New Richmond girls hockey puts together complete game in beating SuperiorIn two of its three games over the last week, the New Richmond girls hockey team played quite well for parts of the game, but the Tigers were undone by one bad stretch of play.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
In two of its three games over the last week, the New Richmond girls hockey team played quite well for parts of the game, but the Tigers were undone by one bad stretch of play.
The exception was on Saturday. The Tigers played a complete game, with no lapses, in winning at Superior on Saturday, 2-1.
The Tigers now turn their focus to the WIAA playoffs. New Richmond is the eighth seed in the sectional tournament bracket. They open play at 7 p.m. on Thursday, traveling to Hayward to challenge the top-seeded Hurricanes.
Tiger coach Emily Dabrowski said, if the team can eliminate the lapses that have been so damaging to their results, they could surprise Hayward.
The win at Superior was an example of what the Tigers can do with a complete effort. Dabrowski said the Tigers were upset that Superior was seeded ahead of them in the WIAA sectional voting and the Tigers headed north with something to prove.
The Tigers scored the first goal of the game with four minutes left in the first period. Paige Charland took the initial shot, with Bailey Erickson redirecting the puck in front of the net. Superior answered back 27 seconds later and the score stood 1-1 after the first period.
Charland struck again at the 7:44 mark of the second period. Emma Lepper fed a pass to Charland, who backhanded a shot into the upper corner of the goal.
The defense took care of the rest. In several recent games the Tigers had one extended defensive letdown that cost them games. That didn’t happen at Superior. Goalie Baily Lund stopped 21 shots and the Tigers controlled the traffic in front of their own net. Superior pulled its goalie for the final 59 seconds of the game, but still couldn’t score.
Last Thursday the Tigers played their final home game of the season, and for two periods, they put on a scintillating show. The Tigers led 3-2 after two periods against Chippewa Falls. In the third period the Tigers melted, giving up five unanswered goals to lose 7-3.
“That was a heart-breaker,” Dabrowski said. “We’d been skating so well.”
Chippewa Falls had a 13-6 record, while the Tigers are 5-14-1. For most of the game it looked like the Tigers were the team with the winning record. Lepper scored in the first period, one-timing a feed from Erickson past the Cardinal goalie. In the second period the Tigers got goals from Erickson and Alli Wielinski.
Dabrowski said the first two periods on Thursday should prove to the Tigers that they can compete evenly with any team when they play up to their capabilities.
“We just have to turn the switch on every period,” she said.
One bad stretch in the first period on Monday resulted in the Tigers falling hopelessly behind in their regular season finale at Eau Claire. After playing evenly with the Eau Claire-Altoona Stars for the first 11 minutes of the game, the Tigers gave up five goals in the final six minutes of the period. The Stars, champions of the Big Rivers Conference, scored three more goals in the second period to finish with an 8-0 win.