NEW ULM, Minn. – The New Ulm Steel never led in their game Friday night against the North Iowa Bulls, until the very last goal of the night.
Teddy Lillico had never scored a junior goal until the very last goal of Friday’s game.
That goal just 26 seconds into overtime turned out to be a big one for both Lillico and his team. New Ulm left its home ice with a 3-2 win, leaving the Bulls with the bonus point and their first loss in eight games all-time at the New Ulm Civic Center.
Lucas Wahlin (Woodbury, Minn./Hill-Murray H.S.) got the game started with a bang, putting the Bulls ahead just 5:11 into the contest, grabbing a loose puck behind the net and wrapping around to dump it in and put the Bulls on top.
North Iowa led 1-0 heading to the locker room, but the 15-minute mark was a milestone in both periods to come for the Steel. Corey Stormer took advantage of a four-minute double-minor high-sticking call against Wahlin in the second period. Just 37 seconds before North Iowa could get the full four minutes killed off, Tae Evans found Stormer on the back side of the crease, and Stormer connected on a one-timer to tie the game.
The visitors appeared to have the momentum they needed with 8:36 to go, with Jordan Roo (Champlin, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) taking the lead after weaving through the traffic cones on his way to the Steel net and snapping one past A.J. Cohen for the 2-1 lead.
Keegan Bauman jousted one into the top corner at the 15-minute mark of the third period, tying the game at 2-2. The only shot on net in the extra session belonged to Lillico, popping in a one-timer off of a pass from Stanislav Danaev in the corner. His goal ended a three-game winning streak for the Bulls in the head-to-head series.
Dysen Skinner (Billings, Mont./North Iowa Bulls) took his first loss of the season, making 28 saves in the defeat. Cohen made 31 saves for the win.
The Steel are now 5-3-0-1 for the year, while North Iowa saw its six-game winning streak snapped, falling to 11-1-1-0. Bonus points have been relatively common between the two teams at the New Ulm Civic Center, with three of the eight games in the series there going beyond the regular 60 minutes.
“I think we could have played a lot harder, and definitely a lot smarter,” said Roo. “I know we had a lot of turnovers that could have been preventable. We’ve got them back tomorrow in our barn, so we’ll see if we can give it a little better night there.”
The two teams get back together again Saturday, this time on North Iowa’s home ice. The opening puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the North Iowa Ice Arena in Mason City, with live streaming coverage on HockeyTV and free audio streaming on Mixlr.
Saturday’s game is “Hat Tricks and Treats” Night, as the Bulls celebrate Halloween. Candy will be thrown into the crowd with each Bulls goal, and hats will be tossed into the crowd should any Bulls player score three goals. All kids entering our costume contest will be admitted free, and all fans entering with a pre-carved Jack o’ Lantern receive $2 off their admission.
Updated news and information on North Iowa Bulls hockey is always available at www.northiowabulls.com, and by following the team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. To purchase advance tickets to Saturday’s game or any future Bulls home game, call 641-423-4625 or click here.
North Iowa 1 0 1 0 – 2
New Ulm 0 1 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, North Iowa, Wahlin 9 (Stewart), 5:11. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-2, New Ulm, Stormer 3 (Evans, Gimberlin), 15:00 (PP). Penalties-Wahlin Nio (high sticking-double minor), 11:37; Savelkoul Num (hooking-minor), 19:55.
3rd Period-3, North Iowa, Roo 6 (Skinner), 11:24. 4, New Ulm, Bauman 4 (Halvorson, Savelkoul), 15:00. Penalties-Smidt Nio (interference-minor), 3:23.
OT Period-5, New Ulm, Lillico 1 (Danaev, Gimberlin), 0:26. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-North Iowa 9-11-13-0-33. New Ulm 6-12-12-1-31.
Power Play Opportunities-North Iowa 0 / 1; New Ulm 1 / 2.
Goalies-North Iowa, Skinner 4-0-1-0 (31 shots-28 saves). New Ulm, Cohen 2-0-0-1 (33 shots-31 saves).
Linesmen-Grant Hendrich, Drew Chisholm.