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Steel have busy holiday schedule

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Steel have a busy schedule this Thanksgiving weekend.

It begins Wednesday when the Steel (8-5-2-1-1) travel to Alexandria (10-5-2-1) for an NA3HL West Division meeting.

The Steel players and coaches then break for Thanksgiving before playing at West Division leading North Iowa (17-3-2-0) on Friday and then hosting the Bulls on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. at the New Ulm Civic Center.

“This is going to be kind of a weird week,” Steel coach Zach Stepan said. “This week will be different than what the players are used to. We go to Alex — the players go home for Thanksgiving — and then be back for North Iowa on Friday. We do have some players who will drive to Alex so they can go home.”

The Steel will be without forwards Denis Denaev (suspension) along with Corey Stormer, Joey Gimberlin and defenseman John-Yanni Tsourouliis, who were all injured in a 5-4 overtime loss to Breezy Point last Saturday.

New Ulm does get back leading scorer Jacob Halvorson and goalie A.J. Cohen from NAHL Chippewa.

“But we could lose them again next week to Chippewa.”

Stormer, Gimberlin and Tsouroullis all will be out at least two weeks with their injuries.

“Chippewa has the injury bug going around, too, with six players out,” Stepan said.

The Steel did acquire two players from North Iowa in a trade in forward Mason Enright and defensemen Davis Smidt.

As for the road game Wednesday, Stepan said that he is not sure who he will have in goal with Cohen back.

“I am giving Zac Hattan (Kalamazoo, Michigan) a look in goal because with three games in four days, I cannot play the same goalie twice,” Stepan said. “And Hattan has been working harder than anyone and has been doing a lot of extra work off of the ice. He has been watching film — he is the first guy on the ice for morning skate — first guy on the ice for practice. Guys get rewarded for those things.”

Saturday night is “Horejsi Graphics Night” at the New Ulm Civic Center with a 7:10 p.m. puck drop.

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