New Ulm stops WHS boy, girl skaters: Newman stays tough in net
The New Ulm Eagles shut out the Worthington girls and boys hockey teams Friday night, but girls' goalie Lillyana Newman was outstanding
WORTHINGTON -- It probably wasn’t the best idea for the Worthington Trojans to pick New Ulm for their boys hockey season opener. The fast-skating, aggressive Eagles flew all over the host Trojans Friday night in a 12-0 victory.
There were two games at Worthington ice on Friday. In the first game, New Ulm shut out the WHS girls squad 10-0.
New Ulm 12, Worthington 0
The Eagles were consistent, scoring three goals in the first, five in the second and four in the third during running time.
“They’re a tough team, they’re a deep team. I actually think we started out well,” said WHS head coach Tyler Nienkerk. “We did some good things, and we got wore down.”
Indeed, over the first three minutes the Trojans skated almost evenly with New Ulm. At times over the first two periods, they showed they could skate and challenge New Ulm physically. They even showed some nifty stick-handling on occasion. But they were inconsistent, and the Eagles never let up.
Worthington will need to be more aggressive moving forward, said the coach.
“I think we were real tentative with the puck. As soon as the puck got to us, we were looking to get rid of it right away,” said Nienkerk.
New Ulm scored its first goal with 3:26 gone in the first period. Junior forward Kaden Larson got it, assisted by Austin Uecker. Other first period goals were scored by Jack Albrecht and Taylor Hansen.
Second period goals came in bunches, beginning with 12:21 showing on the clock. Another was scored at 11:26 and another at 10:00. Then another was put in at 4:56, and the fifth of the period at 2:25.
The third period was more of the same. Shots on goal were poorly kept at the official scorer’s table, but it was probably better that the Trojans didn’t know the actual numbers.
New Ulm 3 5 4 -- 12
Worthington 0 0 0 -- 0
New Ulm 10, Worthington 0
Sophomore forward Michelle Smith scored four of New Ulm’s 10 total goals.
But for Worthington, there was a silver lining in the loss. Senior goalkeeper Lillyana Newman performed excellently in the net for the second night in a row. She saved 37 shots in a 3-2 loss to Windom Area on Thursday, and on Friday she stopped 45. Her hard work and consistent excellence was noted by head coach Chad Nickel.
“She is hot right now. The old saying is, you stick with what is hot. She played her heart out in this game, too,” he said.
“It’s a lot of practice. Hand-eye coordination comes into play,” said Newman. “The more practice you get, the easier it gets.”
“I’m just trying to keep my cool,” she added. “I’ve seen goalies struggle before, like, ‘There goes another goal …’ As long as I have a good attitude, the team’s going to have a good attitude. As long as I play good, my team’s gonna play good.”
New Ulm played more than good on Friday.
“New Ulm, they’re a hustle team. They’re disciplined. They’ve always been that way,” said Coach Nickel, who added that the Trojans will need to be more aggressive on offense in the future.
“We are definitely not putting the shot on goal that we need to. We are not challenging their goalies,” he said.
New Ulm 3 3 4 -- 10
Worthington 0 0 0 -- 0