Express rout Thunder

Published 8:49 am Monday, November 17, 2008

A night after one of its best games of the season the Albert Lea Thunder suffered its most lopsided loss of the season.

The Thunder (1-16-1) lost 10-2 to Owatonna at the Four Seasons Centre Saturday night in a blowout.

The Express (10-7-1) scored three goals in the first period and two in the second period off of starting goaltender Tom Lescovich. Mat Rabin replaced Lescovich in the second period and also allowed five goals.

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“The goalies didn’t play well, the defensemen didn’t play well, they didn’t pick up guys in the slot, they let them shoot at free will,” Albert Lea head coach Brad Zangs said.

It was a rare off-day for Lescovich since he joined the Thunder. Since he’s joined the team he’s made some key saves and was the winning goalie in Albert Lea’s lone win against Bismarck. Lescovich had been making 30-plus saves in nearly ever game as well.

Zach Vierling scored the first Owatonna goal at the 15:46 mark and then scored just 10 seconds later for his second goal.

Lescovich faced 20 shots in a little more than 24 minutes of ice time. Rabin saw 18 shots in 35 minutes of play.

The Express scored four goals in the second period and three in the third after being limited to three goals the night before.

The Thunder jumped out to a 2-0 lead before losing it all in the second period Friday night, giving up a quality opportunity to earn its second win of the season.

Saturday night it was clear that the two teams that played the previous night did not show up again.

“It’s like we took three steps yesterday even though we lost and then we took five steps back,” Zangs said.

Vierling finished with a hat trick for the Express and Cory Thorson scored two goals in the win.

“We just need to figure it out,” Zangs said. “It’s getting old.”

Zangs said the team was a step too slow and failed to find Owatonna players in the slot on defense.

Albert Lea was a step too slow the majority of the night.

“We weren’t moving the puck like we should have been,” Thunder forward Mitch Torrel said. “Passes weren’t crisp.”

The team can expect to fall behind early and compete in many games this season if the trend continues, Zangs said.

“You can’t play behind with a young team like this and expect to be there,” he said. “It’s just not going to happen.”

One of the few bright spots was the play of Torrel. He scored the team’s only two goals to bring his season total to six.

He helped provide the offense as the team played without leading scorer Danny Wood for a second straight game. Wood has a sprain of his a acromioclavicular joint, or a-c joint, but may return as soon this weekend. The Thunder was also without forward Mark Ellis who was out with a heel injury, forward Ian Braun, out with a back injury, and defenseman Jeff Slusser, out with an a-c joint injury.

Zangs plans on doing more film work with the players in order to pinpoint exactly where they are going wrong.

“We’re not a bad team,” Torrel said. “We’re a good team, we can compete with anyone. Tonight the scoreboard got out of hand.”

The team can expect a hard week of practice this week to figure out how to fix their recent problems.

1st 2nd 3rd Total

Albert Lea — 0 0 2 2

Owatonna — 3 4 3 10


1st period: Owatonna — Zach Vierling (Dmitry Lugin, Tim Smith) 15:46

Owatonna — Zach Vierling (Stephen Carew) 15:56

Owatonna — Brian McGinty (Chris Darnell, Michael Palmiscno) 18:12

2nd period: Owatonna — Cory Thorson (Tony McDonald, Chris Bournazos) 1:46

Owatonna — Chris Bournazos (shorthanded) (Tony McDonald, Tim Smith) 4:20

Owatonna — Dmitry Lugin (Stephen Carew, Zach Vierling) 9:20

Owatonna — Dylan Porter (Josh Daley, Jacob Sloat) 14:45

3rd period: Owatonna — Zach Vierling (Stephen Carew, Nick Carson) 2:26

Albert Lea — Mitch Torrel (Nikita Feoktistov) 3:20

Owatonna — Cory Thorson (Tony McDonald) 4:26

Albert Lea — Mitch Torrel (shorthanded) (John Affolter, Tommy Robaczewski) 16:15

Owatonna — Josh Daley (Dylan Porter) 19:23

POWER PLAY CONVERSION: Albert Lea — 0 for 4, Owatonna — 0 for 6

SHOTS: 1st 2nd 3rd Total

Albert Lea 8 8 6 22

Owatonna 18 8 12 38