New Richmond boys hockey starts season, young and inexperienced
A season where the New Richmond boys hockey team finishes below the .500 level is a rarity in the program’s history.
That’s what happened to the Tigers a year ago, when they finished 10-11-2. The team was also hit hard by graduation, meaning there is plenty of rebuilding to be done to get the Tigers back above .500 this season. The Tigers have to replace three of their top four scorers, their starting goaltender and several defensemen.
“We have a lot of holes to fill,” said Tiger coach Adam Swanda.
The Tigers are on the young side. They have five seniors on the roster, but three have never skated in a varsity game before. Tanner Wisemiller returns after leading the team in scoring last year. Jeremy Leavens, who tied for fourth on the team in scoring, also returns. The seniors new to the roster are Cole Hanson, Jacob Miller and Tyler Peterson.
Swanda sees potential in the team’s scoring ability. Jake Singerhouse, Nick Lubow and Kole Hallmark showed the ability to put the puck in the net last year.
The defense will be led by a pair of sophomores, Ben Werner and Maxx Wisemiller. Peterson and Miller will also see significant time on the blue line. Singerhouse will swing between defense and forward, as he’s done throughout his Tiger career.
The Tigers are carrying three goalies on the varsity roster. Adam Dilley earns the first shot at starting after being the backup goalie last season. Cole Peterson and David Mayry will be pushing for playing time.
Swanda said he sees a different temperament from the team he thought underachieved a year ago. He said last year’s team “had the skill and seniors, but we lacked the ability to be a true team. This will be a tighter-knit team.”
To add another challenge, the Tigers face a brutal schedule this season. Swanda has long lobbied to get the Tigers one of the toughest schedules possible. This year he got it. The Tigers open the season against St. Paul Academy. Before Christmas, they have games against Superior, Eau Claire Memorial, Eau Claire Regis, Hudson and Somerset, before playing in the always talent-filled Rochester holiday tournament.