Lourdes tops Eagles

By Jim Bastian

Journal Sports Writer

NEW ULM – New Ulm Eagles boys hockey coach Erik Setterholm said that he was happy with the play of his team in the first two periods of its game with Rochester Lourdes Thursday night.

The same could not be said about the third period.

Lourdes scored three goals to turn a close 4-3 game into an eventual 7-3 win at the New Ulm Civic Center.

Alex Funk recorded a hat trick for Lourdes, now 9-4 and ranked sixth in Class A.

Brandon Helget, Jon Kopacek and Wyatt Peterson scored goals for New Ulm (6-7-1). Cole Dulas added two assists, with Judd Davis adding a helper.

Andrew Ellingson recorded 35 saves for Lourdes.

Brach Kraus had 26 saves for New Ulm before leaving the game late in the third period with a bruised shoulder. Matt Berkner stopped the four shots that he faced.

“We played two very good periods but the wheels kind of fell of in the third period,” Setterholm said. “We had Blake Neumann go down with a shoulder injury – he does it all for us – he is our first line center and runs our power play and penalty kill. That hurt in the third period.”

What also hurt was the play of the New Ulm special teams. New Ulm gave up a power play goal and also gave up two short-handed scores in the game.

New Ulm was 0-for-6 on the power play.

“We cannot do that, but they have some skilled players on their special teams,” Setterholm said. “They do this to everybody – it was not just us. They are very good at killing penalties and if you give them a little bit of ice they can snipe it from anywhere.”

Lourdes took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Mason Carstens scored a power play goal.

But New Ulm, who will host Blake Saturday in a 3 p.m. non-conference game, knotted the contest when Brandon Helget beat Ellingson at the 1:56 mark of the second period.

Lourdes re-took the lead on a short-handed goal from Funk, whose shot hit the crossbar behind Kraus and dropped in behind him.

Funk added his second goal of the period less than two minutes later for a 3-1 lead.

However, New Ulm rebounded with goals from Kopacek and Peterson that tied the game at 3-3 at the 12:04 mark.

“The biggest thing for our schedule for us is to bounce back and forth from the not speedy teams to the speedy teams,” Setterholm said. “It took us a while to do that tonight.”

But any momentum that New Ulm gained vanished at the 14:47 mark when Cody Cossette beat Kraus for a 4-3 lead going into the final period.

That carried over to the third period for Lourdes, which got two goals from Jason Samuelson – the second score short-handed – and Funk’s third goal with just over eight minutes left in the game.

Setterholm said that his team has another tough non-conference game at home against Blake on Saturday.

“I am hoping that we can have a healthy team for that game,” he said. “We hope that we can give Blake a game and give our fans a good game to watch.”

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