By drawing a fifth seed, the New Richmond boys will open their WIAA Division 2 hockey journey on the road.

The Tigers will open sectional play at Rice Lake, the fourth seed. The schools are still working on a date for this game.

Amery received the top seed in the section. Hayward is the second seed, with Superior getting the third seed.

New Richmond coach Zach Kier said he expects a close game against Rice Lake in the playoff opener. The teams have similar records, New Richmond at 9-13 and Rice Lake at 8-11-1. Rice Lake does have a win over Amery this season.

“Their defense is very good,” Kier said in scouting Rice Lake. “They play to their strengths.”

Kier said there were no appeals in the seeding meeting, which is a rarity. He said it was pretty well established for two weeks that the Tigers would be the fifth seed and Rice Lake was the likely opening opponent.

On Saturday, the Tigers played at Tartan High School in Oakdale, Minn. The game didn’t go well, with the Tigers struggling in a 7-1 defeat.

“It was a frustrating game. We were on our heels the whole game,” Kier said.

The Tigers were outshot 52-14. The Tigers got their only goal late in the second period, with Evan Iverson scoring off assists from Tucker Erickson and Garrett Thomas. Kier said Iverson’s play was the one bright spot for the team.

“Evan worked his tail off,” Kier said.

Kier said this loss was a teachable moment, for the younger players to learn that they need to bring their top intensity level to every game.