NEW ULM - It was only the first game of the season for the New Ulm Eagles girls' hockey team, but just the same it may well have been a statement game.
Freshman Brittany Denn scored four goals and freshman goalie Bailey Landreville stopped 18 of 19 Mankato West shots as the Eagles opened their season with a non-conference 4-1 win over the Scarlets at the New Ulm Civic Center.
Lexie Weiss, Kali Denn and Brook Schugel all added assists in the game for New Ulm.
Justine Scheller scored the lone West goal in the game.
For New Ulm coach Angie Zeig, the win was especially satisfying for a couple of reasons.
"This is the first time in my five years (as head coach) that we have started the season out at 1-0," she said. "We play them every year in the first game and this is the first time that we have beaten them. This is also the first time that we have beaten West in my playing or coaching career. So this is a big win for us today."
The Eagles and Brittany Denn wasted little time scoring against the Scarlets. Just 46 seconds into the game, Denn pushed the puck past Scarlet goalie Maggie Cusey for a 1-0 lead, with Kali Denn and Lexie Weiss getting helpers.
Less than two minutes later, Denn again flustered Cusey when she scored an unassisted goal for a 2-0 lead.
Denn's third goal of the game just over one minute into the second period moved the Eagles to a 3-0 lead.
It was also the period where the Scarlets got their only goal of the game when Justine Scheller put a lose puck by Landreville.
But it was also the period where Landreville stopped Mankato's Callie Looft on a penalty shot.
"She has really worked hard this year," Zeig said. "She comes out and asks for extra shots in practice. She has worked well on her movement and her mental game. It showed today. Her confidence on that penalty shot was huge - [Looft] did not even get a shot off because she got that pokecheck coming out. This was a huge game for her."
Brittany Denn and the Eagles closed out the dominant victory late in the third period when Denn tallied her fourth goal of the game with only 36 seconds left in the contest.
"This was a test for us to see how well our top two lines were going to play with each other this year," Zeig said. "I thought today that they really came out and showed that they have good cohesion with each other."
While Denn scored all of New Ulm's goals in the game, Zeig said that the Eagles' other two lines also played well.
"You cannot count out our other line either," she said. "They were getting some nice shots on net, they just were not going in. We did use three lines today, which is one of my goals for the season. We need to have three lines that are going to click for us."