Unbeaten Eagles ground Cardinals

SPOILING A SHUTOUT BID ­— Fairmont Area forward Lucas Sommers (right) taps home a shot between New Ulm goaltender Graham Glaser’s knee pads for a goal during second-period hockey action Thursday night at Martin County Arena in Fairmont. New Ulm defender Brody Wenner (14) looks to help out on the play. The visiting Eagles went on to post a 15-1 win over the Cardinals. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — A baker’s-dozen worth of points.

After New Ulm hockey teammates Ian Brudelie, Kaden Larson and Austin Uecker exited Martin County Arena in Fairmont on Thursday night, the juggernaut trio extended their seasonal point totals to 13 apiece.

Brudelie erupted for a game-high six points on five goals and one assist, Larson produced two goals and three helpers, and Uecker tallied a hat trick to ignite the visiting Eagles’ 15-1 Big South Conference rout over the Fairmont Area Cardinals.

“Our goals came off our offensive zone cycle where it is that line’s job to find the soft spot in the defense,” said New Ulm head coach Ryan Neuman, whose team has outscored its opponents 38-2 in four outings. “Once you find a seam, you put the puck in the net and that’s what they did tonight.

“We preach unselfishness on the ice.”

Brudelie, who improved his seasonal numbers to eight goals and five assists, and Larson — who hit double figures in helpers with 10 to complement three goals — combined for five of the Eagles’ six opening-period scores.

Brudelie skated hard from the right corner and drilled a right-to-left top shelf unassisted riser into the webbing for a 1-0 lead at the 14:09 juncture.

It took Brudelie only 17 seconds out of the ensuing face-off to skid a low entry pass to Larson, who chipped his shot up and over Fairmont Area goalie Carson Johnson’s head and into the twine.

Uecker, who improved his goal total to seven to go with six helpers, poked home a rebound off Bryer Lang’s initial left-wing liner to extend the Eagles’ margin to 3-0 with 11:19 remaining in the first.

Brody Nordby fired a crossing pass to Larson, who buried a wrister inside the left pipe for a 4-0 lead before New Ulm converted two of its three power-play opportunities into back-to-back goals to cap a six-goal first frame.

Larson proved the trigger man on both of Brudelie’s twine-finding blasts via the one-player advantage. Brudelie lit the lamp at the 4:52 and and 1:55 marks to create a commanding 6-0 advantage.

Lucas Sommers, however, breathed new life into the Cardinals’ attack by creating a high-percentage scoring chance via a breakaway to open the second period.

Sommers fended off a New Ulm defender, took a direct line at Eagles’ netminder Graham Glaser and snuck a low trickling liner into the proverbial 5-hole to spoil the visitors’ shutout bid at the 13:56 mark.

The Cardinals’ Luke Kester hammered a pair of wide-angle shots at Glaser, who recorded two of his 14 saves to prevent any further damage on the scoreboard.

Uecker displayed his accurate backhand on a pick-pocket play and ensuing slide-by net-finding flip shot to counter at the 10:05 mark of the second.

Casey Koop cashed in a Nordby assist for a power-play goal at the 5:08 juncture before Keaton Weston tallied the first of his two goals on the night with only 38 seconds to go in the middle segment for a 9-1 lead.

Lang converted Nordby’s third assist of the game into a goal to open the third frame before the Brudelie-from-Larson connection worked its magic to bookend Uecker’s third goal.

Joey Fingland and Weston chipped in solo goals during the final 8:23 of running-time regulation to close out the 14-goal margin of victory.

Carson Johnson turned away an incredible game-high 46 shots on net for the Cardinals.

Fairmont Area (0-6) travels to Worthington on Tuesday night, while New Ulm (4-0) hits the road to Luverne tonight for another league clash.

NU       6-3-6–15

FMT     0-1-0– 1

Scoring Plays

1st Period

NU–Ian Brudelie (unassisted), 14:09.

NU–Kaden Larson (Brudelie), 13:52.

NU–Austin Uecker (Bryer Lang), 11:19.

NU–Larson (Brody Nordby), 10:32.

NU–Brudelie (Larson), PP., 4:52.

NU–Brudelie (Larson), PP., 1:55.

2nd Period

FMT–Lucas Sommers (unassisted), 13:56.

NU–Uecker (unassisted), 10:05.

NU–Casey Koop (Nordby), PP., 5:08.

NU–Keaton Weston (Caleb Forstner), 0:38.

3rd Period

NU–Lang (Nordby), 15:52.

NU–Brudelie (Larson), 13:37.

NU–Uecker (unassisted), 9:51.

NU–Brudelie (Larson), 9:08.

NU–Joey Fingland (Ben Alfred), 8:23.

NU–Weston (Brock Wellmann), 6:03.

Shots on goal: New Ulm 22-20-19–61; Fairmont Area 7-7-1–15.

Saves: Carson Johnson (Fairmont) 46; Graham Glaser (New Ulm) 14.

Penalties: Fairmont Area 3 for 6 minutes; New Ulm 2 for 4 minutes.

Power-play Chances: New Ulm 3-for-3; Fairmont Area 0-for-2.


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