ST. PETER - Blake Soukup’s goal 2:01 into the third period gave New Ulm a three-goal lead and held up as the game-winner as the No. 1 seed Eagles hung on to beat No. 4 seed Mankato West 4-3 on Monday in a Section 3A semifinal at Lund Arena on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus.
Mankato West (8-16-3) rallied in the third on goals 40 seconds apart by Gavin Villagomez and Sean King. King’s goal pulled the Scarlets to within 4-3 with 9:14 remaining in regulation.
Soukup, a senior forward, intercepted an errant breakout pass just inside the blue line and skated in alone on Mankato West goaltender Mason Schreiber, firing a high shot into the upper right corner to put New Ulm ahead 4-1. The goal was Soukup’s 12th of the season. He also had two assists to bump his season point total to 35, fourth most for New Ulm (23-3-1).
Soukup, who has been battling a shoulder injury all season, spent the rest of the game on the bench after scoring his goal. New Ulm played without forward Nick Zins, a 14-goal scorer out who was out with an injury.
Kaden Larson opened the scoring midway through the first period and added the lone goal of the second period to put New Ulm ahead 3-1. He also had an assist, giving him 41 points on the season.
Gage Schmidt scored a first-period goal for Mankato West. The Scarlets outshot the Eagles 31-23. New Ulm managed a combined seven shots in the second and third periods.