Steel to play in NA3HL Showcase Tournament

BLAINE — This Sunday, the New Ulm Steel begin play in the 2019 NA3HL Showcase Tournament at Super Rink in Blaine.

Thirty-four NA3HL teams come for the tournament that runs from Sunday until Tuesday, with each team guaranteed three games.

The Steel play the Sheridan Hawks of Wyoming at 6:45 p.m on Sunday on Rink 1. Monday, they battle the L.A. Nordiques of Lewiston, Maine, at 6 p.m. on Rink 5 before playing the Danbury Colonials of Connecticut at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday on Rink 6.

All games are on HockeyTV. Adult tournament passes are $30, with students, military, seniors and first responders being charged $25. Children under 8 get in free.

“This Showcase is really important for the older players,” Steel coach Zach Stepan said. “That Showcase brings a lot of scouts and college coaches. College coaches that the players want to be seen by will be there. This is a big deal for the players.”

The 34 teams bring a total of 884 NA3HL players with college hockey aspirations.

Games begin on the eight rinks at 1:15 p.m. Sunday, with the last game starting at 7:30 p.m. On Monday, games start at 10 a.m. and games start at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

“It is good for the all of the players because they get to play out-of-division teams that they normally do not see too often,” Stepan said. “It is just a good atmosphere for all of the players. We will find out how we stack up against other teams not in our division.”

Stepan said playing three games in three days, however, is hard on the legs.

“Hopefully we get some guys back from injuries,” Stepan said. “I think because of the Showcase, our older players will play all three games. It will be a grueling three days for them.”

When the Showcase ends on Tuesday, December 17, the Steel will have a 10-day break for Christmas before their next home game at the New Ulm Civic Center when they host Alexandria on Friday, December 27, and Granite City on Saturday, December 28. Both games have 7:10 p.m. puck drops.