Lubow nets game winner, New Richmond boys hockey beats Somerset in overtime
With huge sectional and Middle Border Conference ramifications, not to mention the pride of the New Richmond-Somerset rivalry at stake, the Tiger boys hockey team produced a gem in Somerset on Saturday night.
New Richmond got a goal from Nick Lubow at 2:10 into the overtime to score a 3-2 win over the Spartans.
The win moves the Tigers to 2-0 in the MBC and it’s the second time the Tigers have knocked off a top sectional rival. They defeated Superior the previous week.
New Richmond coach Adam Swanda usually downplays the rivalry factor in these games, but he said the Tigers rose to meet the demands of this important game.
“That was a helluva hockey atmosphere. If we can have 20 games like that, it would be a great season,” Swanda said.
The Tigers’ second line of Lubow, Kole Hallmark and Jake Singerhouse has been coming together fast and it took another giant step forward in this game.
On the game-winner, Hallmark dumped the puck deep into the Somerset zone. Singerhouse won a battle for the puck along the boards behind the Spartan net, backhanding a pass toward the front of the net. Lubow was in perfect position, snapping the puck into the upper corner of the net.
“It was a beautiful hockey goal,” Swanda said. “They were deserving of that goal because they played pretty hard all night.”
That line also produced the Tigers’ second goal. When a Somerset defenseman lost his balance at the Tigers’ blue line, Hallmark was able to poke the puck free. He skated in on the breakaway, scoring shorthanded with 14:41 left in the third period, with a shot low to the glove side. Somerset tied the game at 2-2 with 2:25 left in the third period.
New Richmond’s first line produced the Tigers’ only goal of the second period. Brady Maus made a strong move around a Somerset defenseman to get a shot on goal. His shot was stopped, but the rebound slid out between the circles. Tiger senior Tanner Wisemiller was there to rifle the rebound past Somerset goalie Bryce Hanson.
The goaltending for both teams was outstanding. Adam Dilley continues to rise to the occasion in goal for the Tigers. He stopped 32 shots, including several breakaway chances.
Swanda said another key factor for the Tigers was the play of sophomore Maxx Wisemiller on defense.
“Maxx was nullifying their 12th graders on a regular basis,” Swanda said.
The Tigers were considered young and inexperienced to start the season, but they are now 4-2 and their losses were against two top-ranked teams.
“They’re forming their identity one game at a time. Hopefully, we can build on this momentum,” Swanda said.
The second loss of the season came last Tuesday, when the Tigers were defeated by defending WIAA state champion Eau Claire Memorial 7-1.
Swanda said Memorial has one of the best forward tandems he’s seen in years in Charley Grasskamp and Jacob Bresser, who combined for four of Memorial’s seven goals. New Richmond’s goal was scored in the second period by Tanner Wisemiller.
Swanda said he was pleased with how the Tigers continued to battle throughout the loss, which was their first game on the road this season.
The Tigers were also on the road last Thursday, playing their first Middle Border Conference game at Baldwin-Woodville. The Tigers put this one away early, building a 7-0 lead in the first period in a 10-3 victory.
Lubow and Jeremy Leavens led the Tigers with two goals each. Noris Patraw and Stuart Pearson scored their first varsity goals during the game. The Tigers scored three goals in the first 84 seconds of the game.
The Tigers play two more home games this week. They will be at home Thursday against defending MBC champion Eau Claire Regis. The Tigers will play at 3 p.m. on Saturday, hosting Hudson in another game that will figure prominently in the sectional seeding.
The Tigers won’t get a long holiday break. They are playing again in the annual holiday tournament in Rochester, Minn. They open the tournament on Thursday, Dec. 26 by facing Rochester Mayo.