It was a short holiday for the New Ulm/Sleepy Eye girls hockey team, as the Eagles traveled to Sartell on Dec. 26-27 where they split two games.
NUSE started off the tournament with a 1-4 loss against St. Cloud. The Icebreakers had a quick start after a power play goal at the 6:33 mark put them up 1-0. The Eagles responded with their own goal off of a power play in the first as well. Sophomore Brook Schugel put in the puck with assists going to Lexie Weiss and Morgan Schaefer. Both power play goals came from holding penalties.
But unfortunately for NUSE, the goal in the first period would be their only one. St. Cloud scored one early in the second period on even strength, while two more were scored in the third period to take the game. Senior goalie Julia Schaefer made 35 out of the 39 saves while the Eagles were held to 25 shots on goal.
A more favorable scenario played out a day later when NUSE took on Sartell/Sauk Rapids. Sophomore Brittany Denn put the Eagles on the board with an even strength goal at 10:46. Schugel assisted on the score. But after a minor tripping penalty was made by New Ulm’s Kali Denn, the Stormin’ Sabres capitalized on the power play with a goal to tie the game at one.
The second period was similar to the first. Schugel scored her first goal of the night on an even strength run with assists from Dani Weiss and B. Denn. Sartell/Sauk Rapids responded once again, but this time it was an even strength goal which tied it at two apiece.
B. Denn earned her second goal of the night at the 9:08 mark in the third period which won them the game. The assist went to Erika Ries.
NUSE gave the Stormin’ Sabres a power play opportunity in the second and third periods, but the Eagles defense was too strong to get by. J. Schaefer saved eight of 10 shots, while New Ulm’s offense recorded 17 shots. The Eagles lead the South Central Conference with a record of 10-5-0, with Fairmont behind at 5-5-0. The next game for NUSE will be a home game against Faribault on Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m.