Courtesy of the Worthington Daily Globe.
WORTHINGTON — It was a rough start for the Worthington girls hockey team.
Facing a tough New Ulm team Tuesday night, the Trojans found themselves down early and couldn’t dig out in a 14-0 loss.
“New Ulm is a very good and fast team,” Worthington’s Kya Nickel said. “We were playing good, but they were just outskating us.”
It was the second consecutive game for the Trojans, who suffered a loss Monday to Waseca.
“It was a little tough,” Nickel said. “But you gotta play.”
The Trojans and Eagles played scoreless for the first minute and a half Tuesday night. But on their first shot on goal of the night, the Eagles found the back of the net to lead 1-0.
“Back-to-backs are tough,” WHS head coach Eric Milbrath said. “Even for the NHL players, it’s tough. You look at the Wild, I don’t know if they’ve won back-to-back all year. For these girls to get home at midnight last night, go to bed, get up for school, go to school all day and then come here and play a hockey game against a team like this, that’s tough.”
New Ulm managed nine shots in the first six-and-a-half minutes and had a 5-0 lead.
“We were doing our best to keep shots away from the middle and they were getting most of their goals from the outside,” Nickel said.
The Eagles scored three more times in the first period and led 7-0 at the first intermission.
“They move the puck very well, they shoot very well,” Milbrath said. “They know where each other is on the ice; they are constantly talking and constantly cycling. It’s tough. They are a very good team.”
New Ulm kept peppering the net with shots in the second period, but only managed to score twice on 27 second-period shots.
“I think we were just putting the pucks more to the outside of the zone and not within the middle of our box,” Nickel said.
WHS had a shot on goal in the second, but NU goalie Karlie Ries preserved the shutout with a save.
“We kind of started figuring out where we needed to be and we weren’t chasing as much,” Milbrath said. “We were starting to kind of get our legs toward the end of the first. In the second period, we played a little bit more controlled. We didn’t chase as much. We had a few mistakes here and there. But for the majority of the time we kept the shots from being high in the point.”
The Eagles scored five times in the third period to take the 14-0 victory.
“New Ulm just really kept the pucks on their sticks and it was hard to catch them,” Nickel said. “They were fast and they could deke us very well.”
Brittany Denn and Brook Schugel each scored three goals for New Ulm, while Dani Weiss had two. Ali Beltz, Caleigh Heck, Sam Guggisberg, Mackenzie Depew, Madeline Gag and Ashtyn Wiltscheck each had a goal for the Eagles.
Worthington’s Baily Kruse made 49 saves, while Kaylee Bents had 14 saves for the Trojans.
WHS has three regular-season games left, with two against Windom Area and one against Luverne. The Trojans face off against Windom Area Tuesday in their next game.
“It shows us how we need to improve and where we need to improve for later years,” Nickel said of Tuesday’s game. “We’ll just keep focusing in practice and doing our absolute best.”
New Ulm 7 2 5 — 14
Worthington 0 0 0 — 0