Steel begin back-to-back series with Willmar tonight

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Steel host Willmar tonight at 7:10 p.m. at the New Ulm Civic Center in a back-to-back series against the Warhawks. They play Game 2 in Willmar Saturday night.

The Steel are coming off a road split last weekend in which they defeated Breezy Point 5-2 before being blanked by Alexandria 6-0.

“We had a good effort against Breezy — we put up three goals in the first minute and things were going pretty good,” Steel coach Andrew Kolb said. “Then we go to Alex and they jump us 5-0 after the first period. Three of those goals were really good goals, so those were not on (Steel goalie) Ryan Beilenberg. Those were goals that I think that a lot of goalies could not have saved. They were well-placed shots. We only had 10 shots on goal after two periods and that is a case of not working hard enough.

“You have to be prepared and maybe that is on me to get them going better,” Kolb said. “You cannot take a night off in this division or you are not going to win. Any team can beat anyone at any point and we are seeing that early on.”

Kolb said that right now he feels that his team has not played their best yet.

“We are still flirting around with things,” Kolb said. “We have not played a full, consistent 60-minute game. There will be some (line-up) changes this week.”

Kolb also said that Willmar is a team that is going to play hard.

“They beat (first place) Granite City last weekend,” Kolb said. “Playing at home tonight we need to get off to a good start.”

STEEL NOTES: The Steel traded defenseman Vitaliy Nosov to the Mid-City Jr. Stars ( Euless, Texas) on Thursday for an undisclosed amount of cash. Steel defenseman Stephen Mordini will not play tonight as he sits out a one- game suspension for a game ejection in Alexandria last Saturday.

Ryan Kenny (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) will make his first start in goal tonight for the Steel.