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Numbers don't add up for Tiger boys skaters

The New Richmond boys hockey team beat Amery 8-2. Earlier in the season Amery trampled Rice Lake 9-3.

So when New Richmond played at Rice Lake at last Tuesday, it would have been logical to expect a one-sided contest. It didn't pan out that way, however. New Richmond got a power play goal midway through the first period, then never scored again. The game stretched into overtime and ended in a 1-1 tie.

The Tigers were able to generate 38 shots in the game. Coach Adam Swanda said total shots didn't equate to good scoring chances.

"They weren't threatening shots," Swanda said. "We didn't force their goaltender to be under a lot of adversity."

The only goal for the Tigers came on the power play. Because the power play has been struggling recently, the coaches put together a new power play unit. It's dubbed "the half-ton" power play because the team's three biggest forwards (Nick Swystun, Sam Stroot and Tanner Olek) are used together on the line.

The goal came when Olek poked home a rebound after a shot from the point by defenseman Tyler Montgomery.

Swanda said he felt there were only three Tigers who played well at Rice Lake. He led that group with sophomore defenseman Kaleb Kier and included Parker Olson and Riley Martie. Patrick Hailey was solid in goal, stopping 26 of the 27 shots he faced.

After this game the Tigers had a nine-day span before playing again this Thursday at home against Baldwin-Woodville. Swanda said the coaches had specific plans on how to improve the team during those days of intense practice.

Passing is one of the main points of emphasis. Handling passes and moving the puck will all be worked on. The second focus will be conditioning. Swanda said because the first 13 games came at such a hurried clip, there hasn't been much time for conditioning.

After facing B-W on Thursday, the Tigers will return to action next Tuesday with a home game against Eau Claire North.

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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