Toros Continue Opening Road Swing At New Ulm



2 pts


September 30, 2022 – 7:10 p.m.
October 1, 2022 – 7:10 p.m.

New Ulm Civic Center
New Ulm, Minn.


4 pts



IN A NUTSHELL: After a week off, the Toros head back on the road for their first games of the year against the New Ulm Steel.

ALL-TIME SERIES:Mason City leads, 8-0-0.

THE SCENE-SETTER: The Toros enter the new week well-rested after battling the Minnesota Loons to 5-2 and 5-3 wins on September 16 and 17 in Breezy Point, Minnesota. The Loons got off to an outstanding start, opening their weekend with a Willem Kerr goal just 94 seconds into the game. The teams went into the final minute of the second period tied at 2-2 before goals from David Loahr and Cal Levis III just 40 seconds apart gave the Toros the lead for good. On Saturday, the Loons scored first again, but Mason City grabbed the lead back with two straight power play goals from Colin Hedland and Cullen Hogan. Jamison St. Clair’s goal just 18 seconds into the second period snapped a 2-2 tie, but Ethan Peterson’s goal at the 5:44 mark touched off a run of three straight Toros tallies.

KNOW YOUR FOE: After losing just five 2001-born players from last year’s team – only three of whom were on the roster at year’s end – this year’s team is off to a 1-2 start, splitting a weekend set against the Loons before taking a 7-2 loss to Granite City on September 17. The Lumberjacks built a 5-0 lead before Landon Aanenson opened the Steel scoring with 6:53 remaining. Kyle Mortenson had a hat trick for the Lumberjacks, who scored five of their seven goals on the power play. It’s the first meeting of the season between the Toros and Steel, who are led by former White Bear Lake High School captain Nicholas O’Brien and his five points.

BEST IN THE WEST: The Mason City Toros’ roster got a significant bump last week with the return of forward Carter Newpower from the North American Hockey League’s North Iowa Bulls – Newpower is the reigning NA3HL Most Valuable Player, after posting 91 points last year in his second season of junior hockey. That 91-point season set a West Division record with a player with eligibility remaining – all previous West Division players with a higher total did so in their final seasons of junior hockey. The last remaining member of the Bulls’ NA3HL championship in 2021, Newpower has a chance to rocket up the team’s all-time leaderboard this season – his 122 points already ranks 10th in Mason City Tier III history, and the number-two mark on that list is just 62 points away. It would take another 63, however, to tie Matt Kroska’s mark of 247 career points for North Iowa.

EIGHT IS GREAT: The Toros will look to continue a perfect mark against a New Ulm team with 11 returning players from a year ago. In the eight meetings between the teams last season, Gus Cantwell scored the very first Steel goal against Mason City, but that would be New Ulm’s only lead of the season against the Toros. The last win for New Ulm against a Mason City-based team came at home on February 28 of last year, in a 6-5 victory that saw four ties, but no lead changes.

WHO’S NEXT?: After initially losing six of the top seven scorers from year’s team, the matter of who would step in to lead the way for this year’s offense was an open question heading into the season. If anything, the team made a balanced showing in its opening weekend against the Loons, with 14 players posting at least one point over the two games. David Loahr and Colin Hedland led the way with four points against Minnesota, with Cullen Hogan – the one player initially set to return among those top seven scorers – right behind at three points. 10 of the 14 point-scorers from the opening weekend tallied points in both games, but matching Sota Isogai’s 14-game point streak from last year is a goal that’s quite a ways down the road.

NET GAIN: Both Mason City netminders got off to a good start against a Loons team that figures to be an important part of the West Division race this season – Zack Ortolano earned the season-opening win with 25 saves on 27 chances in the Friday night game, while Connor Graham made 28 saves on 31 Loons shots. The next task belongs to the offense in front of them – the Toros did not score first in either of their games two weeks ago against the Loons.