New Ulm Steel edge Alexandria in junior hockey playoffs

SLEEPY EYE — Cory Martinez, Jacob Padley and Jared Mickelson each scored goals — Padley’s coming on penalty shot — as the New Ulm Steel evened their playoff series at 1-1 with a 3-2 win over the Blizzard in a NA3HL playoff game.

Fritz Belisle and Stephen Mordini each had an assist.

New Ulm goalie Nathan Siclovan stopped 49 of 51 Blizzard shots

The Steel play the third and deciding game at 7:10 p.m. Sunday in Alexandria.

“This was a great game,” Steel coach Jay Witta said. “I wished we would have had more shots (Steel were outshot 51-34 in the game), Sicy had a great game for us in the nets but we still have work to do. I have said all season that we have not played our best yet.We had to make some adjustments against (Alex) which is hard but we are doing a good job.”

The Steel got on the board with just eight seconds left in the opening period when Martinez put a rebound shot by Alexandria goalie Brey Effert.

“That was big getting the lead,” Witta said. “We had a lot of energy and to get that first goal was big.”

New Ulm made it 2-0 when Padley was awarded a penalty shot and beat Effert at the 10:17 mark of the second period.

“It was a 50-50 call but Jacob was going in all alone and he was hooked when he was shooting,” Witta said. “It was a tough call but we liked it.”

Caleb Anderson cut the lead to 2-1 before after two periods before Mickelson put a nifty move on Effert for a 3-1 lead.

Alexandria cut the lead to 3-2 with 4:06 left in the game as New Ulm hung on for the win.

“Playoffs are intense and they are a physical team,” Witta said. “We are going to war tonight.”

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