Tigers prove something, beat Rochester John Marshall
The New Richmond boys hockey team wanted to prove it could be an opponent that's capable of reaching the state tournament.
How about a team capable of reaching the Minnesota state tournament?
That's exactly what the Tigers did Saturday night, beating Rochester John Marshall 3-1. John Marshall is a conference champion and is the number one seed in its region, which is usually one of the top regions in Minnesota hockey.
This is New Richmond's second win over a high profile Minnesota team. The Tigers beat Virginia on Dec. 14.
The game with John Marshall was arranged because New Richmond coach Adam Swanda and John Marshall coach Aaron Neurer were college teammates. Neurer is a native of Webster.
The Tigers and John Marshall are similar teams, filled with skaters who can get up and down the ice rapidly. Swanda said an adjustment was made last week so the defensemen will get the puck up ice to the forwards quicker, to take better advantage of the Tigers' team speed.
Kyle Dove supplied the Tigers' first goal Saturday, tucking the puck between the post and the goalie's pad three minutes into the game.
John Marshall tied the game on a power play goal, when a puck was redirected in front of the net.
The game remained 1-1 until Dan Bergman scored six minutes into the third period. The Tiger top line was sharp the whole night and Bergman's goal was a result of the group's hard work.
The Tigers held onto that lead, and Tyler Hansen locked up the win with a power play goal with 1:01 left in the game.
A key stretch of the game was late in the second period, when John Marshall put several tough shots on goal. Each time, Tiger goalie Matt Page was able to make the stop. Page made 23 saves in the win.
With the win, the Tigers finish the regular season with an 18-2 win. Swanda said John Marshall is a comparable team to Hudson, only not quite as physical on defense.
"I would love to have 15 of those games," Swanda said. "I hope we can build on this game and keep going."
Avalanche of goals
One of the biggest offensive games in Tiger team history was when New Richmond buried Amery 17-1 in the Middle Border Conference finale. New Richmond finishes as the MBC champion with a perfect 10-0 record. Amery was at the other end of the conference standings, going 0-10.
In their 10 conference games, the Tigers outscored their opponents 101-7. The Tigers' goal total is nearly identical to the number of shots the team allowed during the conference season.
Two Tigers put together offensive efforts Thursday that rank among the best ever for the team. Both Dan Bergman and Josh Calleja scored 10 points in the game. Bergman got his on four goals and six assists and Calleja produced his on three goals and seven assists.
Also scoring a hat trick for the Tigers was Tyler Hanson, who finished the night with eight points.
The Tigers open WIAA tournament play on Thursday. They will play at home at 7 p.m., against the winner of Tuesday's Altoona-River Falls game.
The winner of Thursday's game advances to next Tuesday's sectional semifinals. The opponent in that game will be either Menomonie or Eau Claire North. Menomonie is the third seed in the region and North is the sixth seed. New Richmond is the second seed. The highest seeded team in Tuesday's game will get to play at home.
New Richmond 3, Rochester John Marshall 1
First Period: 1. NR, Kyle Dove (Chris Ellevold) 3:16. 2. RJM, Kris Langlie (Jake Bosberg, Alex Sozaman) pp 12:51.
Second Period: No scoring.
Third Period: 3. NR, Dan Bergman (Tim Kretovics) 6:02. 4. NR, Tyler Hanson (Kretovics) pp 13:59.
Saves: New Richmond (Matt Page) 23; Rochester John Marshall (Pete Mochnke) 22.
New Richmond 17, Amery 1
First Period: 1. NR, Chris Ellevold (Kyle Dove) 2:17. 2. NR, Luke Jensen (Tim Kretovics) 3:14. 3. NR, Dan Bergman (Ken Walters, Tyler Hanson) pp 8:00. 4. NR, Hanson (Josh Calleja, Bergman) 10:25. 5. NR, Bergman (Andy Smith, Calleja) 10:56. 6. NR, Hanson (Calleja, Bergman) 14:07. 7. NR, Walters (Bergman, Calleja) 14:40.
Second Period: 8. NR, Jensen (Justin Elmer) :16. 9. NR, Hanson (Calleja, Bergman) 1:43. 10. NR, Dan Wells (Hanson) sh 4:25. 11. Amery, Jeremy Casselberry (un) pp 4:58. 12. NR, Tom Wells (Bergman, Calleja) 7:33. 13. NR, Bergman (Calleja, Hanson) pp 13:27. 14. NR, Calleja (Hanson, Smith) 14:08.
Third Period: 15. NR, Jon Siscik (un) :36. 16. NR, Calleja (Hanson, Tom Wells) 1:57. 17. NR, Bergman (Calleja, Kretovics) 13:29. 18. NR, Calleja (Bergman) 13:57.
Saves: New Richmond (Matt Knutson) 12; Amery (Joy Cahill) 40.