NEW ULM, Minn. – A 5-2 loss Friday in New Ulm – the first in Mason City Toros history against the Steel – didn’t sit too well with the group with a rematch set for Saturday night back at the New Ulm Civic Center.
So the Toros decided to flip the script.
Mason City rattled off four straight goals in Saturday’s matchup – the first coming less than seven minutes out of the gate – to snag a 5-2 win and clinch the weekend split. The win moves the Toros to 3-1 for the young season, while the Steel drop to 2-3 on the year with the loss.
Carter Newpower (Cottage Grove, Minn./North Iowa Bulls) helped to get the Toros off the ground on the initial goal, sending a pass out front for Cullen Hogan (Dallas, Texas/Mason City Toros) to snap home from mid-slot, giving the visitors the early lead. With 7:02 left in the period, the Toros picked up another one, with David Loahr (New Brighton, Minn./Irondale H.S.) punching in a second-chance goal off of an initial shot from Petr Lukes (Strakonice, Czech Republic/Ontario Hockey Academy).
Mason City doubled its lead in short order early in the second period, with back-to-back goals 62 seconds apart from Dylan Duckson (Mahtomedi, Minn./Mason City Toros) and Nolan Christy (Burnsville, Minn./Amarillo Wranglers) making it a 4-0 game just 5:05 out of the break.
A tripping call against Duckson helped to open the door for the first Steel goal of the night, a rip from Zach Maret in the right-wing circle that cut the lead to 4-1 with less than six minutes remaining in the period. The response from Mason City came just 27 seconds later, as Newpower’s shot from the edge of the slot whirled past Dixon Ehlers to push the lead back to four goals.
Scoring was slow to come in the third period, but New Ulm got one last goal back at 10:12, on a right-point blast from Charlie Kielty just three seconds after the end of a penalty to Hogan.
Power play chances were plentiful, with New Ulm going 1-for-8 on the man-advantage and the Toros finishing with a 1-for-5 mark. Hogan and Newpower each enjoyed big nights, picking up a goal and two assists apiece. Loahr and Matt Kochanowski (Apple Valley, Minn./Mason City Toros) each had multi-point showings as well, while Kielty topped out at a goal and an assist for New Ulm.
The Toros peppered the New Ulm net with 54 shots – starting goaltender Nolan Lacosse was saddled with the loss, making 19 saves on 23 Toro chances. Ehlers faced the remaining 31 shots, stopping 30 of them. Connor Graham (Fort Wayne, Ind./Indy Jr. Fuel 18U) earned his second win in as many appearances for Mason City, with 40 saves on New Ulm’s 42 shots.
After four games away from home to start the season, Mason City begins its home slate Friday night with a visit from the defending Fraser Cup champion Rochester Grizzlies. The opening puck drop at the Mason City Arena is slated for 7:10 p.m., with live streaming coverage on HockeyTV.
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