New Ulm Steel’s NAHL affiliate, Chippewa Steel, called up defenseman Parker Dorn and forward Zach Maillette at the end of March. Dorn started with Chippewa on March 19th and Maillette on March 20th. Both men have played 6 games with Chippewa since being called up and have both made an impression on the team. Dorn has put up 2 shots, 40 penalty minutes, and is plus 3. Maillette has 4 shots, 1 goal, and is even on plus/minus.
Dorn has previously been called up for practices with the Chippewa Steel and had really enjoyed his time with the team. Here is what he had to say about his games played in Chippewa. “Compared to playing in New Ulm the talk was the same. Everyone communicates as to where the guys are and what the play is. The biggest difference I noticed was the pace and positioning. It was just faster and if you were caught out of position it was normally capitalized on.” Dorn found some takeaways during his time playing in the NAHL, “the biggest takeaways for me were the consistency and speed. You need to be reliable and always make the play, and of course, as you move up you need to get faster. Speed is always key.” Dorn also commented on his experience and what he is looking forward to for next season. “My experience was good. I got ice time, which is great especially for being a new guy. It was definitely a different monster playing there than in New Ulm, but my teammates helped a lot and that made it easier to play and to be successful at that level of play. I am looking forward to seeing where I end up next season, I have to grind in the off-season and just hope for the best.” Being known as a bit of a fighter on the New Ulm team, Dorn did not shy away from fighting in Chippewa either. His penalty minutes in Chippewa all come from fighting and associated penalties.
Zach Maillette on the other hand had not been called up to Chippewa for practice previously. Here is was Maillette had to say about his time in Chippewa. “Playing for the Chippewa Steel was very similar in the aspects of how fast the game was played, but the biggest thing I noticed was the fact that every player did their job on every single play, everyone was in the right place at the right time. Chippewa definitely showed me what a fun atmosphere it was, it is a place where everyone wants to play and get better at hockey. Overall it was a very great experience and I am very glad that I was able to have the opportunity to go do that to end my year.” Maillette put up his first NAHL goal during his second game in Chippewa, “after scoring my first goal with Chippewa, I would say that I was very happy. It is really hard to explain the emotions when they all hit you at once, but overall it was a really great feeling!” As for Maillette’s takeaways, he said “I would have to say that the mental aspect of the game becomes much more important, being in the right place at the right time and making the right play every time. Alongside the mental aspect, I noticed that the physical aspect of the game was more rigorous at times, all of the hits and bumps were repeated multiple times throughout the game because each player is doing their jobs to take you out of the play.” To wrap up his interview, Maillette looked into what he is looking forward to for next season, here is what he said. “Next season I look forward to being able to go into the season having taken big strides with improving my game as well as with some NAHL experience and being able to bring that high pace and skill into next season, no matter where I end up.”
Both Dorn and Maillette showed up to play in Chippewa and showed what they had to bring to the table. They each are looking forward to putting in the work in the offseason and coming in with this experience to elevate their game.