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Steel score 5 unanswered in comeback win over Toros

NEW ULM — Just under five minutes into the first period, the Mason City Toros had fired nine shots at New Ulm Steel goalie Nolan Lacosse and scored two goals.

But those two goals — coming off of the sticks of Siegel Hayden and Marcus Fritel three minutes apart — were the last for the Toros in the game.

Lacosse rebounded from those two early goals to stop the next 47 shots he faced and the Steel responded with five unanswered goals as they raised some eyebrows in the West Division of the NA3HL with a 5-2 win at the New Ulm Civic Center.

Landen Schwantes, Conner Souza, Gus Cantwell, Macrae Gordon and Harrison Albrecht scored goals for the Steel.

Schwantes added two assists, with Charlie Kielty, Charlie Sullivan, Jack Laser, Bryce Hall and Gordon each adding an assist.

New Ulm Steel head coach Alex North said that the early deficit was a part a case of the Steel settling some early nerves and part Lacosse being a warrior in the nets.

“Once we got the nerves settled, we got back to our game plan and mentality the rest of the way,” North said. “Once he starts to get that compete level, he gets dialed in. Some goalies want as many as possible.”

Lacosse stopped 56 of 58 shots in the game.

Down 2-0, the Steel began their comeback midway through the opening 20 minutes when Schwantes beat Toros’ goalie Zack Ortolando at the 8:55 mark.

The second period saw Mason City outshoot the Steel 26-9.

But Lacosse had the Toros skaters shaking their heads as they could not get the puck by him.

New Ulm used Lacosse’s dominance in the nets to score twice on goals from Souza at the 2:35 mark and Cantwell at the 13:06 mark to take an improbable 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.

North said that the comeback is something that is preached every day in practice.

“We never quit,” he said. “We weathered the storm and started to chip away and once we got that momentum we never let up.

“We kept things simple. They are a very skilled team and they got their leading scorer back from last year who was also the player of the year in our league. He got a goal early, but we kept it simple.”

Macrae Gordon’s second goal of the season at the 9:09 mark of the third period on the power play upped the lead to 4-2 before Harrison Albrecht completed the autopsy with a goal at the 12:34 mark.

“This is a huge win for us,” North said as the Steel improved to 2-2. “This win is a statement for this program and it shows the hard work that they have been putting in and we are here.”

The Steel square off against Mason City again at 7:10 p.m. Saturday at the New Ulm Civic Center.

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