The New Ulm Steel started off their last week of the season in Alexandria facing off against the Blizzard. The first period ended with the Steel down 2-0 but changed come the second period. The slow start ended with a goal by Ryler Schelle – his second of the season – with assists to Harris Smidt and Erick Bromberg. A few minutes later, Noah Rauschenberger scored his first goal of the season with a single assist to James Spaargaren. The game was tied 2-2 at the end of two periods. The third period was a new game; each team fought hard for the win. Alexandria scored 2 goals within 43 seconds of each other at the 5-minute mark. Jake Saver scored his fourth goal of the season on a power play after the Blizzard put up a penalty for checking from behind midway through the period. James Spaargaren and Jacob Zowin picked up points for assists on that goal. Each team put up another goal to round out the game. Rauschenberger picked up the last goal of the night assisted by Teddy Lillico and Bauer Barry. The Blizzard took the game 5-4.
The Steel returned to Alexandria Friday night to face the Blizzard for the last time this season. Joey Gimberlin started the night off early with a goal 20 seconds into the first; James Spaargaren and Bauer Barry picked up the assists. James Spaargaren then brought the Steel to a 2-0 lead at 3:26; assists to Barry Bauer and Noah Rauschenberger. Later into the first, Alexandria cut the lead in half with a goal past the halfway point in the first. The second period was slow for both teams until the Blizzard tied the score at 18:00 into the second period. Both teams then held each other off in the third period to push the game into overtime, and then into a shoot-out. Coach Stepan put out Keshaun Scott as our first shooter, he scored. Zach Foster then shut down the Blizzards’ first shot. James Spaargaren shot second for the Steel, his shot being blocked followed by Foster holding off the Blizzard again. Joey Gimberlin was the 3rd shooter out for the Steel, scoring, giving the Steel the win. Zach Foster ended the game with 56 saves.
Sunday night brought our last game of the 2020-21 season. The Wilmar WarHawks came to town and helped us show our support for Ethan Mcdonald who was injured during the game on March 14th. Ethan was hit by a puck on a shot and was caught in the face. He has since had multiple successful surgeries and is recovering at home. Both teams wore stickers on the back of their helmets to show their support as Mcdonald started his Juniors career with the WarHawks. The game started slow for both teams with Willmar eventually putting up the first goal of the game late into the first period. Harrison Albrecht scored his first goal of the season in the second period, assisted by James Spaargaren and Bauer Barry. Albrecht then put up his second goal late in the third period with assists to Joey Gimberlin and James Spaargaren. Ultimately, the WarHawks took the game 4-2. Griffin Foster ended his last game in the Juniors with 44 saves.
The Steel ended the 2020-2021 season with a record of 7-29-4-0. This season was a tough one for the Steel, but we are looking forward to what next season will bring. The Steel is under new ownership with Kelly Kasik and is excited to build onto the foundation that the Black’s started. Thank you to all the fans for your support throughout this season and for still coming out to cheer on the Steel despite the circumstances surrounding the world with COVID. We cannot wait to be back on the ice next season!