WILLMAR— Sloppy defensive play proved costly for the Willmar WarHawks, who dropped a 4-3 final to New Ulm in NA3HL play at the Civic Center Friday night.
It was the third straight game the two teams played against each other, two of which were won by the Steel.
Willmar Coach Chris Blaisuis said “self-inflicted and undisciplined” penalties were the biggest reason the outcome didn’t come out in his team’s favor.
“We gave one away tonight,” Blaisuis said after his team surrendered 11 power play opportunities. “We were in the penalty box almost half the game. You can’t spend 30 minutes in the box and expect to win.”
Riley Dixon got Willmar on the board just 2:19 into the first period, tapping in a rebound off a Danny Nugent shot.
But it took just 1:41 for the Steel to tie the game and the WarHawks would never get the lead back.
Kane Toriumi and Alex Syring added third-period goals, with Syring adding an assist.
The loss drops the WarHawks to 5-3. They look to get back on track next weekend with a home-and-home series against Alexandria.
Friday’s game is in Alex and Saturday’s is in Willmar. Both begin at 7:10 p.m.
New Ulm 4, Willmar 3
New Ulm (6-4)............. 2 1 1 — 4
Willmar (5-3)............... 1 0 2 — 3
FIRST PERIOD – (1) Willmar: Riley Dixon (Danny Nugent, Leonard Ewald) 2:19…(2) New Ulm: Fritz Belisle (Alex Nagel) 4:00…(3) New Ulm: Jared Erickson (Jacob Padley, Bennett Witta) 17:36
SECOND PERIOD – (4) New Ulm: Witta (Belisle) 1:04
THIRD PERIOD – (5) Willmar: Kane Toriumi (Dylan Gast, Alex Syring) 4:57 (6) Willmar: Syring 5:33…(7) New Ulm: Erik Rainersson (Nagel, Belisle) 9:57
GOALIE SAVES – New Ulm: Nathan Siclovan 33… Willmar: Alex Weissenborn 27