New Ulm falls to Orono in season opener

NEW ULM – Orono jumped to a 5-0 lead and went on to top the New Ulm 6-2 on Saturday afternoon at the New Ulm Civic Center in nonconference hockey.

Judd Davis scored both Eagles’ goals in the third period.

Brandon Helget, Alex Stark and Wyatt Peterson had one assist apiece.

For the game, New Ulm (0-1) was outshot 43-21 with goalie Brach Kraus stopping 37 of the Spartans’ shots.

New Ulm coach Erik Setterholm said starting the season against a team like Orono (1-1) was tough.

“It is always hard when you start out against a team like Orono,” Setterholm said. “But I have to say that I was proud that our kids did not quit today. We got down and we missed some real good scoring opporunities to make it a competitive game. We did not score some of those goals but the team played 51 minutes and that is nice to see in the first game of the year against a good opponent.”

The Eagles missed a golden chance to score early in the game when they had a power play that turned into a 5-on-3 advantage for 30 seconds but failed to get the puck by Spartan netminder Grant Mathiason.

“We had a lot of chances and that is probably a credit to their goaltender,” Setteholm said. “He played a good game.”

Scoring on the power play was a problem for the Eagles in the game as they had seven power-play chances and scored on one of them.

They also gave up a goal when they were on a power play.

After a Mark Wilson goal made it 1-0 in the first period, the Spartans tacked on three more goals in the second courtesy of Alex Sellers, Bill LeNeave and Robert Fellers for a 4-0 Orono lead.

“They already had a game under their belt and they played tough competition,” Setterholm said. “We definitely have some things to work on.”

LeNeave’s second goal of the game – on the power play – made it 5-0 less than a minute into the final period.

Davis’ two goals in the third period were sandwiched around a final Orono goal.

“We had Judd playing a defenseman today and he still found a way to score two goals,” Setterholm said. “He is a good player and can play anywhere on the ice. He’ll do it for the team – he will play goalie if you asked him.”

New Ulm now will host Marshall at 7 p.m. on Thursday in a big game that will have early implications in the section.

“This will be a huge game for us,” Setterholm said. “They are the defending section champions. We are going to try and beat them on our home ice. Section games mean a lot.”

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