New Ulm pours it on late, downs Windom Area in 3A quarterfinals

Staff photo by Travis Rosenau Kaden Larson, front-left, celebrates a goal with teammates during New Ulm’s Section 3A boys hockey playoff game against Windom Area on Thursday at the New Ulm Civic Center.

NEW ULM — It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

That saying was never more true during New Ulm’s Section 3A Boys Hockey Tournament quarterfinals game with Windom Area on Thursday night.

After a 1-1 tie ended the first period, New Ulm took a 3-1 lead in the second before breaking things open in the third to finish with an 8-1 win at the New Ulm Civic Center.

Kaden Larson’s hat trick and two assists led New Ulm in the win.

“It’s always cool to do that,” Larson said of his hat trick. “Couldn’t do it without the teammates.”

Also for New Ulm, Austin Uecker had two goals and three assists and Brecken Neuman added a goal and three assists. Brock Wellmann and Talan Helget also each had a goal, while Brody Nordby and Bryer Lang each finished with an assist.

Bryer Hoffmann stopped 15 shots in net for New Ulm.

Ian Nelson scored Windom Area’s lone goal in the first on an assist by Luke Anderson and Andrei Rivera. Adam Dahna had 25 saves in net for Windom Area.

New Ulm (21-5) next moves on to an 8:30 p.m. semifinals meeting with Mankato East on Saturday at Lund Arena in St. Peter. East (13-11-2) defeated Minnesota River 5-4 on Thursday to advance to the semifinals.

Larson’s first goal at 10:13 of the first on assists by Uecker and Neuman got New Ulm on the board first, but Nelson’s score knotted things up a little more than three minutes later.

“I think we were a little passive and we let them make plays,” Uecker said. “When we got the puck, we kind of panicked with it and just threw it on net. We want to get shots, but we want quality shots where we’re moving it around, finding guys open.”

Windom Area drew two penalties in the second period but were unable to get anything out of it before Uecker scored at the 12:07 mark. Neuman scored at the 16:55 mark on assists by Larson and Uecker to give New Ulm a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.

Any doubt New Ulm wouldn’t pull away in the third quickly went out the window as Helget scored on an assist by Lang at 2:55 of the third and Uecker scored on an assist by Neuman and Larson at the 3:49 mark.

Fifteen seconds later, Larson scored unassisted to put New Ulm up 6-1 and force Windom Area to burn its timeout.

Windom Area drew another penalty at 7:28 of the third and pulled its goalie during that power-play opportunity, but it was unable to generate much of an attack and finished its time on the power play 0 for 3. New Ulm also went 0 for 3 on the power play, but it didn’t make a difference after the late offensive onslaught.

“We should have came out a little quicker than we did, but we turned our game around and picked it up and scored some goals,” Larson said. “That’s a good way to finish.”

As New Ulm turns it attention to Saturday’s semifinals, Uecker said doing the little things that brought the team this far is key.

“If we play our game, move the puck around, find a guy open in front, I think we will be just fine,” Uecker said.


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