NEW ULM - Despite two losses in the Sartell-Sauk Rapids tournament, New Ulm girl's hockey coach Angie Zeig thought that the tournament went really well for her team.
The Eagles lost both games, losing 5-3 to Sartell-Sauk Rapids and then falling 4-3 to St. Cloud.
"We didn't come out with a win but overall I thought that our girls played two very good games for us," Zeig said. SSR had an 8-3-2 record while St. Cloud posted a 10-5-1 record.
"We did not have a third line to compete with the third lines that they were running,' she said. "Both of those teams ran three solid lines each game. We played three lines for parts of each game but we don't have enough scoring power as when we have two lines."
Zeig said that both teams that the Eagles played in the tournament were very good teams.
"They are both "AA" schools that play pretty tough schedules," Zeig said. "So I was very happy coming out with two close losses."
Zeig felt that SSR and St. Cloud matched teams that New Ulm has already played in Chaska-Chanhassen (9-0 loss) and Dodge County (8-2 loss).
"They were up in the same skill level as those two. Chaska-Chanhassen is probably a little bit higher," Zeig said.
And playing a tough, non-conference schedule is something that Zeig and the Eagles wanted.
"We have a pretty good (non-conference) schedule this year," she said. "But we have not played our toughest games yet - January is even more stacked with a few tougher teams as well (with Rochester John Marshall, Austin, Northfield and Holy Family Catholic)."
She said that going from a South Central Conference team to a non-conference team skill-wise has been tough in years past.
"But the girls that I have now are really starting to adjust well to it," Zeig said. "They know that they have to come out and give 100 percent regardless of who we are playing. When we go from playing a tough team to a weaker team we sometimes do not go into the game full strength. That is where we struggle and we do not play as well. I think that the girls would rather play the tougher non-conference schedule."
Now 8-5 on the season, Zeig wants to see her team put up its best effort each game regardless of the competition.
"We need to get ready for the playoffs. We know that some of these (non-conference) teams we may not be able to beat," she said. "But a win does not have to be on the scoreboard. It can mean that we came out and played out best hockey and we did as well as we could against that particular team."
EAGLES GO 1-1 IN GLENCOE TOURNAMENT: The New Ulm Eagles boy's basketball team won one and lost one in the Glencoe-Silver Lake Basketball Tournament.
They lost 74-52 to Holy Family before defeating Spectrum 73-42.
"Holy Family had a 6-foot-9 player and a 6-foot 5 player that really gave us trouble," Eagles' coach Steve Foley said. "We had been doing well against the press but we did not that game. We were down 20 points at halftime and we cut it down to 12 points. We dug ourselves to big of a hole."
The Eagles, now 3-8 on the year, came back and beat Spectrum despite having players our because of sickness for this game as well as the Holy Family contest.
"Everybody scored in the (Spectrum) game," he said. "Our bench players came up huge in the game. Peder Johnson came off of the bench and scored 11 points for us and Chase Meyer hit a couple of big buckets for us as did Tanner Zupfer. Those guys made the difference in the game. We were up 18 points at halftime."
Foley said that his team was without both Tanner Kluis and Blake Piotter who were both out all of the week with sickness.
"Grant Kannegiesser had been sick and you could tell with some of the other kids that they had that chest cold and were laboring."
Foley said that offensively "we have gotten so much better. I was going through game tapes the other day and our offensive spacing and our ball movement has improved tremendously, At the beginning of the year, we were shooting 30 percent from the field as a team but in the last few games we have been shooting between 40 and 45 percent from the field."
New Ulm now opens 2013 with tough back-to-back road games at Fairmont (7-3) and then at a 7-1 Redwood Valley squad.
BASEBALL BOARDS NEEDED: Those interested in helping at Johnson Park in the concession stand, public address or in any other way, can call either 354-7593 or 276-7145.