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Tigers frustrated by Superior again

New Richmond goaltender Adam Dilley (33) denies a shot by Beau Reder (22) of Superior during Saturday’s WIAA sectional game at Amery. (Photo by Tom Lindfors) 1 / 4
New Richmond forward Nick Lubow (16) skates around a Somerset defender during the team’s 6-4 sectional semifinal win over the Spartans on Feb. 25, in New Richmond. (Photo by Jordan Willi)2 / 4
Superior’s Tyler Nystrom #11 is unable to stop a shot by New Richmond during the second period of Saturday’s WIAA sectional game at Amery. (Photo by Tom Lindfors)3 / 4
New Richmond’s Eric Hedlund (4) skates past a sprawling Spartan defender before making a pass to set up the Tigers’ fourth goal of the game in the second period of their 6-4 win over Somerset in the section semifinals on Feb. 25, in New Richmond. (Photo by Jordan Willi)4 / 4

The New Richmond boys hockey team fell one win short of claiming a ticket to the Wisconsin state tourna­ment after being defeated by the Superior Spartans 3-2 in the WIAA sectional finals game on Saturday, March 1, in Amery.

“Obviously it is disap­pointing to lose to Superior again, but I’m not disap­pointed in our players or the effort they put in during the game,” Tigers coach Adam Swanda said. “We had our chances to tie the game late and I feel like if we had been able to tie the game things might have turned out differ­ently. But the kids played really hard and played how they needed to to get the win. Superior is a good program and played a really good game.”

The Spartans came out fly­ing in the first period, but the Tigers were able to repel Superior’s attacks and come out of the first period unscathed.

“It was really a hard fought game in the first period and we were able to weather the storm,” Swanda said. “Adam Dilley did a great job in net and was the reason the score was 0-0 at the end of the peri­od. I told the guys in the locker room that we had weathered Superior’s best punch and now it was our time to go after them.”

Coming out of the inter­mission, Superior struck first just 36 seconds into the sec­ond period, and then scored again just over halfway through the period to take a 2-0 lead. However, the Tigers were able to cut the lead in half toward the end of the second period and make things interesting heading into the final period. The two goals scored by Superior went to Aaron Miller and Caden Tchop, while New Richmond’s goal was scored by Tanner Wisemiller.

“We let their players get away from us twice in that period and they scored eas­ily both times,” Swanda said. “But we were able to get a goal right away after they scored the second time to make it 2-1 heading into the third period. The last 10 minutes of the third were really excit­ing to watch.”

The Spartans put their third goal behind Dilley early in the third to make it 3-1 on a shot by Miller, but New Richmond scored less than a minute later to keep pace. Neither team would score again, but the Tigers were able to pile up scoring chances late in the game.

“There were only five goals scored in a low-penalty game, which meant the kids were able to be the ones to deter­mine the outcome and that is all a coach could ask for,” Swanda said. “The entire team played a very solid game, especial­ly Dilley who had 37 saves and they all should be proud of their effort.”

Section semifinal 

Before making it to the section finals against Superior, the Tigers defeated Somerset 6-4 on Tuesday, Feb. 25, in front of a loud home crowd.

New Richmond trailed by three goals halfway through the second period, but a late power-play goal opened the flood­gates for the Tigers who scored three unanswered goals in the final five min­utes to build a 4-3 lead heading into the third period.

“We didn’t play well in the first period again in that game like we did in the Superior game,” Swanda said. “But it was really enjoyable to watch the team dig deep and battle back to get the win.”

Kole Hallmark led New Richmond in scoring with three goals and two assists in the game, while Jake Singerhouse, Maxx Wisemiller and Lubow chipped in a goal apiece. Dilley ended the game with 34 saves on 38 shots.

“We didn’t really make any adjust­ments when we were down in the first period, we just kept with our three-line rotation and we were able to get things going,” Swanda said. “Once we got the go-ahead goal, Somerset wasn’t able to punch back at all and we were able to keep the momentum. Our third line was one of the best in that game and they played well for us all throughout the playoffs.”

Looking at the season as a whole, Swanda feels that his team was very close to a state playoff berth and he hopes they can build off of this season and make that leap next year.

“We had our ups and downs this sea­son, but we won a conference champi­onship and were one goal or so away from a state berth,” Swanda said. “We lose five quality seniors to graduation, but we will return 13 skaters from this year’s team as well. I think that next year’s squad will give us a good shot at being in Madison at the the end of the season.”

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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