The New Ulm Eagles hockey team is a noble bunch, representing south-central and southwestern Minnesota in the state boys' and girls' hockey tournaments more often than not in recent seasons.

The boys are at the X in the Class A tournament for the third straight year -- and made an appearance during the state's awful experiment with a "Tier II" tournament in the early 1990s. They are still looking for their first state victory after six losses.

The girls' hockey team last month competed in the Class A tournament for the fourth straight year. They are 2-8, with both of the victories coming in consolation round games.

Combined, the Eagles girls and boys have been outscored 119-22 going into Wednesday's Class A quarterfinal against No. 4 Thief River Falls, whose boys have appeared 12 times and won two state titles back in the one-class days.

Yes, it sounds hopeless, a little bit like the Twins against the Yankees in the postseason, maybe.

But stuff happens. Your Upload editor's tiny Illinois high school, which used to get whomped year after year when postseason playoffs started, qualified Tuesday night for its first-ever state basketball tournament.

So we are all for the optimistic words of New Ulm senior Dylan Schreckenberg, who knows the challenge is great, but told the New Ulm Journal that "we have nothing to lose. We'll go into that game with the mentality that we have to go 100 percent - give everything that we have - and whatever happens, happens. We know that we are going to get the best out of our team."

Here's the rest of the story.

Go Eagles. Win one, finally!



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