NEW ULM - If the New Ulm girls hockey team wanted to establish some dominance for the upcoming Section 3A hockey tournament in less than a month, the Eagles certainly did so Friday night.
New Ulm scored four goals in both the first and second periods, blanking Marshall 8-0 at the New Ulm Civic Center. New Ulm (9-6-1) plays at Fairmont Tuesday in a South Central Conference game.
Erika Ries led the attack with three goals, including two in the first period to gain the early advantage on the Tigers.
"It's good [the early lead], because we need to come out strong every game - we can't start slow because it turns out bad that way," Ries said.
Ries opened the scoring with 14:25 left in the first period off an assist from Brittany Denn. Brittany Denn made it 2-0 off of an assist from Kali Denn and the Eagles went up 3-0 when Ries scored her second goal of the game with 10:38 left in the first period.
New Ulm upped the lead to 4-0 after Jenny Gag scored. Brook Schugel and Mackenzie Depew each had an assist on Gag's goal.
New Ulm added to the lead in the second period. Morgan Schaefer's power play goal made it 5-0. Ries added her third goal of the game off of an assist from Ellie Dittrich and Sam Guggisberg made it 7-0 when she scored with 10:47 left in the period.
Brittany Denn scored the final New Ulm goal off of an assist from Dittrich and it helped the Eagles skate into the second intermission with an 8-0 cushion.
"We came out that same way when we went there," New Ulm coach Angie Zeig said. "They've lost a few key seniors and they've been rebuilding. They've got some players that can go, but for us it was nice to get that quick start and play the first and second lines right away, until we got a good lead and then let some of our kids who haven't been able to see a lot of ice time to get out there."
Julia Schaefer had nine saves for the Eagles.
The win snapped a recent 0-3-1 skid the Eagles have been on and it couldn't have come at a bigger time with eight regular season games left, including a tough stretch coming up later this month.
Ries said that the Eagles are coming together well at this point.
"I think we're playing how we wanted to be, how we were expected to be playing," Ries said.?