Hot goalie ends Tiger girls hockey seasonThere is nothing more frustrating in hockey than running up against a hot goaltender.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
There is nothing more frustrating in hockey than running up against a hot goaltender.
That feeling of frustration was experienced by the New Richmond girls hockey team against the Burnett County Blizzard in the opening round of WIAA tournament play last Thursday.
New Richmond pelted the Blizzard with 30 shots, while the Blizzard were only able to put seven shots on goal. To the agony of the Tiger girls, one of Burnett County’s shots found its way into the net. None of the Tigers’ shots got past Blizzard goalie Tiffany Meyer, leaving the Tigers with a 1-0 defeat.
Burnett County advanced to the regional semifinals with the win. They were scheduled to play the St. Croix Valley Fusion on Tuesday in that semifinal game.
The Tigers finish their season with an 11-9-1 record in John Larson’s first year as the team’s head coach. Among the highlights of the season were the championship of the Stevens Point-Wisconsin Rapids tournament, defeating Superior and topping last season’s win total.
The Tigers graduate one senior, defenseman Rachel Mullendore. She has been the Tigers’ captain each of the past three seasons and is one of the top skaters in the area. Mullendore played in Thursday’s game despite dealing with back and knee injuries.
In the loss to Burnett County the Tigers kept steady pressure on Meyer and the Blizzard defense. Many of the Tigers’ shots were from 10 feet and in, as they showed good intensity and puck movement.
“We had really good chances,” Larson said. “We got into scoring position just like we’ve talked about all year.”
The Tigers outshot the Blizzard 10-2 and they kept that ratio through both of the final two periods.
Burnett County got the only goal of the game with 16 seconds left in the second period. A Blizzard shot scooted under the glove hand of Tiger freshman goalie Ellie Tylee for the goal.
The Tigers continued to apply pressure in the third period, but couldn’t get anything past Meyer.
“The effort was fantastic,” Larson said. “It’s tough when you outplay a team and don’t win. We outplayed them for three periods.”
One of the best parts of the Tigers’ performance was the backchecking done by the forwards. The forwards coming back to help out in the defensive zone was a main reason why the Blizzard was limited to seven shots.
With one senior on this year’s squad, there are possibilities for the Tigers to improve for next season.
“There’s some talent, some things to build on,” Larson said. “We’re still a pretty young team.”