Through the first three months of the junior hockey season, the Steele County Blades has played four games on their home rink at Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna. On Sunday, January 31 they started an 18-day stretch of seven straight games on Dudley Otto Rink. The Blades topped Rum River 4-2 to begin the home stand. They host the Rochester Vipers at 7 pm on Monday, February 1. The Blades are allowing a limited number of fans into their home games.

Several players made their Blades debut on Sunday, coming south from a team in a Saskatchewan, Canada league that is pausing activities according to word around the rink. Jakob Kalin (Calgary, Alberta) scored two goals. Joe Young (Regina, Saskatchewan) backstopped the victory with 26 saves. And Brock Wallace (Grand Prairie, Alberta) made for a formidable presence on the blue line at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds.

The Blades scored two shorthanded goals and a power play marker. Kalin staked Steele County to a quick lead 1:27 into the contest with an assist from Charlie Smith (Waterdown, Ontario).

Mallards goalie Austin Bartell (New Berlin, WI) made several spectacular saves early in the second period to keep the score stagnant. But the Blades scored a shorthanded goal at 8:37, Kalin from Noah Murphy (Faribault, MN) and Braden Trivelpiece (Moscow, ID) for a 2-0 lead.

Former Blades player Luke Horvath (Lincoln, NE) followed that with a power play goal for Rum River to pull within 2-1. Smith converted another shorty about a minute later. Connor Lee (Sydney, Australia) tipped in shot by Evan Axell (Plymouth, MN) on the man-advantage at 16:52 for a 4-1 Blades lead entering second intermission.

Horvath scored his second goal midway through the third from Carter Robinson (Inver Grove Heights, MN) to end the scoring. (Final: Blades 4, Rum River 2) The Blades (17-12-1) outshot the Mallards 57-28.

Blades home-stand:

  • Sunday, Jan 31: Win 4-2 over Rum River
  • Monday, Feb 2 vs Rochester, 7 pm
  • Friday, Feb 5 vs Hudson, 7 pm
  • Friday, Feb 12 vs Wisconsin Rapids, 7 pm
  • Saturday, Feb 13 vs Wisconsin Rapids, 12 pm
  • Monday, Feb 15 vs Minnesota Blue Ox, 7 pm
  • Wednesday, Feb 17 vs Rochester, 7 pm
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