New Ulm Steel hit the road for the next 2 weekends

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Steel hit the road for two weekends and when they come back for games on November 23rd and 24th against Willmar and Breezy Point respectively, they will could either be holding on to the fourth spot in the West Division or further out of the playoff picture.

The Steel (5-6-0-1) play at second place Rochester (11-4-0-0) on Friday.

Next weekend, the Steel travel to Sauk Rapids to play first place Granite City, currently 11-1-0-0 on Friday and on Saturday head north to meet fourth place Alexandria, now 8-7-0-0.

“These are some big stretches of road games coming up for us,” Steel coach Andrew Kolb said. “These games will be a good test for us this month. We got two wins in a row this past weekend and hopefully we can get on a little roll here.”

And the upcoming games will be more difficult that the past weekend’s games were against a winless Evansville squad.

“Anytime you go on the road it is tough,” Kolb said. “All of the road buildings are tough to play in. We have to be ready to go but that is how our schedule works out this year. We have to be prepared.”

Earlier in the season, the Steel lost 6-4 and 5-1 to the Grizzlies.

“So this game this weekend is really going to see where we are at for at least right now,” he said. “We are chasing Alexandria — there are five points between us right now.”

Kolb said that he was happy with bits and pieces of the way that his team played against an undermanned Evansville team who was outscored 25-3 in two games.

“It is hard to play in those games,” Kolb said. “I have been part of them as a player but overall I liked the way we played.”

FREE TACOS: At all Steel home games, if New Ulm wins by six or more goals, all fans in attendance receive a free coupon for six free tacos from Taco John’s in New Ulm. The total attendance for this past weekend games at the New Ulm Civic Center was 624 against a weak Evansville team. That meant that Taco John’s will give away 3,744 tacos.

Also it is rare when a goalie has a save percentage of .818 and loses. But Evansville goalie Noah Brandau did just that when he stopped 72 of 88 shots against the Steel Friday night. It is more rare when that goalie with the .818 save percentage in that game still loses by 15 goals.