New Ulm Steel welcome fans at fairgrounds

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau Members of the New Ulm Steel hockey team gathered at the Brown County Fairgrounds in New Ulm on Thursday for the Brown County Free Fair, inviting the public to meet returning players, new players and coaches. Members of the Steel will be at the fair the rest of the week. Pictured from left to right are New Ulm Steel head coach Alex North, Alex Benson, Nolan LaCosse, Macrae Gordon, Gus Cantwell and Steel office and marketing manager Karen Haala.

NEW ULM — Hockey season is just around the corner and that was evident at the Brown County Fair where members of the New Ulm Steel talked hockey to fair-goers this week.

And the response about the team and the upcoming season has been very positive, Karen Haala, the office and marketing manager for the New Ulm Steel.

“It has been so much fun,” Haala said Thursday. “The boys have been an absolute lifesaver helping me set up for this and the response that we have seen is one of excitement for this upcoming season. People coming here have been able to put a name to a face and have gotten to get to know them — it has been very positive interaction.”

Haala said that most of the questions center around the coaches and the new players coming in.

Goalie Nolan LaCosse, one of the 13 players who are returning from last year’s squad, said that this season’s goal is a lofty one.

“We are looking to be going to to make a deep playoff run and win the Fraser Cup (NA3HL championship),” he said. “We have a solid group of guys who can do some work.”

LaCosse said that there is a combination of 13 of 18 returning players and new incoming players can spell success for the 2022-23 Steel.

“And this year we have a full roster — that is key,” LaCosse said. “And this year we have a fourth line, which is something we did not have last season.

“And coming from me as a goalie, I would be facing a lot of shots, so having a full roster is great.”

LaCosse said that he met new assistant coach Tommy Adams this week.

“He is a great guy and Alex (North, Steel GM/head coach) is a great guy who you want to go out and play for. I have the utmost respect for him.”

Another returning player, Gus Cantwell, echoed LaCosse’s feelings.

“Our goal is to go out and win the Fraser,” Cantwell said. “We are going to be a lot better than last year. We have a lot of top-end solid players returning — our goal is go to all the way. This is a new team — last year is done with and over — we have new coaches and some new players. This year is a new stage of the New Ulm Steel.”

Cantwell added that the full roster will make the team more competitive.

“And having a full roster means that players are going to have to compete for a spot night in and night out and give effort every night,” he said. “That pushes that compete level up because you want to play.

“When you dress 14 players (like last season), you know you are playing no matter what. And when you have that small of a roster, you are pretty well tired in that third period.”

Cantwell said he thinks in talking to people that there is more excitement for the Steel this season.

“You can tell from the energy from the people who stop by and talk — there is more excitement and I am excited to get going.”

One of the new faces on the Steel this season is center Macrae Gordon from Woodbury.

He came to the Steel in the offseason and said that his first meeting with North sold him on the Steel.

“He is a down to earth guy who is going to be a great help to me and a great coach to play for,” Gordon said.

Gordon thinks the Steel have a great chance to do a lot of good things this season.

“And the response here has been great,” he said. “There have been a lot of young kids who have come out here to hang with us. I think that they are going to be very excited about this upcoming season.”

And Gordon is ready to make an impact.

“I am ready to get on the ice and prove myself.”

The Steel start training camp this coming week and it runs from 9-11 a.m. Monday through Friday at the New Ulm Civic Center. It is free to attend and open to the public.

Season tickets can now be purchased. Early Bird Special is $180 compared to $220 after Sept. 30.

Those interested can contact Haala at 507-276-2063 for ticket information.

Single game tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.


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