New Ulm girls skate by Minnesota River

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello New Ulm’s Jada Rahe tries to get the puck past Minnesota River goalie Amelia Messer during the first period Thursday at the New Ulm Civic Center.

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Eagles scored two third-period goals to turn a tight 2-1 game into a comfortable 4-1 lead as they ran off their eighth straight win by topping Minnesota River 4-2 Thursday night in a Big South Conference game.

Julia Helget scored two goals, with Maddi O’Connor and Afton Hulke adding solo goals for New Ulm.

O’Connor added two assists, with McKenna Strong getting a helper.

New Ulm goaltender Ava Brennan stopped 12 of 14 shots.

Minnesota River goaltender Katie Gurrola faced 34 New Ulm shots and stopped 30 of them.

The Eagles, who improved to 7-0 in the conference and 8-1 overall, took a fast 2-0 lead on the Bulldogs in the first period.

Helget tipped in a pass from O’Connor at the 6:08 mark before Hulke scored an unassisted goal when a hard one-timer from a bad angle found the corner of the net on Gurrola’s stick side at the 8:27 mark.

The Bulldogs, who host New Ulm on Tuesday, cut the lead in half.

Minnesota River was attempting to clear the puck and shot it down the ice and facing an icing call.

But the Bulldogs’ Sophia Doherty beat New Ulm skaters to the puck and surprised Brennan with a wrist shot that found the back of the net at the 12:30 mark.

The second period saw no scoring, but Minnesota River missed a chance to tie the game when a New Ulm skater slipped and crashed into Brennan, leaving the net wide open. But the Bullldogs player’s shot was low and Brennan stopped it.

The Eagles came out hard in the third period, outshooting Minnesota River 12-5.

Maddi O’Connor’s unassisted goal at the 5:39 mark gave New Ulm some breathing room at 3-1 before Helget collected her second goal of the game at the 8:22 mark for a 4-1 lead.

Minnesota Rivers’ Nicole McCabe’s goal cut the lead to 4-2 with 10 seconds left in the game.


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