NEW RICHMOND, Wis. -- Hayward had all the energy early, but New Richmond battled back for a 3-1 victory over the Hurricanes in a potential Division 2 boys’ hockey sectional playoff preview Tuesday night, Jan. 12, in New Richmond.

Hayward controlled play through much of the first period and took a 1-0 lead just over 12 minutes in before the Tigers scored twice in the second period, including Trent Dorenbush’s first varsity goal for the game winner, and added an empty-netter late to earn the 3-1 victory.

“The boys really battled in this one,” Tiger coach Zach Kier said. “We went down early as Hayward was ready to play. They have been off for 10 days because of a Covid case and they were ready to go. But after we went down I loved our pushback and Blake Milton was awesome for us.”

Milton finished with 24 saves, including all 17 shots he faced in the final two periods.

Hudson senior captain Mason Erickson (8) tries to split a pair of Hayward defenders in the first period of the Tigers’ come-from-behind 3-1 victory over the Hurricanes Tuesday night, Jan. 12, in New Richmond. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia
Hudson senior captain Mason Erickson (8) tries to split a pair of Hayward defenders in the first period of the Tigers’ come-from-behind 3-1 victory over the Hurricanes Tuesday night, Jan. 12, in New Richmond. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia

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Trailing 1-0 after one, the Tigers finally tied it up when Charlie Boe found the back of the net at the 12:17 mark of the second period with Mason Erickson and Brock Unger assisting.

Dorenbush’s first varsity goal came with seven seconds left in the second period with an assist from Reece Hubmer to put the Tigers up 2-1. Erickson scored into an empty net with 29 seconds left in the third with an assist from Catcher Langeness.

While the Tigers didn’t play their best, KIer was still proud they were able to pull out a win.

“We fought the puck on our sticks a bunch of times,” he said. “But we gutted it out for a huge section win.”

The Tigers ran their winning streak to five with a 5-1 victory at Menomonie Friday, Jan. 15, before suffering their third loss of the season, 6-2, Saturday, Jan. 16 in Superior.

Ryder Flatten broke a 1-1 tie with an unassisted goal midway through the first period to put the Tigers up for good Friday in Menomonie. Langeness had opened the scoring with assists from Tucker Erickson and Brayden Cunningham.

Matthew Unger scored the only goal of the second period, assisted by Charlie Boe and Kadyn Campeau, to widen the Tiger lead to 3-1 before Reece Hubmer and Flatten added goals in the third to make the final 5-1. Hubmer’s goal came on a power play with Caden McDonald and Flatten assisting.

Milton finished with 27 saves as the Tigers outshot the Mustangs 42-28.

Saturday at Superior, Brock Unger scored two first period goals and the Tigers led 2-1 at the end of the second period before the Spartans scored five times in the third to earn a 6-2 win.

Unger scored 4:10 into the game with an assist from Ben Hahn and at 14:30 of the first on a power play with Langeness assisting.

Milton made 24 saves as the Spartans outshot the Tigers 30-25.

After visiting Somerset Tuesday, Jan. 19, the Tigers, now 8-3-0 overall, will host Amery Thursday, Jan. 21.

Somerset skates past RAM before losing to Hayward

Somerset and Hayward appeared headed for overtime Thursday night, Jan. 14, in Somerset but the Hurricanes apparently didn’t want to stay in town any longer than they had to and scored with seven seconds left in regulation to escape with a 2-1 victory.

The Spartans and Hurricanes matched goals in the first period with Hayward getting on the board first with a power play goal 5 minutes, 17 seconds in and Somerset tying it up with Owen McDonough’s team-leading 15th goal of the season at the 11:35 mark, assisted by Antonio Gomez and Brock Sawicki.

Somerset couldn’t score on two power play opportunities in the second period and Hayward came up empty on its only chance and the score remained tied until the Hurricanes got the game winner with seven ticks on the clock.

Spartan goalie Kaleb Bents finished with 28 saves as Hayward outshot Somerset, 30-24.

The loss came two nights after the Spartans posted a 7-4 Middle Border Conference victory over Regis/Altoona/McDonnell in Altoona.

Gomez had a hat trick and an assist in the win and Noah Bailey scored twice while McDonough had a goal and two assists. AJ Simpkins assisted on four of the Spartan goals and Abe Sirek contributed one goal and one assist while Jon Brown, Kieran DaFoe and Corey Rose had one assist each. Even goaltender Bents got into the scoring column with an assist in addition to making 20 saves as the Spartans outshot RAM 26-24.

After hosting New Richmond Tuesday, Jan. 19 the Spartans will visit River Falls Thursday, Jan. 21.