Somerset hockey savors overtime win against New Richmond
There have been few victories that have tasted sweeter to the Somerset hockey team than last Thursday's 3-2 overtime win against New Richmond.
Aaron Moore scored the game-winner 59 seconds into the overtime. Moore came flying toward the net, taking a pass from Drew Kelly and rifling it into the Tiger goal. The score set off a jubilant celebration among the Spartans and their fans.
Somerset coach Dan Gilkerson said the winning goal typified the team's offensive approach to the game. He said the Spartans weren't going for a high quantity of shots. They were trying to create high quality scoring chances. He said Kelly could have dumped the puck on net, but instead followed the team's plan and carried the puck deep into the Tiger zone. Kelly put the pass in an ideal location for Moore and Moore's low shot reached the net on the blocker side. The goal came on the first shot of the overtime period.
Somerset and New Richmond tied 2-2 when the teams met earlier this season. Gilkerson said his players weren't happy with how they performed in that meeting and had been aiming at a better showing this time around. New Richmond outshot the Spartans 43-31, but Gilkerson said the Spartans were able to make the Tigers take their shots from difficult angles and from long range.
"We'll give them that shot from outside all day against (Spartan goalie Jordan Langness). We don't throw the puck at the net. We set up plays," Gilkerson said.
Gilkerson said Langness' composure is a big part of the team's defensive approach.
"Jordan does a great job of staying up and squaring up to the puck," he said.
Somerset had to overcome a 2-1 deficit. Neither team scored in the first period. Somerset got the first score 7:15 into the second period. Adam Marty and Jesse Brown were cycling the puck in the corner when Marty found Reed Kelly in the slot and Kelly buried his shot.
New Richmond came back to tie the score 29 seconds later. The Tigers took a 2-1 lead by scoring with 25 seconds left in the period on a 2-on-1 break.
Somerset's Michael Chernyaev created the only goal of the third period. He skated the puck into the New Richmond zone, faking a shot that momentarily froze the Tiger defense. He then carried the puck wide, putting a low shot on net. Reed Baillargeon was in the right place to bang home the rebound, tying the game with 5:29 left on the clock.
Goaltending and defense were the staples in the win, with the Spartan offense running hot and cold. The Spartans could only generate three shots in the first period and they only put one shot on goal in the first 12 minutes of the third period.
This win is something of a landmark for the Spartans. Somerset has defeated New Richmond and Hudson this season. They haven't defeated both those opponents in the same season since 1994.
Win over Barron
The Spartans first line had a big night in last Tuesday's 6-2 win over Barron.
The line of Marty, Brown and Reed Kelly was involved in all six Spartan goals. Marty earned six points in the game on two goals and four assists. Kelly finished with four points and Brown with three points.
The Spartans knew they were favored in this game, so the younger players were given a substantial part of the ice time, playing a regular shift throughout the game. Freshman Bryce Hanson made his third start in goal, running his second to 3-0. The two goals Barron scored in the third period were the first Hanson's surrendered this season.
The Spartans will find out where they are seeded in the WIAA sectional tournament bracket this season. With a 14-5-2 record heading into the week, the Spartans are in contention for one of the top three seeds in the bracket. The final game for the Spartans before the seeding meeting will be played this Thursday, when they play at Baldwin-Woodville.