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WarHawks shut down Steel 3-0

NEW ULM — Early in the second period and down 2-0 to Willmar, two New Ulm Steel skaters broke alone on WarHawks goalie Michael D’ Orazio — and failed to score.

Down 3-0 midway through the third period and on a 5-on-3 power play, the Steel again failed to score.

All in all it was a frustrating night for the Steel as they dropped their fifth straight game falling to Willmar 3-0 at the New Ulm Civic Center.

“This was a disappointing loss in that there were about seven or eight players that I thought played really good hockey tonight,” Steel coach Alex North said as his team fell to 5-14-2 in the West Division. “And unfortunately — in my opinion — there were four bad plays that led to their goals. But outside of that I thought that we played some pretty good hockey.”

Willmar took a quick 1-0 lead just a minute into the game on a Braydon Buckingham goal.

That was followed up by a Chandler Dennis goal six minutes later as Willmar took a 2-0 lead into the second 20 minutes.

Early in the second period it looked like the Steel, who play at Willmar Saturday night, were going to get on the board when two New Ulm players broke in on

D’Orazio (who played with Alberta in the North American Hockey League) and came away with nothing.

“On the 2-0 we just had too many passes,” North said. “We should have just shot the puck. And we had another scenario where we cannot be looking for the sweet play, but we have to look for the right one.”

North said tha the failure to score on the 5-on-3 power play (and failure to score on all seven of their power plays in the game) is a combination of the penalty kill of Willmar and the Steel’s ineffective power play.

“They got their lead and held on.” North said. “I felt that Charlie Olson on defense played well as did Josh Gulden. And Vladislav (Ostapenko) played well in his first game. We just need to pull together and turn the ship around.”

Steel goalie Nolan Lacosse stopped 32 of 25 shots, while D’Orazio stopped all 38 New Ulm shots.

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