Despite having just a couple days of practice due to school closings, The New Ulm/Sleepy Eye boys hockey team has gone 2-1 in its past three games.

Despite having just a couple days of practice due to school closings, The New Ulm/Sleepy Eye boys hockey team has gone 2-1 in its past three games.

On Jan. 23, the Eagles made the long trip over to Minneapolis to take on the 5A team of Providence Academy. NUSE controlled the game in all aspects. The defense only allowed 18 total shots on goal, while the offense put in eight goals to take the game 8-2. The trio of Jon Kopacek, Wyatt Peterson, and Judd Davis led the way with two goals apiece, while Brandon Helget and Ethan Kraus added the other two.

On Jan. 25, the Eagles were back home where they hosted Chaska in another non-conference game.

It was a game full of mistakes and missed opportunities for NUSE. The Eagles started the game on a high note, after taking a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal by Helget on a power play. Dylan Klein assisted Helget on the goal. The momentum continued for New Ulm in the second period after Davis backhanded one in to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

Soon after, NUSE had a power play opportunity and it looked as if the team would score yet another. However, the Hawks cleared out the puck on defense which allowed Chaska’s Derek Annett to race down to the other end. Eagles goalie Matt Berkner skated out of position to clear the puck, but Annett got in the way and immediately took advantage of the open net and the score was brought to 2-1.

Soon after, Helget was able to rebound in a shot taken from Alex Sellner to take a 3-1 lead. However, the Hawks responded with a goal of their own moments after. Despite some chances for NUSE, including a breakaway by Kopacek who wasn’t able to get past Chaska’s goalie, the Eagles broke down defensively and allowed the Hawks to score two goals on breakaways to end the second at a 3-3 tie.

Chaska took its first lead of the night at 4-3 to start the third. The Hawks continued to strike with another goal moments later. Kopacek was finally able to stop Chaska’s momentum as he cut the deficit to 5-4, assisted by Kraus and Lucas Heiderscheidt. All NUSE could do was hope for a tie in the final minutes, but a final goal by the Hawks ended the game at 6-4. Both teams ended with 29 shots on the night.

On Jan. 28, the Eagles hosted Waseca where they dominantly won 8-3.

It took about halfway through the first period until New Ulm put its first on the board. Kopacek claimed the goal with Kraus assisting. The Bluejays responded with a goal of their own about a minute later, but another goal by Kopacek, this time unassisted, brought the score to 2-1 at the end of the first.

The second period was a slaughter. The Eagles scored five straight goals to seal the deal early. The first came from Kraus on a power play, assisted from Davis and Helget. Cody Gilliland scored the second, with Davis assisting, and Kyle Van Name scored the third, with Ryan Busch and Gilliland assisting. Kopacek then claimed the hat trick to make it 6-1 on a pass from Kraus, followed by a goal from Helget, assisted by David and Wyatt Peterson. NUSE’s final goal was a short handed one from Klein. Waseca did manage to score two in the third which stopped the running time, but it was to no avail as the Eagles won big and move to 11-9 overall and 4-1 in the South Central Conference.