Thunder snap seven game skid

Published 1:17 am Sunday, November 1, 2009

It was a night of firsts for the Albert Lea Thunder Saturday in a 2-1 shootout victory against Bismarck at the VFW All Seasons Arena in Bismarck.

The Thunder (3-13-0) won its first game in eight tries, picked up head coach Chuck Linkenheld’s first career NAHL victory, goaltender Ben Waalkens got his first win in net for Albert Lea and it was the Thunder’s first shootout victory of the season.

Newly acquired forward, J.J. Waldrop, scored in his first game as a member of the Thunder in the second period on a feed from Brett Meyers at 7 minutes, 21 seconds.

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The Bobcats (7-7-4) tied the game in the third on a goal from Casey Kleisinger at the 5:41 mark on a power play.

In the shootout Danny Wood, Brian Nehring and Mark Ellis all scored for Albert Lea to lift the team to victory.

Waalkens stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced and the Thunder killed off seven power plays against Bismarck.

“They were extremely focused and up to the challenge of killing penalties,” Linkenheld said.

Albert Lea continues its road trip Thursday, Friday and Saturday as it travels to Alexandria Thursday, Owatonna Friday and North Iowa Saturday for Central Division contests.

Of Albert Lea’s seven victories in franchise history, three have come against the Bobcats.

Albert Lea 2, Bismarck 1, shootout

Albert Lea 0 1 0 0 1 — 2

Bismarck 0 0 1 0 0 — 1

Albert Lea won shootout 3-1

First Period—No scoring. Penalties—Mitchell, Alb (hooking), 11:44; Kleisinger, Bis, double minor; (roughing), 15:35; Sipila, Alb, double minor; (roughing), 15:35.

Second Period—1, Albert Lea, Waldrop 1 (Meyers), 7:21. Penalties—Fabian, Bis (hooking), 5:17; Serratore, Bis (tripping), 7:57; Meyers, Alb (slashing), 10:15; Wilson, Bis (hooking), 12:50; Nehring, Alb (hooking), 13:35; Kleisinger, Bis (tripping), 16:12; Johnson, Alb (high sticking), 17:16; Kinkopf, Alb (holding), 18:42.

Third Period—2, Bismarck, Kleisinger 6 (Rendle, Panetta), 5:41 (pp.). Penalties—Panetta, Bis (hooking), 1:09; Ellis, Alb (hooking), 4:00; Schmitt, Bis (slashing), 7:25; Johnson, Alb (high sticking), 9:39; Mitchell, Alb (checking from behind), 16:38.


Shootout—Albert Lea 3 (Sipila NG, Obarzanek NG, Wood G, Nehring G, Ellis G), Bismarck 1 (Serratore NG, Kleisinger G, Bower NG, Fabian NG).

Shots on goal—Albert Lea 4-8-4-0-1—17. Bismarck 10-8-8-4-0—30.

Power-play opportunities—Albert Lea 0 of 6; Bismarck 1 of 8.

Goalies—Albert Lea, Waalkens 1-5-0 (30 shots, 29 saves). Bismarck, Faragher 5-3-3 (16 shots, 15 saves).

A—816. T—2:20.

Referee—Brandon Schmitt. Linesman—Kasey Lang.