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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
  • Luverne defeats New Ulm/Sleepy Eye boys in Section Final

  • It was a season-ending Section Final on Feb. 27 as the New Ulm/Sleepy Eye boys hockey team fell to the undefeated team of Luverne.
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  • Luverne 6, NUSE 1
     
    It was a season-ending Section Final on Feb. 27 as the New Ulm/Sleepy Eye boys hockey team fell to the undefeated team of Luverne.
     
    It was a packed house at the All-Seasons Arena in Mankato, as both teams battled it out to determine who gets to move on to play at State. The first period was the closest one, as both teams came out ready to play and had about equal puck possession. Luverne, who came into the game with a record of 26-0-1, quickly tested New Ulm goalie Brach Kraus with its strong offense, but Kraus saved all 10 shots in the scoreless first.
     
    The Cardinals quickly put on some pressure after scoring at the 1:43 mark to start the second period. However, junior Brandon Helget scored 45 seconds later to record the only goal of the game for the Eagles. Helget was assisted by senior Judd Davis. A minute after the tying goal, NUSE was given its first power play of the night after a tripping penalty was made by Luverne. The Eagles had a chance of taking a 2-1 lead with the extra player, but were held to only a few shots on goal as the Cardinal defense was too strong to get by. So strong in fact, that Luverne capitalized on a mishap made by NUSE and scored short-handed on a breakaway to take a 2-1 lead.
     
    The momentum stayed with the Cardinals for the rest of the period, as they scored on a power play at the 8:36 mark after a triping penalty was made by Dylan Klein. The Eagles were out-shot 16-7 in the second as Luverne ended the period with a 3-1 lead.
     
    All hope for a late comeback in the third was diminished after the Cardinals scored three straight goals to extend their lead. Luverne dominated on offense, passing and shooting well which New Ulm’s defense couldn’t handle. The Eagles mustered up 11 shots in the third but to no avail as the Cardinal defense was impenetrable.
     
    Luverne ended the night with 40 shots on goal compared to 25 from NUSE. Kraus saved 34 shots in front of the net to lead the Eagles.
     
    NUSE ends its season with a winning record of 17-11-0. Despite the loss, Junior Jon Kopacek was positive about the season as he looks forward to next year.
     
    “I thought we had a really really good season, we played a lot of tough teams,” Kopacek said. “We’ll be back. I’m ready for next season.”

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