NEW ULM, Minn. – After seeing the Minnesota Loons get the hot hand early in their matchups two weeks ago, the Mason City Toros wanted to make sure they started on time Friday night in their first matchup of the season with the New Ulm Steel.
The hot start wasn’t the issue. Keeping it going proved to be the challenge.
The Toros picked up two goals in the opening five minutes of the game, but the Steel ran off five unanswered goals, nabbing a 5-2 win and earning their first win ever over Mason City.
The lead went to the visitors early, with Hayden Siegel notching the game’s opening goal 97 seconds into the contest. Marcus Fritel added one at the 4:33 mark to push the Toros into the driver’s seat with a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately, that’s where the scoring ended for Mason City – New Ulm closed to within one at the 8:55 mark on a goal from Landen Schwantes, and the Steel cleared away the lead with a goal from Connor Souza 2:35 out of the intermission.
Gus Cantwell – New Ulm’s leading scorer a year ago – gave his team the lead for good with 6:54 left in the second period, and the power play unit got into the action with Macrae Gordon’s goal at 9:09 of the third. Harrison Albrecht added one of his own for good measure, pushing the lead to three goals with 7:26 remaining.
That’s not to say the Toros didn’t get their chances – Mason City led the shots-on-goal count 17-10 after the first period, and tacked on a 26-9 margin in the second and a 15-8 mark in the third. The Steel cleared away the Toros’ only power play of the night, and capitalized on one of their four chances with the man-advantage.
Zack Ortolano took his first loss as a Toro, making 22 saves on 27 New Ulm shots. Nolan Lacosse was superb in picking up his first win of the season for the Steel, making 56 saves on 58 Mason City opportunities.
The loss snapped a 10-game win streak for Mason City-based Tier 3 teams against the Steel – New Ulm’s last win against a Mason City Tier 3 squad came on February 28 of last year, earning a 6-5 win over the North Iowa Bulls in a contest where the Steel gained the lead on four separate occasions before finally putting the game away in the third period.
Mason City will carry a 2-1 record on its return trip to New Ulm on Saturday, while the Steel hunt for the weekend sweep with a season mark of 2-2. The opening puck drop Saturday night is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at the New Ulm Civic Center, with live streaming coverage on HockeyTV.
Advance tickets for the Mason City Toros’ home opener October 7 against the Rochester Grizzlies are available now – to purchase advance tickets to any upcoming Mason City home game, click here. Updated news and information on Mason City Toros hockey are always available at www.masoncitytoros.com and by following the team’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Mason City 2 0 0 – 2
New Ulm 1 2 2 – 5
1st Period-1, Mason City, hayden 2 (Levis III, Peterson), 1:37. 2, Mason City, Fritel 1 (Kochanowski, Newpower), 4:33. 3, New Ulm, Schwantes 1 (Sullivan, Gordon), 8:55. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-4, New Ulm, Souza 2 2:35. 5, New Ulm, Cantwell 3 (Laser), 13:06. Penalties-Duckson Mct (boarding-minor), 3:29; Hogan Mct (roughing-minor), 19:36; Gordon Num (roughing-minor), 19:36; Schwantes Num (roughing-minor), 19:36; Ralston Mct (unsportsmanlike conduct-minor), 20:00.
3rd Period-6, New Ulm, Gordon 2 (Schwantes, Kielty), 9:09 (PP). 7, New Ulm, Albrecht 1 (Hall, Schwantes), 12:34. Penalties-Tok Mct (holding-minor), 7:17; Christy Mct (roughing-minor, unsportsmanlike conduct-10 minute misconduct), 15:47.
Shots on Goal-Mason City 17-26-15-58. New Ulm 10-9-8-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Mason City 0 / 1; New Ulm 1 / 4.
Goalies-Mason City, Ortolano 1-1-0-0 (27 shots-22 saves). New Ulm, Lacosse 1-1-0-0 (58 shots-56 saves).
Linesmen-Matthew McMillen, Takaji St. Pierre.