By: Erica Koehler, nusteelhockey.com
The New Ulm Steel opened their season with a loss on the road, falling to the Granite City Lumberjacks, 7-4, Saturday night. It wasn’t the end result the team was hoping for, but they looked solid with four dominating lines, full of speed.
New Ulm took the ice with determination and set the pace for the night. Checks were being thrown right out of the gate. However, Granite City struck first at the 8:43 mark of the first period.
Jacob Halvorson tied the game up at 1-1 just over a minute later on the power play with a wrist shot that sniped the water bottle of goaltender Matt Fitzgerald.
New Ulm had a bad second period, allowing Granite City to score three goals, making it 4-1 heading into the third.
Halvorson scored his second goal of the night early in the third period to cut Granite City’s lead in half, but Kearby Larson and Carson Simon extended their lead to 6-2 soon after.
Jack Parks made it on the scoresheet with a power-play goal, tipping in Halvorson’s shot from the point at 11:59 of the third period.
With a three-goal lead for Granite City, Jack Helle turned the puck over to Stanislav Danaev just inside the blue line. Danaev quickly jumped on the puck and took a shot that went in top shelf with 7:17 remaining in regulation time.
James Royce was pulled for the extra attacker with 1:29 remaining on the clock and New Ulm trailing Granite 6-4. Bailey Sommers scored on the empty to seal the win for Granite City.
Royce faced 31 shots and made 25 saves for New Ulm. Granite City’s goaltender, Fitzgerald, stopped 18 of the 22 shots he faced.
New Ulm totaled 12 penalty minutes on six infractions and went 2-for-6 on the power play. Granite City had a total of 14 penalty minutes on seven infractions and went 3-for-5 on the power play.
Next week, the New Ulm Steel travels to Breezy Point, Minnesota to face off against the Breezy Point North Stars Friday, September 20 with puck drop at 7:30 p.m. The New Ulm Steel’s home opener is Thursday, October 17 vs. the Alexandria Blizzard.