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Spartans beat Amery, take second in MBC

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It wasn't the conference championship the Somerset hockey team was hoping for, but the Spartans wrapped up second place in the Middle Border Conference last Thursday with a 9-4 win over Amery.

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The Spartans finish with a 4-2 record in the MBC. New Richmond won the MBC with a 6-0 record.

Somerset dominated play early in the game against Amery, building up a 7-1 lead midway through the game.

With the big lead, the Somerset coaches had reserve goalies Jake Asp and Kevin Kicker split the third period.

Somerset coach Grant Belisle said the players knew that winning conference this year was a steep goal after New Richmond took second place at state last year and returned nearly their entire team. Belisle said he was especially pleased that seven different players scored goals in Thursday's game, showing the depth the team has developed.

The WIAA sectional seeding meeting was held Sunday and the Spartans received the sixth seed.

"We're very, very satisfied, that worked out perfect for us," Belisle said.

The Spartans open the tournament against Eau Claire Memorial on Thursday, Feb. 19 at Eau Claire Memorial. Belisle said he preferred drawing Memorial over Hudson. Hudson has traditionally played well against Somerset, while Memorial and Somerset have no history. Belisle said he also thought Somerset's style matched up better against Memorial.

"You still have to play a great game to beat a three seed," Belisle added.

The Spartans have three games remaining before tournaments start. On Thursday the Spartans play at home against the combined Eau Claire Regis/Chippewa Falls McDonell team. On Friday the Spartans play at Hayward and on Monday the Spartans play at Minneapolis Washburn. The key game of this group is Friday's game at Hayward.

"A big goal is to beat Hayward," Belisle said. "We felt we were good enough to beat them the last time, but we played one bad period."

Somerset 9, Amery 4

First Period: 1. Somerset, Tadd Landry (Jason Plourde) 3:40. 2. Amery, Nathan Smith (Matt Mullendore) 4:25. 3. Somerset, Shawn Walczak (un) 9:06. 4. Somerset, Andrew Westerdahl (Plourde) 13:39.

Second Period: 5. Somerset, Greg Nichols (Jake Rorabeck, Westerdahl) 1:54. 6. Somerset, Tom Hennessey (Austin Seibel, Derick Leverty) 2:27. 7. Somerset, Rorabeck (Westerdahl) 4:31. 8. Somerset, Westerdahl (Nichols) 8:37. 9. Amery, Autumn Stuntz (Ryan Goodmanson) 14:06.

Third Period: 10. Amery, Mullendore (Smith) 4:16. 11. Amery, Smith (Mullendore, Ryan Christensen) 6:45. 12. Somerset, Rorabeck (Nichols) 9:16. 13. Somerset, Dayne Schneibel (un) 9:34.

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Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
(715) 243-7767 x242
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