Ties jeopardize New Richmond's chance at MBC hockey titleTwo ties have put New Richmond’s hopes of winning the Middle Border Conference championship in a jeopardy.
Two ties have put New Richmond’s hopes of winning the Middle Border Conference championship in a jeopardy.
The Tigers battled Somerset to a 1-1 tie last Tuesday. On Saturday, the Tigers faced the cooperative team from Eau Claire Regis, Chippewa Falls McDonell and Bloomer, with the game ending in another 1-1 tie.
The rivalry between New Richmond and Somerset runs as hot in hockey as in any sport. It showed again in this game, with the teams flying around with a charged intensity.
The goaltenders dominated the game. Somerset’s Jordan Langness was a standout again, making 38 saves. New Richmond’s Aaron Chwialkowski was his equal, making 29 saves.
It was fitting that goaltenders stood out in the 1-1 tie. In the pre-game announcements, it was announced that the game was being dedicated to the memory of former New Richmond junior varsity goalie Josh Goodrich. Goodrich was one of three NRHS students who were killed in a car accident in August. His jersey and goalie helmet are on display above the Tiger locker room.
New Richmond’s only score was produced by junior Tanner Wisemiller. He scooped up a loose puck at the Tiger blue line and raced in on a breakaway, tucking the puck between Langness’ arm and his body. His goal came with nearly five minutes elapsed in the third period.
Saturday’s game with Regis had a strong resemblance to Tuesday’s tie. Regis scored first, at the 8:06 mark of the second period. The Tigers turned the puck over on a breakout and Regis used some quick passing to create an open shot.
The Tigers got a break with 11 minutes left in the game when Regis was called for a five-minute major penalty. The similarities carried through to the Tigers’ scoring, with Wisemiller again carrying the puck the length of the ice to score the Tiger goal. The Tigers had several other close-range chances in that power play, but couldn’t convert.
The game came down to more high quality goaltending. Chwialkowski stopped 25 Regis shots, while Saints’ standout goalie Sam Nelson turned away 31 Tiger shots.
Tiger coach Adam Swanda saw good things from his team in the defensive zone, but is frustrated with the team’s lack of offense. He said the forwards are not generating the quality shots the coaches are expecting.
Swanda used the second period as an example. The Tigers put five shots on goal in the period and three of them came from freshman Hunter Charland, who was playing his first game on the varsity.
The saving grace Saturday was the play of Chwialkowski and the Tiger defense. Sophomore defenseman Jake Singerhouse came up with several big plays, including breaking up a two-on-one breakaway early in the second quarter.
Both New Richmond varsity hockey teams will play in tournaments in Rochester, Minn., this week. The Tiger boys will open the tournament on Thursday by facing Eastview, Minn., at 12:30 p.m. They will also play on Friday and Saturday.
The Tiger girls will face Winona, Minn. at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday in their opening game in the Rochester tournament.