NEW ULM - When you make mistakes in your defensive zone in hockey during the regular season, it can cost you a game.
Make those same errors in a playoff game, and it will end your season.
Saturday night late in the second period, the New Ulm Eagles failed to clear the puck out of their own zone and it cost them.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Judd Davis races Hutchinson defender L.J. Rogers to the puck during the second period of their Section 3A playoff game Saturday at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.
Hutchinson's Carter Mandelkow and Tory Adams scored goals less than four minutes apart as the sixth-seeded Tigers upset second-seeded New Ulm 3-2 in a Section 3A semi-final game at Gustavus Adolphus.
Judd Davis scored both of New Ulm's goals as the Eagles see their season end at 13-13-1.
Hutchinson, now 7-19, will face Marshall (13-10-1) for the Section 3A title. Marshall upset top-seeded Luverne 5-3 earlier.
"This was a tough loss," said New Ulm coach Erik Setterholm. "We had chances to bury the puck in the third period but could not get it done."
New Ulm took a 1-0 lead 15 seconds into the second period when Davis lifted a backhander by Tiger goalie Kellyn Buss for an early lead.
But the Tigers, who lost to New Ulm earlier in the season by a 4-3 score, knotted up the contest on a goal from Keegan Macemom at the 8:21 mark.
That was when the Eagles' defense went into an usual funk and failed to clear the puck out of their zone.
Mandelkow gave the Tigers their first lead of the game at the 10:15 mark before Adams made it 3-1 as New Ulm was sloppy in its own end.
"We had a couple of bad minutes there - a couple of bad bounces - with the puck getting by our defensemen," Setterholm said. "They capitalized on their chances."
Davis' second goal of the game at the 3:30 mark of the third period pulled the three-time defending Section 3A champions ot within 3-2. But Buss did not allow New Ulm to tie the game despite the fact that the Eagles outshot Hutchinson 13-6.
"They were physical but I do not think that that was the deciding factor,"Setterholm said. "They came at us hard for three periods. I do not know if it was due to our last game (a 10-0 win over Redwood Valley). We did not have to play any different style than just pure talent. We finally got our legs under us in that third period and remembered how to play the game like we know how to play it. We just ran out of time."