Breakaway goals hurt Eagles
NEW ULM – When a hockey team gives one breakaway goal in a game, it is considered a fluke.
But Saturday night, the New Ulm boy’s hockey team yielded three breakaway goals to Chaska, which cost it in a 6-4 loss in nonconference hockey.
Brandon Helget scored two goals for New Ulm (10-9) while Judd Davis and Jon Kopacek added scores as well.
Chaska’s Derek Annett and Derek Rodeheffer each tallied two goals.
New Ulm goalie Matt Berkner recorded 23 saves while Chaska’s Blake Jackson stopped 25 New Ulm shots.
“I am kind of glad that this week is over,” said New Ulm coach Erik Setterholm. “We had practice on Monday and then we did not have school for a bunch of days – we had one practice and three games. And we played last night against Providence Academy on the road.”
New Ulm took a 1-0 lead after the first period when Helget got a high wrist shot over Jackson’s left shoulder.
The Eagles upped their lead to 2-0 at the 4:38 mark in the second period when Davis lofted a backhander by Jackson.
But the Hawks got on the board thanks to a mistake in the nets by Berkner.
Berkner came out of his goal to clear the puck. His clearing pass hit Annett, who was able to get the puck by Berkner before he got back into position.
Helget’s second goal of the game gave New Ulm a 3-1 lead at the 8:30 mark, but that was when Chaska got rolling.
The Hawks’ next three goals – two to end the second period and a third early in the third period – came on breakaways.
First Annett skated in alone on Berkner and scored at the 8:45 mark to cut the lead to 3-2 before Zac Rodeheffer followed with another goal on a breakaway to knot the game 3-3.
Connor Kraayenbrink’s goal at the one-minute mark of the third period – also on a breakaway – lifted Chaska to its first lead of the game at 4-3.
“We thought that we had that problem fixed,” Setterholm said of allowing breakaways. “We have not done that for quite a while. We made mistakes – we had defensemen getting caught in the wrong spot and forwards not getting the puck deep. Those are the things that we have done well in the last five or six games. Tonight we did not do them well.”
Rodeheffer’s second goal upped the Hawks’ lead to 5-3 before Kopacek gave New Ulm some life with a goal that sliced the lead to 5-4 at the 11:40 mark.
But Juho Runti’s goal for Chaska with less than two minutes salted the game away for the Hawks.
“It was a game of mistakes for us,” Setterholm said. “Unfortunately on the mistakes we made, they put the puck in the net.”