New Richmond boys hockey hopes to shake scoring slumpAn unprecedented scoring slump has gripped the New Richmond boys hockey team and the Tigers are trying to use hard work to shake off the slump.
An unprecedented scoring slump has gripped the New Richmond boys hockey team and the Tigers are trying to use hard work to shake off the slump.
The Tigers are 2-3-2 over their past seven games, including a 3-0 loss at Hudson on Saturday. The Tigers are averaging less than two goals per game during the seven-game stretch. Saturday’s loss drops the Tigers to 4-5-2 for the season.
What alarms Tiger coach Adam Swanda the most is the inefficiency of the offense. Only 5.4 percent of the team’s shots have found their way past the opposing goalie. In this seven game stretch, opposing goalies have a .947 save average.
Swanda said this isn’t due to a lack of good opportunities. He said the Tigers had 12 chances in what the coaches view as “the scoring area,” the area in close proximity in front of the net. That’s compared to five chances in that area for Hudson.
The power play has been vastly unproductive. The Tigers have three goals in 30 power play chances in these seven games. Now 11 games into the season, the Tigers only have two players who have scored more than three goals.
Swanda is a believer in creating momentum through hard work, so the Tigers are putting in extra work to try igniting their offense.
“Hopefully, we’ll start getting some puck luck. So far we’ve got zero,” Swanda said. “We can’t afford any more losses. We need to finish the regular season 16-5-2.”
The Tigers had their chances in Saturday’s game, but couldn’t produce on three early power plays. When Hudson got its first power play early in the second period, the Raiders got a goal from Spencer Korum. The Raiders took advantage of a Tiger turnover with six minutes left in the second period to build a 2-0 lead. The Raiders added an empty net goal with 30 seconds left in the game.
Swanda said the Tigers do have things to build around. He said the defense and goaltending have been better than he anticipated. Senior goalie Aaron Chwialkowski has had a .917 save percentage over these seven games, helping the Tigers stay in contention in all of them.
The Tigers have also outshot their opponents in nearly all seven games.
There are consequences to the losses too. Swanda said this streak has dropped the Tigers to anywhere from a fourth to sixth seed in the WIAA sectional seeding bracket. He said there are games left that can help the Tigers improve their seeding position.
The Tigers are aiming to start the turnaround this week. They play a Middle Border Conference game at Baldwin-Woodville Thursday. On Saturday the Tigers will play at home against Menomonie. That’s followed by a game at Amery next Tuesday. All three games have 7 p.m. start times.