Injury more painful than loss for New Richmond boys hockey teamNew Richmond’s boys hockey coaches weren’t overly bothered when the Tigers lost at Hayward 4-2 last Thursday.
New Richmond’s boys hockey coaches weren’t overly bothered when the Tigers lost at Hayward 4-2 last Thursday.
An injury to senior defenseman Kaleb Kier was far more worrisome for the Tiger coaches. The Tigers were already skating without senior defenseman Austin Zywiec. The likelihood of playing at Superior this Saturday without their top two defensemen has the coaches concerned how the Tigers will defend the defending sectional champions.
Kier was injured four minutes into Thursday’s game, on the faceoff following Hayward’s first goal. As Kier went to backpedal, his skate caught in the ice and he rolled awkwardly on his ankle.
“That’s harder to recover from than a silly loss,” said Tiger coach Adam Swanda.
Swanda said Hayward’s coaches clearly placed more importance on winning this game than the Tiger coaches did. Swanda played all three lines, trying to get all his skaters as much ice time as possible. Hayward shortened its bench, using two lines the whole game.
“It’s still November on my calendar,” Swanda said.
The Tigers definitely had their chances to win the game. They outshot Hayward 21-3 in the first period, but came out of the period facing a 2-0 deficit. “I thought that was our worst period,” Swanda said.
The Tigers got the only goal of the second period when Tanner Wisemiller scored with 1:57 left the period.
Hayward scored five minutes into the third period, but the Tigers answered right back on a goal by Michael Bodsberg. The score remained 3-2 until the Tigers were whistled for a penalty with two minutes left in the game. Swanda had his penalty killers play as aggressively as possible in hopes of creating a short-handed scoring chance. Instead, Hayward was able to score on the power play.
Win over SPA
The Tigers found an opponent who liked to play at their pace when they played at St. Paul Academy last Tuesday. The Tigers trailed 2-1 early in the third period, but goals from Wisemiller and Ben Norman propelled the Tigers to a 3-2 victory.
Swanda said this game was a better test for the Tigers because the best opponents the Tigers face this season play at this higher intensity level.
“The Minnesota teams we play, and Eau Claire Memorial, Superior and Hudson, will all be up-paced,” Swanda said. “It was perfect for us.”
The coaches are looking for Wisemiller to be more of a scoring factor this season and he filled that expectation at SPA. He tied the score twice with his goals in the first and third periods. Both came off assists from Kole Hallmark.
Norman is an extra-effort player and it was a big effort that produced the winning goal. Norman crashed hard toward the net to get a rebound that he put away for the goal.
Swanda said goalie Aaron Chwialkowski came up with several tough saves in the third period to preserve the Tiger win.
The Tigers renew their rivalry with Superior this Saturday. The game will be played at Superior’s Wessman Arena, starting at 2 p.m. The Tigers play at home next Tuesday, beginning their Middle Border Conference schedule with a game against Amery.