Blizzard gets payback against Thunder

Published 12:20 pm Friday, December 19, 2008

The Albert Lea Thunder knew it was walking into a hornet’s nest Thursday when the team traveled to Alexandria and Albert Lea got stung in a 6-1 loss to the Blizzard.

The last time the Thunder traveled to Alexandria, the team came away with its second win of the second. Many on the team felt they should have swept the Blizzard.

Alexandria, much like Bismarck did earlier to Albert Lea, made sure the Thunder wouldn’t pick up another win. Alexandria (17-9-2) took hold of the game nearly immediately as Kyle Politiz scored the game’s first goal just 1 minute, 54 seconds into the contest.

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The Blizzard added two more goals in the period, with one coming on the power play.

“We stunk in the first period,” said Thunder head coach Brad Zangs. “After that we did all right.”

Albert Lea was held scoreless in the second period as Alexandria scored another three goals to take a commanding 6-0 lead.

“They (the Blizzard) came and they didn’t quit,” Zangs said. “I think this was a payback game for them. I expected them to be on their A game and I expected we would be on our game.”

It was clear that wasn’t’ the case for the Thunder Thursday, but Zangs said the team played better in the third period.

Albert Lea scored a power play goal in the third when Anthony Brown found the net and the team was outshot 14-12 in the period. Alexandria tallied 46 shots against Thunder goalie Mat Rabin.

The Blizzard effectively shutdown Albert Lea’s leading scorers, Mitch Torrel and Danny Wood, by employing a shadow on those players.

“When they are going to shadow our top players our other players need to step up,” Zangs said. “They made the adjustments and we made our minor adjustments. They just had a little more giddy-up.”

Albert Lea 0 0 1 — 1

Alexandria 3 3 0 — 6

First Period— 1. Alexandria, Kyle Politz, (Jon Swaverly, Noah Nemgar), 1:54. 2. Alexandria, Taylor Vichorek, (Bryce Ravndalen, Jerry Freismuth), 4:34 (pp.) 3. Alexandria, Nick Carey, (Jake Vande Lune, Tyler Swanson), 11:50. Penalties— McClellan, Alb (hooking), 4:10; Politz, Alx (hooking), 8:37; M.Torrel, Alb (holding), 13:46; T.Vichorek, Alx (interference), 17:09.

Second Period— 4. Alexandria, Vichorek, (Politiz, Derek Kaiser), 1:13 (pp.). 5. Alexandria, Joe Knoepke, (Garrett Grrimstad, Bryce Ravndalen), 16:45. 6. Alexandria, Vande Lune (Carey, Bitz), 19:48. Penalties— A.Brown, Alb (slashing), :23; J.Botimer, Alb (roughing), 5:18; J.Griffith, Alb (hooking), 9:39; S.Kenny, Alx (hooking), 12:59; D.Docken, Alb (boarding), 19:28

Third Period— 7. Albert Lea, Anthony Brown, (Mike Lezotte, John Griffith), 9:43 (pp.). Penalties— K.Clement, Alx (check from behind), 2:38; T.Johnson, Alx (hooking), 5:46; J.Vande Lune, Alx (interference), 8:51; L.Bitz, Alx (fighting), 10:04; M.Sempeck, Alb (fighting), 10:04; Z.Lewis, Alb (fighting), 10:21; T.Vichorek, Alx (slashing), 10:21; T.Vichorek, Alx (fighting) 10:21; M.Torrel, Alb (hooking), 18:30.

Shots on Goal — Albert Lea 22, Alexandria 46

Power-play Opportunities — Albert Lea 1 of 7; Alexandria 2 of 7.

Goalies — Albert Lea, Rabin 0-6-0 (46 shots-40 saves). Alexandria, Leets 13-6-2 (22-21)

A — 308. T — 2:13.