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Tiger girls hockey stopped by Blizzard

The Tigers huddle before their recent scrimmage.

There hasn't been much snow on the ground, but the New Richmond girls hockey team was stopped by a Blizzard last week.

The Burnett County hockey program is named the Blizzard. Burnett County standout goalie Tiffany Meyer stopped the Tigers in their season-opening game last Tuesday.

The Tigers scored the first goal of the game midway through the first period, but were stonewalled the rest of the way in a 2-1 loss to the Blizzard.

The game was the first for the Tigers under new coach Brian "Willie" Peterson. Peterson is a proponent of strong fundamental play. He said he liked what he saw, for the most part, in the first-game effort.

"Overall we played pretty good for a first game. At times they were thinking too much," he said.

The Tigers' goal was the result of hard work by forward Cat Atwood. Atwood has impressed the coaches with her passion for the game this season. Her hustle on the forecheck created a turnover in the Burnett County zone. Atwood got the puck to center Chelsea Singerhouse. Atwood crashed the net and Singerhouse put a pass on her tape that Atwood stuffed into the net.

There were other chances for the Tigers to score, but the Blizzard goalie wouldn't budge. The best chances came on a couple breakaways by Paige Charland, but she was stopped on both attempts.

The Tigers held a 1-0 lead until giving up a short-handed goal late in the first period. That goal rattled the Tigers and they struggled through much of the second period.

The best stretch of the game for the Tigers may have come late in the second period. The Tigers took two penalties within 27 seconds. The coaches hadn't had a chance to practice the 5-on-3 penalty kill in the pre-season, so they hastily diagramed a defense and the players executed it perfectly. Burnett County put a flurry of shots on Tiger goalie Ellie Tylee, but she was able to stop them all. Tylee was rock-solid in goal last year as a freshman and she showed she's ready to maintain that standard, making 26 stops in Tuesday's game.

Burnett County was able to break the tie early in the third period.

The Tigers will be back in action this Saturday playing in at Wisconsin Rapids. In the first round of the tournament, the Tigers will face Appleton at 12:30 p.m. Wisconsin Rapids-Stevens Point faces Green Bay Area in the other semifinal game. The consolation game will be played at 5:30 p.m., followed by the championship game at 8:15 p.m.

The first home game for the Tigers comes next Tuesday, when the Tigers play at home against Hayward at 7 p.m.