New Richmond boys hockey hosts Somerset Thursday, plays at Regis Saturday
Nothing can change the course of a hockey game like a hot goalie.
Amery’s Jimmy Richison did his best to change the course of New Richmond’s drive for a Middle Border Conference championship last Tuesday.
Richison stopped 64 Tiger shots, including the first 34 shots the Tigers put on goal, in last Tuesday’s game at Amery. A breakaway goal by Tiger senior Jeremy Leavens finally got past Richison, but it didn’t get much easier for the Tigers in the rest of the game. The Tigers posted a 4-1 win, giving them a 5-0 record in the eight-game conference schedule. The win gives the Tigers a 12-5 overall record.
Richison has given the Tigers trouble in past seasons, but with the state of the 2-13 Warriors this season, he hasn’t had much chance to stand out. New Richmond coach Adam Swanda tried to prepare his Tigers for Richison prior to the game. Swanda asked his team who was the best player on Amery’s roster. When the players said “Richison,” Swanda told them Richison’s the player who can create trouble for the Tigers.
Swanda didn’t realize how accurate he’d be. Richison stopped every Tiger shot in the first period.
The shots stood at 34-6 before Leavens got free for the breakaway that produced the first goal, with 12:33 left in the second period. The Tigers didn’t have any time to relax, because Amery scored four minutes later when Tiger goalie Adam Dilley was screened on a shot.
The Tigers took the lead for good with 5:58 left in the second period. Nick Lubow got the goal, his 10th of the season, on the power play. Assists went to Jake Singerhouse and Ben Werner.
In the third period, the Tigers really began to dominate play. Leavens scored his second goal with 4:20 left to play off an assist from Tanner Wisemiller. The final Tiger goal came with two minutes left to play. Lubow fired a pass from the boards to Singerhouse, who was waiting in the slot. Singerhouse one-timed it past Richison for his 10th goal of the season.
Swanda said he was pleased with how the Tigers didn’t get frustrated by Richison’s hot play and how the team maintained a sharp focus throughout the game.
“You run into a hot goalie, you have to keep working hard. Eventually, it paid off,” Swanda said.
Richison and Dilley ended up with identical save percentages in the game. They both stopped 94 percent of the shots they saved, only Richison had to face four times as many shots from the Tigers.
“Their goalie was just unbelievable,” Swanda said. “We didn’t make him look that way. He was fantastic.”
The Tigers are scheduled to wrap up their conference schedule this week with a pair of home games. They will host Somerset this Thursday, before finishing their MBC schedule against Baldwin-Woodville next Tuesday. After that, the Tigers will have three games on their regular season schedule, with all three on the road. The Tigers' recent cancellation against Eau Claire Regis has also been rescheduled to this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Chippewa Falls Ice Arena.