Eight Tigers make All-MBC hockey team; four area players are all-state
Western Wisconsin proved again to have the strongest boys hockey in the state and that is reflected by the talented group of players who made the 2018 All-Middle Border Conference team.
New Richmond, which added another MBC title to its scroll of championships, had eight players who earned All-MBC recognition. Somerset had two players named as all-conference selections.
The honors didn't stop there. Four local players were named as honorable mention selections on the 2018 Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association All-State team. New Richmond seniors Nick Johnson, Eric Langer and Chris Lubow were cited, as was Somerset junior Jack Peterson.
New Richmond continues to be recognized as one of the quality hockey programs in Wisconsin and the naming of three Tigers to the all-state team adds further validity to that. New Richmond coach Adam Swanda said he thought there should have been a fourth Tiger on the all-state team, saying that the play from senior goaltender Jake Erickson certainly merited all-state recognition.
Johnson finished the season with 49 points on 26 goals and 23 assists. He finishes his high school career with 137 points.
Langer emerged as a bonafide scoring threat this season. He entered the season with eight career goals at the varsity level, but erupted for 33 goals this season.
Lubow is an exceptional two-way defenseman. His flashy offensive skills resulted in him scoring 65 points in his career. But he also was a smart defensive player who kept the puck clear from the front of the goalmouth.
Peterson was a huge factor in everything that was accomplished by the Spartans this season. He was involved in nearly 80 percent of the team's goals, finishing with 47 points. The Spartans had a total of 60 goals this season.
The all-state trio of seniors led New Richmond's entries on the All-MBC first team. Also named to the first team for the Tigers were senior defenseman Noah Towberman and senior goaltender Jake Erickson. Senior forwards Blake Kretovics, Brady Werner and Dane Swanda were both honorable mention players. Junior Jackson Haukom was also an honorable mention choice for Somerset.
Towberman ranked third on the Tigers with 23 points this season. His versatility may have been his best asset, switching between forward and defense all season.
Erickson was one of the best goalies in western Wisconsin. He finished with a 1.81 goals against average. Over the past two seasons, he won 35 games.
Kretovics and Swanda dealt with injuries all through the season. The injuries limited Swanda to 14 points and Kretovics to eight points. They did their best to battle through the injuries, in leading the team to another successful season.
Haukom ranked second for Somerset with 11 goals scored and third with 22 points. He is a dynamic creator of scoring chances on a team that desperately needed the offensive help.
Werner was the Tigers' fourth leading scorer with 10 goals and 10 assists. He played with an element of heart and toughness that the Tigers needed this season.