NEW RICHMOND, Wis. -- The New Richmond Tigers played three games in six days over the holiday break and came away with mixed results to leave them with a 4-2 record.
After suffering their first loss of the season in a shutout at Rice Lake Dec. 22, the Tigers blanked the Northwest Icemen (Barron Co-op) 9-0 in the first game of their holiday tournament Monday, Dec. 28 and dropped a 3-2 decision to Somerset Wednesday, Dec. 30, before topping Regis/Altoona/McDonald (RAM) 5-1 Saturday, Jan. 2.
After a rematch with the Spartans Tuesday, Jan. 5, in Somerset, the Tigers will travel to Altoona to face RAM again Thursday, Jan. 7, before visiting Hayward Saturday, Jan. 9.
Last Monday against the Northwest Icemen, Reece Hubmer had a hat trick on top of his first varsity goal and Kadyn Campeau and Tyler Lewis also scored their first goals in a 9-0 Tiger win.
Mason Erickson and Caden McDonald each contributed a goal and four assists and Brock Unger scored twice as the Tigers outshot the Icemen 41-23. Blake Milton registered the shutout between the pipes.
“It was a solid start for us in the home tournament,” Tiger coach Zach Kier said.
After Hayward had to cancel Tuesday, the Tigers and Spartans squared off Thursday and the Spartans struck first and held on for a 3-2 win over despite the Tigers holding a 37-13 advantage in shots on goal.
Antonio Gomez opened the scoring for Somerset at the 9:37 mark of the first with assists from Noah Bailey and Jon Brown before the Tigers answered four minutes later with a goal from Hubmer, assisted by Caden McDonald. Owen McDonough gave the Spartans a 2-1 lead with 28 seconds left in the period Gomez and AJ Simpkins assisting.
After a scoreless second period that saw the Tigers outshoot the Spartans 12-1, Bailey extended Somerset’s lead to 3-1 midway through the third with assists from Brock Sawicki and Malachy Driscoll. Unger scored an unassisted goal for the Tigers with just under seven minutes remaining to make the final 3-2.
Milton finished with 10 saves for New Richmond while Somerset goalie Kaleb Bents stopped 35 shots.
“Really a poor start by our guys and that was the difference,” Kier said. “Once Somerset got the lead they packed in the front of their net and the goalie Bents played extremely well; credit to him. We didn't attack at all and settled for perimeter shots. Again, the poor start has been a bugaboo for us the last couple years. As a coach I need to find a better way to get us ready.”
The Tigers bounced back in their first game of the new year with a 5-1 victory over RAM. Easton Schmit scored twice, Matthew Unger scored his first varsity goal, and McDonald and Brock Unger had a goal each while Milton finished with 22 saves. New Richmond outshot RAM 52-23 but still settled for a lot of perimeter shots, according to Kier.
Spartans six game win streak snapped
Somerset’s victory over New Richmond last Wednesday was its sixth in a row but that streak was snapped with a 5-2 loss to Onalaska Saturday at home.
The Spartans started the week with a 7-0 victory over WSFLG (Webster-Siren-Frederic-Luck-Grantsburg) last Monday for their fourth straight win. They made it five straight with a 2-1 overtime win Tuesday over Eau Claire North and got their sixth win Wednesday at New Richmond before Saturday’s loss to Onalaska.
Bailey had two goals and two assists against WSFLG and McDonough had a goal and four assists while Driscoll contributed a goal and three assists, Abe Sirek had a goal and two assists and Michael Shannon and Gomez added a goal each. Bents stopped all 12 shots he faced as Somerset outshot WSFLG 33-12.
Tuesday against Eau Claire North, Simpkins scored a power play goal 1:19 into overtime to lift the Spartans to a 2-1 victory over the Huskies. McDonough and Sirek assisted on the game-winning goal.
Eau Claire North led 1-0 before Gomez tied it up with a power play goal 24 seconds into the third period with assists from McDonough and Sirek. Bents finished with 48 saves as the Huskies outshot the Spartans 49-19.
Gomez and McDonough had a goal each in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to Onalaska with Simpkins assisting on both while Bents finished with 26 saves.
After hosting New Richmond Tuesday, Jan. 5, Somerset, now 7-4 overall, will visit Baldwin-Woodville Thursday, Jan. 7 and host Reedsburg Friday, Jan. 8.