New Ulm has rare home-and-away series this week

NEW ULM — Last Friday night, the New Ulm Steel lost 9-2 to West Division leading Granite City at the New Ulm Civic Center.

This weekend, the Steel wil get more of the 17-3 Lumberjacks when they play a rare home-and-away Saturday/Sunday series with them.

The Steel (8-10-0-1) host Granite City at 7:10 p.m. Saturday before heading to Sauk Rapids Sunday for a 7:30 p.m. meeting.

“We know that they are going to be tough games,” said Steel coach Andrew Kolb, who saw his team fall six ponts behind Alexandria for the fourth and final playoff spot with the Friday loss. “We have to match their work ethic. We had a couple of defensive breakdowns when they scored. But after two periods Friday we only had 12 shots on net. We need to have more offense — we took seven penalties and they scored three power play goals. We have to stay out of the penalty box against them or anyone.”

These two games may well determine if the Steel have a legitimate playoff chance. They lose twice (and Alexandria beats Milwaukee), New Ulm could find itself 10 points behind.

“We have nine games in December,” Kolb said. “We have Granite twice, Willmar and then three games in the Showcase (Maine Wild, NAPHL Select and Wisconsin Whalers) and then Rochester and Breezy Point.

“There are some things that I want to change,” Kolb said. “We can be better and we can be better by just working harder.”

Saturday night is “Northstar Builder Night and Beer Stein Night.” You can purchase a 22-ounce stein and get refills at a reduced rate.