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Steel host Peoria this Friday and Saturday

NEW ULM — Following a weekend that saw the New Ulm Steel lose two West Division games to Willmar and Granite City respectively, the Steel go out of their division when they host Central Division Peoria, Illinois this Friday and Saturday at the New Ulm Civic Center in NA3HL play.

Both games start at 7:10 p.m.

The Mustangs are coming off of a weekend sweep of Wausau, Wisconsin.

This will be the first-ever meeting between the two franchises, 448 miles apart.

“It will be exciting because it is a different team and a different look other than teams that we play in our division,” Steel coach Curtis Doell said. “We get to play them at home Friday and Saturday and then we get to travel there later on in the season for a weekend series. Overnight trips are good for team-bonding because you do not have a lot of overnight trips, especially in our division.”

Doell said that he and his team will watch some film of the Mustangs (2-3-1).

“The kids are pretty aware of who is who — they watch a lot more film now because of the technology at their fingertips.”

Doell said that his team is continuing to struggle in the defensive zone.

“And we got short pretty fast with players [last Saturday] and that put us behind he eight-ball. Hopefully it will be different this weekend.”

The Steel did get some good news on goalie Nolan Lacosse, who left the game last Saturday with a knee injury.

“He is good — it was just a bone bruise — he slid into the post on a save,” Doell said. “He is skating and strengthening his leg. But as far as this weekend goes we have not made any decisions yet as to who will start each game in goal.”

The Steel will be without defenseman Parker Dorn for Friday night, who sits out a one-game suspension for a game misconduct penalty last Saturday.

Doell said that he would like to get two or three more defensemen on the team and four or five forwards.

“We have been on the phone the last two weeks. We will be losing four players who go back for high school hockey in November and that is 15 days away.”

One of the high school players, Gavin Brunmeier, who is also the Steel’s top scorer, and Bauer Barry, are skating with the North American Hockey League’s Aberdeen Wings this week.

“If we get them back this weekend it will be much needed,” Doell said. “But our goal in this program is to get the kids to the next level of hockey.”

THREE BILLET FAMILIES NEEDED: The Steel are looking for three billet (host) families for three players. Those interested or want more information can call Karen Haala at 507-276-2063. Host families are reimbursed $300 per month per player which is standard in the NA3HL.

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