No division title for Steel in 5-1 loss

File photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm Steel forward Jarret Cammarata brings the puck into to offensive zone durng a recent game at the New Ulm Civic Center.

NEW ULM — There will be no West Division title for the New Ulm Steel.

Northern Iowa scored five unanswered goals — including an empty net score as time expired –to erase an early 1-0 New Ulm lead and down the Steel 5-1 at the New Ulm Civic Center.

Zach Heiser scored the lone goal for New Ulm with Ryan Smith getting the assist.

Shane Bernhardson, Dayton Honkanen, Jake Joyaux, Brenden Studioso and Matt Dahlseide scored for the Bulls.

The loss means that the Steel will begin playoffs next Friday in Sleepy Eye against Alexandria in a best-of-three series.

New Um got on the board at the 12:48 mark when Heiser used a backhander to give the Steel a 1-0 lead.

But that would be all the offense that New Ulm could muster.

The Bulls tied the game with one minute left in the first period on Berhardson’s score.

Honkanen’s goal made it 2-1 at the 15:26 mark of the second period before Northern Iowa put the game away with three goals in the third period, two of them coming on power play scores.

Joyaux’s power play score at 8:47 upped the lead to 3-1 before Studioso’s power play tally gave the Bulls a 4-1 cushion.

Dahlseide’s empty net goal added salt to the wound as time expired for a 5-1 win for the Bulls.

The loss gives the West Division crown to Granite City. They will face Willmar in the first round of playoffs.