New Richmond boys hockey hopes new year is a positive omenWhen the calendar flips to January, the New Richmond boys hockey team perennially seems to elevate its game.
When the calendar flips to January, the New Richmond boys hockey team perennially seems to elevate its game.
The Tigers are hoping that happens again this season. Playing in the Rochester (Minn.) holiday tournament has been a springboard for good things in the past and the Tigers are hoping it works that way again this season.
“I like where we’re at,” said Tiger coach Adam Swanda, whose team takes a 4-4-2 record into 2013. “If we can stay healthy, it should be a good second half.”
The Rochester tournament is usually where the Tiger coaches install the changes that will be used for the second half of the season. New forward and defensive units were used and Swanda was generally pleased with the new combinations. Younger players also were given chances. Freshmen Maxx Wisemiller and Hunter Charland were given regular shifts during the tournament. Based on their performances, it looks like they’ll keep their places in the lineup.
Another move the coaches like was shifting Josh Manske back to defense, where he’ll be paired with his brother, Jarek.
The Tigers were able to win one of their three games in the tournament. It’s become a tradition that the Tigers always draw the top team in the tournament in the opening round. That happened again, with the Tigers facing Eastview on Thursday. Eastview is ranked among the top 25 Minnesota teams. Eastview got a quick jump on the Tigers and scored a 7-3 win.
Eastview built an early 3-0 lead and the Tigers were never able to cut the deficit lower than two goals. Kaleb Kier, Austin Zywiec and Tanner Wisemiller scored. For Zywiec, it was the first goal of the season after being sidelined with an injury for the start of the season.
The second round of the tournament pitted the Tigers against Rochester Century. This was the most frustrating game of the tournament for the Tigers. The Tigers outshot Century 42-20, but lost 2-1.
Penalties were to blame for the Tigers’ loss. In the second half of the game the Tigers were called for 17 minutes of penalties.
“We dominated in every aspect of the game except the scoreboard,” Swanda said. “We beat ourselves with poor penalties.”
The only Tiger goal against Century came from Kier, as the senior defenseman tried to boost the lagging offense.
There was something new for the Tigers to enjoy early in Saturday’s game against Rochester John Marshall: a lead. Jeremy Leavens and Michael Bodsberg scored to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. It was the team’s first lead in a game since the Tigers played at Superior on Dec. 8, a span of six games.
Leavens scored off an assist from Hunter Cox 6:06 into the game, firing a shot from the right side. Bodsberg scored at the 7:35 mark. He was stationed in the slot and quickly put away a shot after receiving a pass from Leavens.
The lead was short-lived. John Marshall scored twice late in the first period to tie the game. Both goals came on the power play.
The last goal of the game came midway through the second period. Bodsberg, Kole Hallmark and Nick Lubow were battling in front of the net and Bodsberg was able to corral the puck to score on the power play.
Penalties nearly caught up to the Tigers again in the third period. They had to kill off two penalties in the final seven minutes of the game to preserve the win.
Swanda said the Tigers played quite well five-on-five in the tournament, giving up few scoring chances. It was the numerous penalties that continued to put the Tigers in bad situations.
The Tigers will start the 2013 portion of their schedule with a game that has huge tournament seeding implications. The Tigers will play at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Hudson.