Squirts finish strong in tourney

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 25, 2001

PRIOR LAKE – It was a weekend of highs and lows for the Albert Lea A Squirts hockey team.

Thursday, January 25, 2001

PRIOR LAKE – It was a weekend of highs and lows for the Albert Lea A Squirts hockey team.

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It ended on a high note.

The A Squirts rebounded from an opening-round loss, winning their next two games to place third in the Prior Lake A Squirts Tournament last weekend.

According to coach Darris Porter, the locals got a wake-up call with a 5-0 opening-round loss to New Ulm, a team Albert Lea had beaten twice in regular-season play.

&uot;The bottom line is, New Ulm came to play and we didn’t,&uot; aid Porter. &uot;The players were reminded that it takes a total team effort every shift, to give them an opportunity to win games.&uot;

Porter said that effort was evident in the next two games, a 2-0 shutout of Mound-Westonka and a dramatic 5-4 overtime victory over St. Paul Como.

Ben Waalkens turned in a strong performance in the nets against Mound-Westonka while Jared Hughes and Adam Royce scored the goals. Casey Woodside had an assist.

Albert Lea and Como Park played to a scoreless tie through one period. After Como took a 1-0 lead in the second, the locals answered with goals by Woodside and Chris Dokken. Blake Adams had an assist. It was tied 2-2 at the buzzer.

In the third period, Como Park scored two quick goals for a 4-2 lead.

With four minutes remaining, Royce cut the lead to one with a slap shot past the goalie’s right shoulder to finish a nice end-to-end rush.

Albert Lea took a questionable roughing penalty with 1:10 left but, with 38 seconds on the clock, Dylan Porter managed to tip in the tying goal from a shot off Royce’s stick from the blue line.

In overtime, with a four-on-four format, Albert Lea had to kill 50 seconds off the roughing penalty. With only eight seconds remaining, Tyler Prihoda – despite being heavily covered in the corner – managed to find a wide-open Dokken in front of the net. Dokken made his chance count, knocking in the game-winning goal.

&uot;It was a real gutsy performance, especially being down two goals in the third period and coming up with a shorthanded goal to tie the game,&uot; said Coach Porter. &uot;The team experienced highs and lows this weekend, and we’re looking forward to more positive things the rest of the season.&uot;

The rest of the team includes Jordan Prescher, Garrin Bednar, Drew Passingham, Brady Flatness and Grant Stadheim. Assistant coaches are Shawn Prihoda and Jeff Woodside.

The A Squirts’ record is 13-6-1. Next up for the team is a home game Saturday at 2:15 against Faribault. The A PeeWees and A Squirts tournament is Feb. 2-4 at the City arena.