Tigers get share of MBC title, second seed
With the WIAA playoffs looming, the New Richmond boys hockey team is close to where it wants to be.
The opening opponent for the Tigers will be the WSFLG co-op team out of Burnett County or Amery. WSFLG and Amery play next Tuesday in an opening round game. The winner of that game will play at New Richmond on Thursday, Feb. 20.The Tigers, now 17-5, complete their regular season this Friday with a game at Monona Grove. This game will present a significant challenge for the Tigers. Monona Grove is led by the Johnston brothers, who have combined for more than 150 points this season. Tiger coach Adam Swanda said the Johnston’s are similar in style to former Tiger standout Josh Calleja, being small and exceptionally quick.
The Tigers played three games last week. The most significant piece of the week was the fact that the Tigers’ 12-2 win over Baldwin-Woodville earned New Richmond a share of the Middle Border Conference championship. If Somerset happens to upset Eau Claire Regis this Tuesday, the Tigers would be outright conference champions.
There was very little drama in this win. The Tigers pounced on the shaky Blackhawk defense, scoring five times in the first period.
Senior Tanner Wisemiller led the Tigers with a hat trick and linemate Jeremy Leavens matched Wisemiller’s four points in the game. The Tigers also got two goals from Kole Hallmark and Jake Singerhouse and single goals from Eric Hedlund, Stewart Pearson, Brady Maus and Maxx Wisemiller.
The Tigers found they still do have some things to work out when they went to Rice Lake last Thursday. The Tigers had chances to put the game away early and couldn’t. Rice Lake scored three times in the third period to win 5-3.
“We gave them a few odd-man rushes and they connected,” Swanda said.
Rice Lake scored the only goal of the first period. The Tigers took a 2-1 lead on goals from Tanner Wisemiller and Hallmark, who scored off a backhand shot. Rice Lake scored the next four goals, before Jake Singerhouse scored a power play goal with 1:37 left in regulation.
On Saturday, the Tigers went to River Falls and overwhelmed the Wildcats 8-3. The game was 8-0 before the Wildcats scored three times in the final six minutes of action. River Falls is the sixth seed in the sectional tournament bracket.
Leavens and Cole Hanson both notched hat tricks in the game. Singerhouse and Tanner Wisemiller had the other goals.
Swanda said the production of Hanson, Hedlund and Pearson has been on a sharp incline as the Tigers’ third line. He said their improvement gives him more flexibility in how to play his line combinations in the upcoming playoffs.