Tigers get good test at Hayward
A good test was something the New Richmond boys hockey team was needing and that's what the boys received at Hayward on Saturday.
Josh Calleja scored twice in the first 4:22 of the game and the Tigers finished out a 4-0 win at Hayward.
Hayward had lost recently to Superior by a 6-1 score and Tiger coach Adam Swanda was using this game to see how the Tigers measure up against Superior.
Playing at Hayward is always a challenge. They came at the Tigers with a strong forechecking effort. The Hurricanes were able to control action at times, but the Tigers' superior quickness was able to help the team wear down Hayward.
"Hayward's played eight quality opponents and we haven't," said Swanda. "They forced us to make quick decisions."
Swanda said one of the things about the Tigers' efforts Saturday that impressed him was putting 35 shots on goal against Hayward, including 17 in the third period. Hayward has held several top teams to far lower shot totals this season.
Matt Page was in the net again for the Tigers, stopping 24 shots. He came up with several tough saves in the first period to keep the 2-0 lead intact.
In the second period the Tigers got a goal from Dan Bergman. In the final minute of the game Tyler Hanson scored an empty net goal.
The Tigers resume Middle Border Conference action this Saturday, when they play at Amery.
Another strong finish
Strong finishes have been a recent trademark for the Tiger boys, but that can be seen as a positive or a question mark. The Tigers scored four times in the final 11 minutes of the game to finish over River Falls 7-2 on Dec. 28.
River Falls scored a short-handed goal early in the third period to cut the Tiger lead to 3-2.
The lead was built back to two goals on a score by Josh Calleja. Dan Bergman and Tim Kretovics then scored, before Calleja finished off the scoring with two seconds left in the game.
Through this game the Tigers have scored seven goals in the first period, 18 in the second period and 33 in the third period.
"Is that showing us that when we're up a few goals we can relax?" wondered Tiger coach Adam Swanda. "Lets start being intense from the first drop of the puck. That's what we need now."
Swanda said he's concerned that the Tigers' game efforts are following the pattern of the team's practices. It isn't until midway through most practices that the Tigers start practicing game conditions where the intensity is raised significantly. Swanda said he plans to alter the practice schedules to see if that has an impact on the team's performance.
New Richmond 4, Hayward 0
First Period: 1. NR, Josh Calleja (Tyler Hanson) 1:59. 2. NR. Calleja (Dan Bergman, Kyle Ensign) 4:22.
Second Period: 3. NR, Bergman (Calleja) 1:47.
Third Period: 4. NR, Hanson (Ken Walters) 14:05 (en).
Saves: New Richmond (Matt Page) 24; Hayward (Dayne Clarquist) 31.
New Richmond 7, River Falls 2
First Period: 1. NR, Ken Walters (Kyle Ensign) 10:10. 2. NR, Dan Bergman (Tim Kretovics) pp 12:29.
Second Period: 3. RF, Mike Schletz (un) 6:48. 4. NR, Dan Wells (Tyler Hanson, Tom Wells) 5:48.
Third Period: 5. RF, Clayton Everson (un) sh 2:11. 6. NR, Josh Calleja (Bergman, Hanson) 6:37. 7. NR, Bergman (Chris Ellevold) 11:35. 8. NR, Kretovics (Walters) pp 15:09. 9. NR, Calleja (Bergman, Justin Elmer) 16:58.
Saves: New Richmond (Matt Page) 20; River Falls (Mike Rosenthal) 31.