A squirts take second at D.M.

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 23, 2006

Albert Lea&8217;s A Squirts finished second in the Tournament of Champions recently in Des Moines, Iowa, among teams from across the Midwest. Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma sent representatives to the tournament. Albert Lea was the only Minnesota team competing.

The locals started off by topping Omaha, 3-1.

Goals were scored byAlex Claassen, Shea Svendsen and Timmy Furland with assists from Furland and Lucas Peterson.

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Albert Lea&8217;s defense was extremely tough with Alec Avery and Zac Thelen shutting down Omaha&8217;s offense. Garrett Matz was in the net stopping 14 of 15 shots.

The squirts entered their second tournament game against a more experienced Des Moines team, which had played 21 games this season. Albert Lea had just five previous matchups. It made the difference in the 4-1 loss for Albert Lea. Jonathon Fleek netted the only goal. Goalie Adam Severson stopped 25 shots.

Sioux City, Iowa, was the next opponent and Albert Lea finished on top on two scores from Peterson and one from Furland. The assist was credited to Andrew Thompson. Albert Lea was outshot outshot 24 to 21 by Sioux City. Thompson and Jared Olson played tough defense. Matz also played well between the pipes.

The fourth match was a 7 a.m. game against Omaha, Neb. Albert Lea led the whole game and held off a late comeback to come away with a 4-3 win to advance to the championship game.

Furland scored on a Fleek assist. Claassen scored with an assist from Wyatt Olson while Petersen was assisted by Svendsen, who later scored an unassisted goal. Severson was in the net for the win.

The championship game was a rematch with Des Moines, but Albert Lea couldn&8217;t come back after a slow start and lost, 6-1.

Ryan Petersen, Van Zelenek and Matt Cheever had solid games offensively. Matz was also solid in the net.

Kohl Kriewall missed the tournament do to injury.

The team is coached by Steve Svendsen, Jon Breuer, Ross Peterson and Bob Furland and is sponsored by Svendsen Masonary.

The A Squirt team&8217;s next home game was against Owatonna Friday.