New Ulm boys rout Waseca

NEW ULM – New Ulm Eagles boys hockey coach Erik Setterholm likes to see his team put shots on net in a game.

Tuesday’s South Central Conference game with Waseca should put a smile on his face.

New Ulm fired a total of 62 shots on Bluejay goalie Austin Stroda, who saved 53 of them. But nine managed to sneak, bounce or fly by Stroda as the Eagles rolled by Waseca 9-3 at the New Ulm Civic Center.

Judd Davis got the hat trick for New Ulm with Blake Neumann adding two goals. Ryan Busch, Collin Kral, Josh Cooper and Brandon Helget each added scores.

Wyatt Peterson assisted on five goals with Neumann and Jon Kopacek each adding two assists. Kral, Ethan Kraus and Cooper added helpers.

Matt Berkner, making his first varsity start for New Ulm in goal, had 11 saves.

“We have not done a lot of putting the puck on the net this year,” said Setterholm, who saw his team move to 4-0-1 in the SCC and 10-11-1 overall. “So it was nice to see the number that we had tonight.”

And it was even nicer that nine of them found the back of the Bluejay net.

New Ulm dominated the first period, firing 24 shots at Stroda with Brandon Helget beginning the onslaught with a rebound goal at the 1:21 mark. Davis got the first of his three goals less than two minutes later for a 2-0 lead on a backhander.

The Eagles added two more goals late in the period, coming 37 seconds apart as Busch and Davis increased the lead to 4-0 after the first break.

Waseca’s Michael Priebe beat Berkner early in the second period to cut the lead to 4-1.

Neumann and Waseca’s Jack Johnson exchanged goals before Neumann countered Johnson’s score just five seconds later for a 6-2 lead and a 41-10 shot advantage.

And while Setterholm was pleased with the continuing goal production from Davis and Neumann, he was happy that Busch – seeing his first varsity ice time – scored a goal.

“He (Busch) got the opportunity to play varsity and he made the most of it getting his first (varsity) goal on his first shift,” Setterholm said.

“We used four lines tonight,” added Setterholm. “And we got goals from people on all four lines. Our first line did dominate when they were on the ice. It was a great game from Judd, Blake and Wyatt. They moved the puck well tonight.”

A third period goal by Waseca’s JP Eykyn was overshadowed by goals from Davis, Cooper and Kral for the easy 9-3 win.

Busch was not the only player to make his varsity debut Tuesday. Berkner made his first start in the nets for New Ulm, giving Brach Kraus a night off.

“He had some nerves out there,” Setterholm said. “Brach has played every game for us since the sections last year. We felt that he needed a game off. He Kraus) has faced a lot of shots lately. We have a big section game Thursday at home against Marshall. That is our biggest game of the year for us.”

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