NEW ULM — Shots on goal in hockey is similar to time of possession in football.
The more shots a team can put on an opposing team’s goalie means that that team is spending time in their own end playing defense.
Saturday afternoon in a Section 3A semifinals game, the New Ulm Eagles girls’ hockey team fired 50 shots on Fairmont goalie Hadley Artz, with five of them getting by the Cardinals’ netminder as the Eagles downed Fairmont 5-0 at the New Ulm Civic Center.
Julia Helget scored her 17th and 18th goals of the season for New Ulm and also threw in three assists for a team-leading 38 assists.
Afton Hulke recorded her 20th goal of the year, with Brooke Arneson getting her 24th goal of the year. Emma Brudelie also added a goal.
Hulke, Michelle Smith, Arneson and Evelyn Sellner each had a helper.
With the Eagles dominance in the Cardinals’ zone, New Ulm goaltender Ava Brennen had a relatively easy game as she faced six shots in the first period and just one in the final two periods.
New Ulm, now 23-3, will host Luverne at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at the New Ulm Civic Center for the Section 3A title.
“I liked the effort from the girls,” New Ulm coach Kristin Faber said. “Our legs were moving right from the beginning of the game — we were making some good decisions with the puck. We were slow in our defensive zone the first period, but in the second and third period we did not spend a whole lot of time in our defensive zone. We did put 50 shots on net and we created a whole lot of scoring opportunities.”
And if not for the play of Artz in the nets for Fairmont, the score may have been a lot worse.
New Ulm scored twice in the first period on goals from Helget and Hulke as Fairmont had a hard time getting the puck out of their own zone. The Eagles fired 19 shots on Artz in that period.
Goals from Brudelie and and Arneson in a 23-shot second period carried the Eagles to a 4-0 lead before New Ulm made it 5-0 in the third period on Helget’s second goal of the game.
“We created a ton of great scoring opportunities today,” Faber said. “Whether that be two-on-ones, three-on-twos or even deflections. Both of our lines today cycled the puck really well and kept control. Any time you spend as much time as we did in their offensive zone, you are going to wear down their players. When you control the pace of the game and the puck in the offensive zone you will wear them down.”
Faber knows that Luverne is going to be a test for her team.
“Their top line has a lot of speed and they have a lot of scoring ability,” she said. “The key for us is to take away time and space and play at the pace that we can play at. Ava (Brennen) is going to have to have a good game, too.”