RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- Somerset got a power play goal from AJ Simpkins, his third goal of the game, midway through the third period to snap a 2-2 tie and tacked on three more goals in the final five minutes to post a 6-2 victory over the Wildcats Thursday night, Jan. 21, in River Falls.

Simpkins’ second goal with 2 minutes, 38 seconds left in the second period tied the score after River Falls had scored twice in a 32 second span earlier in the period to take a 2-1 lead.

Simpkins scored the only goal of the first period with assists from Kieran DeFoe and Abe Sirek, to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead but River Falls tied it 4:14 into the second period on a goal by Austin Harer, assisted by Wyatt Bell and Cole Evavold. Teddy Norman knocked home a rebound of a Tye Kusilek shot 32 seconds later to put the Wildcats up 2-1.

Somerset’s Noah Bailey fires a shot on goal in the second period of the Spartans’ 6-2 victory over River Falls Thursday night, Jan. 21, in River Falls. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia
Somerset’s Noah Bailey fires a shot on goal in the second period of the Spartans’ 6-2 victory over River Falls Thursday night, Jan. 21, in River Falls. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia

Simpkins made it a 2-2 game after two with his second goal, assisted by Brock Sawicki and Owen McDonough, before capping his hat trick with a go-ahead power play goal at the 7:32 mark of the third, again with assists from Sawicki and McDonough.

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Somerset’s final three goals all came from Michael Shannon in the final 5:10, beginning with a power play goal with assists from DeFoe and Ben Myers to make it a 4-2 game. He added an empty-netter with 34 seconds remaining and again with 15 seconds left to make the final 6-2, with Wyatt Connors and DeFoe assisting on both.

Somerset goalie Kaleb Bents finished with 26 saves and River Falls goalie Andrew Adermann made 38 as the Spartans outshot the Wildcats, 44-28.

Tigers get best of Spartans

Earlier in the week, New Richmond scored a pair of goals 15 seconds apart midway through the first period to quickly erase a 1-0 deficit against Somerset and led the rest of the way in a 6-3 Middle Border Conference victory over the Spartans Tuesday night in New Richmond.

Somerset struck first on a goal by Sawicki 6:49 into the game with assists from Noah Bailey and Antonio Gomez. But the Tigers tied it up at the 9:01 mark on a goal by Tucker Erickson with a Mason Erickson assist, and took the lead for good 15 seconds later when Catcher Langeness scored unassisted.

Five of the next six goals in the game came from special teams, with the Tigers getting a pair of power play goals in the second period to open up a 4-1 lead. Charlie Boe made it a 3-1 game at the 7:29 mark of the second, with Brock Unger and Mason Erickson assisting, before Mason Erickson made it a three-goal game at 11:17 with assists from Tucker Erickson and Unger.

The Spartans got a power play goal from Bailey 1:32 into the third period, assisted by Meyers and goalie Bents, before Unger tallied a shorthanded goal at the 5:30 mark to stretch the Tiger lead to 5-2. Ben Hahn earned an assist on the play.

After another Tiger penalty the Spartans pulled to within two with Bailey’s second power play goal with 8:49 remaining with assists from Abe Sirek and McDonough. Easton Schmidt tallied an empty-netter for New Richmond with 1:29 left with an assist from Mason Erickson to make the final 6-3.

Bents finished with 35 saves for Somerset while New Richmond goalie Blake Milton made 30 saves.

Tigers double up Amery while Spartans fall short

Thursday night Brock Unger scored a pair of first period goals to give New Richmond a lead it would never relinquish in a 4-2 Middle Border Conference victory over Amery.

Unger struck 3 minutes, 40 seconds into the game, assisted by Boe and Mason Erickson, and scored again at the 9:41 mark with an assist from Tucker Erickson to put the Tigers up 2-0 after one.

Reece Hubmer made it a 3-0 game 1:55 into the second with an assist from Caden McDonald before Amery got on the board 11 seconds later. A power play goal by McDonald with 2:15 remaining in the period off an assist from Schmit made it a three-goal gap again before Amery scored the only goal of the third period to make the final 4-2.

Milton finished with 22 saves as the Tigers outshot the Warriors 37-24.

One night later in Somerset the Spartans couldn’t keep up with Amery in a 4-1 loss to the Warriors.

The Spartans jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a McDonough goal at the 10:21 mark of the first period, assisted by Simpkins, but Amery scored four unanswered goals to earn the win. Bents finished with 20 saves as the Warriors outshot the Spartans 24-23.

Somerset, now 10-10-1, will host River Falls Friday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. and host Superior Tuesday, Feb. 2 before opening the WIAA Division 2 playoffs at home against River Falls as the No. 2 seed in Section 3 against No. 7 River Falls Thursday, Feb. 4.

New Richmond, 10-3-0, will host Eau Claire Memorial Thursday, Jan. 28 and visit Amery Friday, Jan. 29. The Tigers are the No. 3 seed in Section 1 and will host No. 6 Medford in a sectional quarterfinal game Thursday, Feb. 4.