Tittel and Jeremy Kimmel Jr. combined to make 19 saves for Timberland (5-3-2), which dropped its third straight.

“We just couldn't get any bounces going our way and then just the snowball turned into an avalanche,” Timberland coach Jeremy Huber said.

West’s forecheck set the tone from the opening faceoff.

The Jaguars were relentless on the puck and won numerous battles for it along the boards keeping the ice tilted in their favor.

“We don't really get a big student section often,” Eigenmann said. “To see that many people there, we were just all hyped and we wanted to put on a show so they would come out to more games. We were all working as a team, came out hard, moved the puck and we kept through it the whole game.”

Steinman gave West the lead, placing a wrister just under the crossbar to make it 1-0 at the 4 minute, 20 second mark of the first period.

Eigenmann extended the Jaguars lead, with a laser from the high slot with 6:04 left in the first.

Diel’s second goal of the season gave West a 3-0 lead with 2:41 left and Rider’s wrister with 1:03 left capped a dominant opening frame for the Jaguars.

Rudman found the back of the net for West with 4:54 left of in the second period, roofing a quick shot from the left circle.

“We just went in with a game plan that we're going to get pucks in deep and we're going to go hard for it,” Rudman said. “We won a lot of battles and it ended up just going in front and we can bury it.”

Hemmer scored late in the second and again in the third to give him a team-high 16 goals on the season. Rudman added two late tallies sending several Santa Claus hats onto the ice thrown from a boisterous West student section.

“Shout out to everyone that came out tonight,” Rudman said. “It's so much fun to play in an arena where you know they come to see you and they're cheering for you. You hear your name and everything, and it's just a great feeling.”

The win for West avenged a loss earlier this season to Timberland.

“I'm hoping that we start to understand if we just keep our feet moving and make plays, things are going to fall into place,” Johnson said. “We got a really good team this year. We're still trying to find our identity and I'm hoping that this just adds to that.”

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