Thunder wins first game

Published 8:26 am Monday, October 27, 2008

The Albert Lea Thunder picked up its first win of the season with a come-from-behind effort against Bismarck in a 3-1 victory.

The Thunder got three, three period goals, two of which came on the power play to end a 10-game winless streak and pick up the franchise’s first victory.

“I think it was like winning a national title,” Albert Lea head coach Brad Zangs said. “The kids were jumping up and down. This was huge.”

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Albert Lea forward Danny Wood tied the game at 1-1, 1:40 into the third period on a power play goal in front of a crowd of 406 at the City Arena. It was Wood’s fifth goal of the season. Wood has eight points in his last six games and leads the team with 11 points.

“He’s playing phenomenal,” Zangs said of Wood’s performance. “Him and Mitch Torrel are playing great together. He’s turning into a nice hockey player.”

Six minutes and change later Ian Braun scored his second goal of the season on the power play to give the Thunder a 2-1 lead.

Nikita Feaktistov added an empty net goal for Albert Lea (1-9-1) with 17 seconds left to play.

The difference for the offense was crashing the net, Zangs said. The team creates more scoring chances when it is active in front of the net and it showed Saturday.

Zangs says the team continues to learn and that the rookies of the team are still adjusting to the speed of the NAHL.

“We have to quit making the little mistakes,” Zangs said. “We have to survive our peaks and valleys in the game. When were at the peak we have to start burying our chances.”

The Bobcats (6-4-1) scored first at the 17:23 mark of the first period when Jordan Singer sent a shot past Thunder goalie Tom Lescovich.

Lescovich picked up his first win of the season in just his second game in goal for the Thunder. Lescovich turned away 37 shots against the Bobcats, his former team. He faced 26 shots alone in the second period.

His 37 saves came a night after he turned away 41 shots against Alexandria Friday night.

Albert Lea tallied 25 shots in the game, but converted on two of its 11 power play chances.

Staying out of the penalty box was another big change for the Thunder. Albert Lea had just eight penalties in the game.

“Of course, if you can stay out of the box you’re going to win your games,” Zangs said. “Five on five we’re a very talented team.”


1st 2nd 3rd Total

Bismarck – 1 0 0 1

Albert Lea – 0 0 3 3


1st period: Bismarck – Jordan Singer (Nicholas Jensen, Devin Schmitt) 17:23

2nd period: No scoring

3rd period: Albert Lea – Danny Wood (power play) (Chris Cass, Mitch Torrel) 1:40

Albert Lea – Ian Braun (power play) (Jimmie Perkins, Ryan Johnson) 8:24

Albert Lea – Nikita Feaktistov (empty net) (unassisted) 19:43

POWER-PLAY CONVERSION: Bismarck — 0 for 7, Albert Lea — 2 for 11

SHOTS ON GOAL: 1st 2nd 3rd

Bismarck 1 26 11

Albert Lea 0 14 11