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Spartans use Burke's goal to win in OT

Jimmy Burke's breakaway goal 3:53 into overtime gave the Somerset hockey team a 2-1 win over Baldwin-Woodville/St. Croix Central last Thursday in Somerset.

This was a tough, defensive-minded game with both teams trying to eliminate their opponent's scoring chances. Somerset ended up outshooting the Blackhawks 29-14 in the game.

"We played a lot closer to what we're capable of playing defensively," Somerset coach Grant Belisle said.

The overtime goal was set up by junior Shawn Walczak. He got the puck in Somerset's end, then fired a pass to center ice, putting the pass right on Burke's stick. Burke then skated in on the breakaway, beating Amery goalie Adam Bowen.

The game had been scoreless until Somerset's Tanner Steinlicht scored with 8:35 left in the second period. B-W/SCC forced the overtime when Dylan Derringer scored on assists from Scott Ramberg and Jake Durand.

Belisle said one of the biggest issues for the Spartans right now is getting the players to take shots.

"They want to set up pretty plays instead of shooting the puck and crashing the net," Belisle said.

The Spartans have two games remaining in the regular season, starting with this Thursday's game at Amery. The WIAA sectional seeding will be held this Sunday. Being in one of the strongest sectionals in the state is putting the Spartans in a tough spot for the seeding. Belisle said he expects to be seeded in the 7-10 group, meaning the Spartans would get a game in the opening round of regionals on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

"In my mind, we have the ability to skate with some of the better teams in the sectional," Belisle said. He said these final two weeks of practice before tournaments are a time when the players can sharpen their skills to make a bigger impact in the playoffs.

The coaches are also hoping the Spartans learn a lesson from their 5-2 loss at Chippewa Falls McDonell/Eau Claire Regis last Tuesday. The Spartans had beaten the co-op team in the first round of Middle Border Conference play.

"McDonell outplayed us, our kids weren't ready to play," Belisle said. "McDonell came out flying, they were a lot better team than we saw earlier in the year."

Somerset's goals in the loss were scored by Burke and Steinlicht.

Somerset 2, Baldwin-Woodville/St. Croix Central 1

First Period: No scoring.

Second Period: 1. Somerset, Tanner Steinlicht (Jake Rorabeck, Jim Burke) 8:35.

Third Period: 2. B-W/SCC, Dylan Deringer (Scott Ramberg, Jake Durand) 13:34.

Overtime: 3. Somerset, Burke (Shawn Walczak) 3:53.

Saves: Somerset (Tadd Landry) 13; B-W/SCC (Adam Bowen) 27.

McDonell-Regis 5, Somerset 2

First Period: 1. Somerset, Jim Burke (Matt Parent) 8:46. 2. M-R,

Second Period: 7. Cooper, Bobby Skinner (Desmit, Dane Schneider) 12:30.

Third Period: 8. Somerset, Burke (un) 1:46. 9. Cooper, Schneider (Kyle Skinner) 2:33. 10. Cooper, Purkat (Eric Oelpke, Jason Johnson) en 14:56.

Saves: Somerset (Tadd Landry) 37; Cooper (Jeff Chayer) 22.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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