Eagles blank LD/C in 2A playoffs

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm’s Madeline Gag fires a shot during the first period of the Eagles Section 2A Playoff game against Litchfield-Dassel-Cokato Friday at the New Ulm Civic Center. Gag scored the first goal of the game on the play.

NEW ULM — Madeline Gag, Molly Sheid and Ally Steffensmeier each scored unassisted goals and New Ulm’s defensive corps held Litchfield-Dassel/Cokato to just 11 shots as the New Ulm girls’ hockey team opened its defense of their Section 2A title with a 3-0 blanking of the Dragons Friday night at the New Ulm Civic Center.

Cassie Reed got the shutout in the nets for the Eagles.

The win now moves New Ulm (17-8-1) to a semifinal round meeting at 7 p.m. Saturday against No. 1-seeded Mound-Westonka at Thaler Arena.

The Eagles lost to the WhiteHawks 6-1 in their first game of the season.

“We played relatively aggressive in our defensive zone which is something that we have been stressing,” Eagles head coach Kristin Faber said. “Our kids came prepared to play today and for the most part played a pretty complete game.”

New Ulm got on the board at the 2:53 mark of the first period when Madeline Gag fired a shot from just inside the blue line that got by Dragons goalie Avery Stillwell for a quick lead.

“I felt that we could really go when we got that lead,” Gag said. She was also part of the defense that basically stymied them in their own zone all game.

“We were on them right away,” Gag said. “We wanted to make sure that we got on them to make sure they did not get a shot.”

New Ulm outshot LDC 18-4 in the first period and continued that in the second period as they held a 13-6 advantage and increased their lead to 2-0 when Scheid slipped a backhander past Stillwell at the 8:45 mark of the second period.

Steffensmeier capped off the scoring for New Ulm at the 15:27 mark of the second period for New Ulm’s third unassisted goal of the game.

Faber said that if she had to decide what she was most pleased with in the game -the 44 shots on net or the 11 allowed — she said it would be the 11 allowed.

“When you are playing team defense you are not giving them a lot of space to create opportunities. You are going to win games playing defense.”

New Ulm, the fourth seed, now travels to Mound to face the top-seeded team in a back-to-back game.

“I think we will be OK,” Gag said. “They did not play (Friday), but I think that we will be fine. We had a run of four games in a row and did well keeping up with it. We were a four seed last year and we won it.”