New Ulm Steel hit the road this week

NEW ULM — Four road games in five days.

That is what faces the New Ulm Steel hockey team this week as they face their longest road trip of the season.

The stretch begins Wednesday night with 140-mile bus ride for a game in Alexandria. The Steel, 16-11-2-1, are in third place in the West Division and four points ahead of the Blizzard and hold a seven-point cushion on Willmar for the final playoff spot.

New Um follows that Alexandria game up with 132-mile trip for a game in Mason City, Iowa against the West Division leading Bulls (28-5-2) on Friday.

The Steel then jump on the bus after that game and head 420 miles to St. Louis for games against the Junior Blues on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

All told, these four games will see the Steel traveling 1,424 miles round trip.

“These games will be a test for our kids,” Steel coach Zach Stepan said. “Those are three really good hockey teams and we need to find a way to take home those games to keep us in a good playoff spot.”

Stepan said that his team is overdue for a bus trip where the guys can hang out.

“We have not stayed in a hotel yet this year,” he said. “This is a good point in the season where out guys can bond.”

Stepan thinks that the road game Wednesday is probably the most important game.

“We have not found a way to beat Alexandria in a while,” Stepan said. “But if we can keep riding the train that we did this weekend [a sweep of Peoria, Illinois] and keep that mojo going in these games.”