Bismarck sweeps Thunder

Published 11:41 pm Saturday, January 30, 2010

For the second consecutive game the Albert Lea Thunder scored the first goal and for the second straight game the Thunder lost a lead, this time a two-goal lead in a 3-2 loss to Bismarck as the Bobcats swept the two-game series in Bismarck.

Stephen Obarzanek and Bryan Mitchell gave Albert Lea (10-25-5) a 2-0 lead with 7 minutes to play in the second period, but the Bobcats (27-9-7) stormed back for two goals in the final 2:04 in the period to tie the game.

Jason Fabian scored the game-winner at 10:52 of the third on a power-play goal and Albert Lea remained six points back of North Iowa for fourth place in the Central Division.

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“If you’re going to beat the first place team in the division you can’t make mistakes and you gotta outwork them and we made too many mental errors today,” said Thunder head coach Chuck Linkenheld.

Those mistakes included a breakaway goal in the second period and turnovers in the neutral zone, Linkenheld said.

Albert Lea had chances in the third to take the lead when the Thunder went on the power-play at 2:08 in the second period but an interference penalty during the power play ended the chance.

After Fabian’s goal gave Bismarck a 3-2 lead Albert Lea had two more power plays and pulled goaltender Nikifor Szczerba for a 6-on-4 advantage for the final minute of play but the Thunder finished 0 for 4 on power-play opportunities.

Linkenheld said Albert Lea needed to close the game when it had a chance and a third goal might have sealed the game for the Thunder. Instead Albert Lea finished the weekend series with four goals in two games.

The Thunder play Owatonna Tuesday in Owatonna.

Bismarck 3, Albert Lea 2

Albert Lea 0 2 0—2

Bismarck 0 2 1—3

First Period—None. Penalties—Ilya Kravtchouk, Bis major-(fighting), 1:39; Anthony Iaquinto, Alb (equipment misconduct), 1:39; Iaquinto, Alb major-(fighting), 1:39; Pat Coyne, Bis (elbowing), 9:05; Zach May, Alb (tripping), 19:54.

Second Period—1, Albert Lea, Stephen Obarzanek (Chris Cass), 11:08. 2, Albert Lea, Bryan Mitchell (Taylor Ward), 12:43. 3, Bismarck, Aaron Quick (Sean McKenzie, Matt Shost), 17:56. 4, Bismarck, Ryan Jacobson (Nick Jensen), 19:00. Penalties—None.

Third Period—5, Bismarck, Jason Fabian (Casey Kleisinger, Dominic Panetta), 10:52 (pp.). Penalties—Gavin Hartzog, Bis (cross checking), 2:08; Sheldon Taylor, Alb (interference), 3:50; Nikifor Szczerba, Alb (tripping), 10:21; Sean McKenzie, Bis (tripping), 12:50; Tom McCarthy, Bis (roughing), 19:51.

Shots on Goal—Albert Lea 9-11-8—28. Bismarck 8-13-8—29.

Power-play opportunities—Albert Lea 0 of 4; Bismarck 1 of 3.

Goalies—Albert Lea, Szczerba 0-2-3 (29 shots-26 saves). Bismarck, Ryan Faragher 17-5-6 (28-26).

T—2:13. A—1,345.

Referee—Dana Penkivech. Linesmen—Craig Hanson, Brady Johnson.