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Late goal lifts Eagles past Worthington, 4-3

Staff photo by Jeremy Behnke New Ulm’s Blake Soukup skates up the ice against a Worthington defender during Tuesday’s game at the New Ulm Civic Center.

NEW ULM — Josh Guldan’s slap shot from the left circle at 15:52 of the third period broke a 3-3 tie and lifted the New Ulm Eagles to a 4-3 win over Worthington Tuesday night at the New Ulm Civic Center in Big South Conference hockey.

Jack Ahlbrecht, Braxton Hoffmann and Blake Soukup added goals for the Eagles in their season opener.

Hoffmann and Dawson Kraus each added two assists with Nick Zins and Austin Uecker collecting helpers.

New Ulm goalie Dawson Sellner stopped 17 of 20 Worthington shots.

“We talked to the team after the game and that was the best Worthington team that we have played in a long time,” Eagles coach Ryan Neuman said. “So you have to give them credit but we can play better than what we did. Our second period of hockey was probably the worst period of hockey that a New Ulm team has played in a long time. But we made some adjustments and we got better.”

And it was a sloppy 17 minutes of hockey in that second period that had the game tied at 2-2 going into the third period.

The Eagles, who play at Marshall on Thursday, took a 1-0 lead after the first period thanks to an Ahlbrecht goal at the 5:31 mark.

New Ulm carried that slim lead into the second period where the Trojans took advantage of a 5-on-3 and then 5-on-4 to take a 2-1 lead.

Worthington’s Alec Lungred’s goal on a 5-on-3 power play tied the game at 1-1.

With 28 seconds remaining on the 5-on-4 advantage, Andrew Benson’s goal had the Trojans in a rare lead over the Eagles at the 8:29 mark of the second period.

It was a period where New Ulm had to kill five penalties.

“Part of that was some ticky-tack calls,” Neuman said. “But obviously we have to stay disciplined and be better. We gave up the middle of the ice which we addressed we cannot do that — and we will square that up.”

New Ulm momentarily regained the lead in the third period on Blake Soukup’s goal at the 8:09 mark.

But Worthington’s Caden VanBrisen’s goal at the 13:03 mark tied the game, setting the stage for Guldan’s game-winner.

“There were a lot of jitters out there for us tonight,” Neuman said. “We have a lot of guys who had not played a varsity game before tonight. We found a way to win tonight. And a win is a win.”

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