NEW ULM - One of the things that New Ulm Eagles boys' hockey coach Erik Setterholm stressed to his players prior to their Section 3A first round playoff game against Worthington was to go out and take care of business early in the game.
The Eagles did just that.
New Ulm scored four first period goals and then added seven more in the final two periods as the top-seeded Eagles cruised by the Trojans 11-1 Thursday night at the New Ulm Civic Center.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Judd Davis launches the puck toward Worthington goalie Rylan Scholtes during the first period of the Eagles’ Section 3A playoff win Thursday at the New Ulm Civic Center.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
The quartet of Judd Davis, Brody Peterson, Dylan Schreckenberg and Blake Neumann each scored two goals. Connor Stark, Jeff Banal and Tanner Weiss each added a goal.
Schreckenberg added five assists with Davis and Peterson each adding two helpers.
New Ulm goalie Brach Kraus stopped six of seven shots in the first two periods. Willie Osborne halted all six Trojan shots in the final period.
Worthington goalie Rylan Scholtes was a little busier than Kraus and Osborne. He stopped 36 of 47 New Ulm shots in the game.
New Ulm, now 15-11, will face Hutchinson - a 6-5 winner over Windom on Thursday - at noon on Saturday at Gustavus Adolphus College in a Section 3A semi-final game.
For Setterholm, his team's quick start was just the way that he wanted to begin the game.
"Any time you have to play a game like this, you want to take care of business in the first 17 minutes," he said. "Don't make it a game - do not let them think that they are in it for a minute. We want to be the aggressor, and we did that."
Neumann got New Ulm on the board with two quick goals. The first score came just 38 seconds into the contest when he put a rebound past Scholtes. He then made it 2-0 just under three minutes later.
A Davis backhander at the 13:22 mark made it 3-0 before Schreckenberg redirected a Banal shot by Scholtes for a 4-0 lead at the 16:23 mark.
New Ulm's pressure in that first period in the Worthington zone kept the Trojans on their heels, but also led to the Trojans' only score of the game when Kody Honius broke in on Kraus and beat him with just one second left in the opening period.
"That happens in a game like this," Setterholm said. "There is so much pressure on their goaltender that everyone is focused on putting the puck in the net. Then if we lose possession we are caught out of position and that is what happened."
It was only Worthington's fourth shot on goal in the first period compared to 20 for the Eagles.
Power play goals from Stark and Banal with Worthington's Jonah Oberloh serving a five-minute major for boarding early in the second period lifted the Eagles to a 6-1 lead.
Schreckenberg's second goal on a four-on-four situation increased the New Ulm lead to 7-1 at the 7:59 mark.
Brody Peterson continued the puck barrage with two goals in a span of 30 seconds as New Ulm carried a 9-1 lead into the final period.
"We really pounded the puck at them in the first two periods," said Setterholm about his team's 41-7 shot advantage in the first two periods. "But to their credit, their goaltender is not a bad goalie. He is a big kid, fills the net up and he moves well."
Setterholm said that his team's depth took its toll on the Trojans, who were outmanned and had some key injuries.
"We played three and four lines and then in the third period we just played our third and fourth line," Setterholm said.
Goals from Davis and Weiss closed out the scoring in the third period.
Seven different players scored for the Eagles in the game, which pleased Setterholm.
"After Christmas we got Neumy back and that really seemed to help that second line," Setterholm said. "And our third line has been putting some pucks in the net also. That is what you need to go deep into the playoffs. You cannot have just one guy scoring all of the goals or one line. That is easy to stop. But our third line can put the puck in the net."