A two-week break didn't cool off the Steele County Blades junior hockey team. Nor did another long bus trip to Wisconsin to play a game. The Blades opened up 2021 with an 8-3 victory over Rochester Wednesday, January 6 at Green Island Ice Arena in the LaCrosse, WI area. The Blades have won seven straight.

Steele County will play two more games in Wisconsin on January 15-16 against the Minnesota Moose at the Spooner Civic Center before lacing up their skates at their home rink at Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna. The Blades have played ten straight out-of-state games. And have only hosted four games in Owatonna according to their schedule/results.

In Wednesday's game against the Vipers, Blades new comer Ryan Brouillette (Billerica, MA) scored eight minutes into the game and put up a goal each period to net a hat trick. Connor Lee (Sydney, Australia) scored late in the first period to forge a 2-2 tie at intermission.

Lee assisted on Pierce Lee's (Delta, British Columbia) goal early in the second that gave the Blades the lead for good. Steele County scored four times in the middle stanza to hold a 6-2 lead at second intermission.

The Blades added two more early in the third before Rochester scored midway through the final period for the final tally of 8-3. Michael Leighton (Ann Arbor, MI) stopped 37 shots for his sixth win of the season.

Upcoming schedule for the Blades:

  • Friday, January 15 vs MN Moose at Spooner (WI) Civic Center, 7 pm
  • Saturday, January 16 vs MN Moose at Spooner Civic Center, 7 pm
  • Sunday, January 17 vs MN Blue Ox at Four Seasons (Owatonna) 3 pm
  • Tuesday, January 19 vs Rochester at Four Seasons (Owatonna) 7 pm

Before their win Wednesday, the Blades hadn't played since December 20. Their last game at Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna was November 20, the final night to play before Governor Walz' Executive Order went into place.

The Blades roster looks a bit different in the New Year. Several players have returned to their high school teams, including Dom Valento, Zach Kubicek, Wyatt Oldefendt, and Casey Johnson reporting to the Owatonna Huskies. Jordan Nawrocki plays for the Faribault Falcons.

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