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Girls hockey stopped in sectionals

The hopes of a return trip to the WIAA Girls State Hockey Tournament didn't materialize for New Richmond's girls.

The Tigers were beaten in Friday's sectional semifinals by Onalaska 4-1.

Last year the Tigers reached the state tournament, where they were beaten in the state semifinals by Superior. Superior will be joining Onalaska at state after the Spartans beat Hudson 5-1 in the other sectional semifinal from this bracket.

New Richmond's girls were overwhelmed from the start by a more physical Onalaska team. The Tigers have seen their numbers dwindle in recent weeks, where coach Steve Gehr was playing five forwards and three defensemen in his main rotation during the playoff game.

Onalaska jumped on the Tigers for two goals in the first period, outshooting the Tigers 17-1 in that period.

In the second period Onalaska scored midway to raise its lead to 3-0.

The Tigers cut the lead to 3-1 two minutes into the third period. Hannah Haffner notched the Tigers' goal. Onalaska scored four minutes later for the final goal of the game.

The Tigers were outshot 39-9 in the game.

The game ends the career of the two seniors on the team, defensemen Steph Kendrick and Erin Dodor. Both come to the Tigers through the cooperative system, with Kendrick a student in Osceola and Dodor a student in Somerset.

Coach Steve Gehr said the seniors will be difficult to replace because they have been top defenders on the team for several years. They were also two of the strongest Tigers as both have long been dedicated to lifting programs.

Gehr said the rest of the team needs to work to build its upper body strength and conditioning for next season.

"There's tremendous potential on this team," Gehr said. "If they want to make a good team, there is some potential."

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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