Parker Dorn and Tommy Michelsen headed to the Chippewa Steel Sunday, March 7th – Tuesday, March 9th. They were called up and practiced with their affiliate team.
“The practices were fast-paced and competitive. For me, the pace and consistency were the major differences compared to skating in New Ulm. I had to make decisions a little quicker, but it wasn’t anything major. They guys talked to me and let me know they were open and we threw some nice plays. In New Ulm, we sometimes don’t have the consistency in execution, and Steps has to let us know at practice that we need to wake up and start executing the simple details of the game,” Dorn said about his time up in Chippewa.
Michelsen also had a similar experience. “It was an awesome experience. I had a great time and got to see what the pace of play was at the next level. The speed of the game was always fast, every play, move, or shot was done at top speed. The styles of practices were very similar given both coaches coordinate drills together, but the speed of their decision making at the next level is something I definitely noticed was different.”
Both Dorn and Michelsen hope to move up to the NAHL level. “I enjoyed that not only on the ice they welcomed me. They took me to breakfast with them and got me in their prepractice games. That is just something that COVID takes away from us here in New Ulm, being able to hang out at the rink for more than 10 minutes before practice,” said Dorn.
Michelsen looked back at his time with Chippewa and said “I definitely want to bring that tempo back to New Ulm. I know we’ve got the ability to be successful if our intensity stays consistent.” Dorn agreed with Michelsen saying “I learned that the consistency of executing the little details is a major part of the game at the next level. I wouldn’t say that it was how much I learned, it was more like I got a taste of the next level and that pushes me to want it that much more. I hope it rubs off on the boys and then maybe we can turn this ship in the right direction.”
Michelsen and Dorn returned to practice in New Ulm on Wednesday to prepare for a full weekend of battle. Friday night they played a fast-paced game against the North Iowa Bulls. They held off the Bulls in the first two periods until the Bulls ultimately took the win. The Steel face off against the Bulls again Saturday night, and then take on the Willmar Warhawks Sunday evening.