NEW ULM - The New Ulm boy's hockey team knew that its battle with Waseca would be one that the Eagles could win, but it wasn't necessarily going to be easy.
New Ulm defeated the Bluejays 8-3 in South Central Conference action and improved to 11-9 overall and 4-1. Jon Kopacek led the Eagles' offensive attack with three goals.
"Our game plan tonight was to get the puck deep and we knew that if we did that, we could handle their defense," New Ulm coach Erik Setterholm said.?"We wanted to take away their ability to break the puck out and we did that a lot of the time. We bottled them up in their own end and we put a ton of pressure on them."
Kopacek scored the game's first goal at 6:59 in the first period, but the Bluejays scored the equalizer less than a minute later.
After that, the Eagles scored five straight goals to take control of the game.
Kopacek added his second goal of the game at the 12:53 mark in the first period for the 2-1 lead, a lead the Eagles held until the second period when Ethan Kraus scored at the 35-second mark to put the Eagles up 3-1.
New Ulm's fourth goal came when Cody Gilliland scored on an assist from Judd Davis at 3:56 in the second period. New Ulm got goals from Kyle Van Name, Kopacek and Brandon Helget to go into the third period with a 7-1 lead.
Waseca did manage to stop the running time in the third period with a pair of goals 10 seconds apart, but Dylan Klein put the exclamation point on the win with a goal.
New Ulm travels to face defending Section 3A champion Marshall on Thursday before traveling to Mound-Westonka on Saturday.
"I like where we're at right now, it's just a matter of us shoring up some things that you can't practice," Setterholm said.