NEW ULM - In a key Section 2 battle with Hutchinson, the New Ulm boys hockey team needed every bit of effort against the Tigers to gain some early-season momentum.
The Eagles got three goals from their first line, which enabled them to skate to a 4-3 win over Hutchinson at the New Ulm Civic Center Tuesday night.
The Eagles got goals from Jon Kopacek, Wyatt Peterson, Judd Davis and Blake Neumann to go to 2-1-1 on the season.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Blake Neumann is tripped by Hutchinson’s Jake Larson (13) during the second period Tuesday at the New Ulm Civic Center.
Peterson, Davis, and Neumann all scored on that first line and it proved to be the difference.
"When our line's pretty productive we tend to be in the game," said Neumann, who scored the eventual game-winning goal on a power play goal in the third period. "But everyone, we have to work on 'D' zone, absolutely."
Neumann flicked a shot past the Hutchinson goalie from just inside the blue line to put the Eagles up 4-2 with 11:17 left in the game.
"It was just a great feeling," Neumann said. "Wyatt Peterson won the puck on the draw and I brought it to the middle and there were screens in front of the net and it just went in."
But Hutchinson didn't go away. The Tigers scored a late goal with three minutes left to cut it to one goal.
"Hutch, the main thing they did was they hit the bodies," Neumann said. "They hit us because we're a quick team, so it would slow us down and create a lot of turnovers and odd-man rushes."
Kopacek scored New Ulm's first goal with 15:56 left in the first period, but Matthew Cowger answered with his first of two goals when he scored about a minute later.
Peterson put the Eagles up 2-1 after he knocked the puck in with 6:45 left. His goal somehow slid between the goalie's legs to give the Eagles the one-goal advantage heading into the first intermission.
Hutchinson tied the game in the second period after Carter Mandelkow scored, but Davis gave New Ulm the lead again on a power play goal with 2:52 remaining in the second period.
The Eagles and Tigers each added another goal in the third period, and the win was a big one for the Eagles.
"It's a great feeling, we only play them once and the team that usually wins gets the higher seed in the section playoffs, and it's a great motivator for the rest of the season," Neumann said.
Brach Kraus had 28 saves for the Eagles and Hutchinson goalie Kellyn Buss stopped 27 shots.
New Ulm is at Waseca Thursday.