Anderson’s hat trick helps Lumberjacks down Steel
NEW ULM — Granite City’s Ben Anderson recorded a natural hat trick and the West Division-Leading Lumberjacks outshot New Ulm 66-23 en route to a 7-2 win over the Steel Friday night in an NA3HL game.
Ryler Schelle and Colby Nickel scored the goals for the Steel, who dropped to 4-5 in the West Division.
Steel goaltender Nolan Lacosse stopped 59 of the 66 Granite City shots.
“They are a good hockey team,” Steel coach Curtis Doell said about the 10-1 Lumberjacks. “They move the puck well — they cycle well and they skate well. I think that our numbers caught up to us today. We are low on numbers and we just did not have the bench. And then Lahoussine Salama gets ejected for that spear and Jack Laser gets hurt. And now we are down to four defensemen and three lines.”
Doell did say that Lacosse played an amazing game in the nets.
But other than the play of Lacosse, there was little for the large crowd to be happy about.
Anderson’s first goal made it 1-0 before Colby Nickel scored his first goal as a member of the Steel to tie the game.
But Anderson scored two more goals for a 3-1 lead early in the second period that eventually grew to 5-1 before Schelle tried to breathe some life into a dormant Steel offense at 15:47 of the second period.
But any momentum that the Steel may have gained quickly faded as the Lumberjacks added two goals less than two minutes apart thanks in large part to an issue that has plagued the Steel all season: defensive zone meltdowns.
“That was the speech after the first period,” Doell said. “We asked them, ‘How many times do we have to go over the defensive zone?’ We did make some adjustments — we went from a man-to-man to a box-and-one, which helped a little bit because we could not keep up with them.”
Doell said that right now his concern is getting numbers.
“We need bodies,” he said.
The Steel are at Alexandria Saturday night.