Thunder end six-game skid with rout

Published 12:43 am Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Albert Lea Thunder emphatically snapped a six-game losing streak Saturday at City Arena with one of their finest efforts of the season against Janesville.

Albert Lea got a pair of goals from Anthony Iaquinto and a timely shorthanded goal from Alex Niestrom in the third period en route to a 5-1 rout of the Jets following a disappointing 5-2 loss the previous night.

“We learned from our lessons from yesterday,” said Thunder head coach Chuck Linkenheld. “We battled every battle with desperation.”

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Iaquinto got Albert Lea going in the first two periods. Iaquinto buried a power-play goal at the 10:15 mark of the first period and added his second goal in the second period to give the Thunder (9-23-5) a 2-0 lead entering the third period.

Albert Lea defenseman Bryan Mitchell scored his second goal of the season 30 seconds into the third period on an assist from Iaquinto and the Thunder appeared headed to victory for just the second time in 10 games.

Janesville finally responded in the third when Rui Encarnacao scored an unassisted goal at 11:32, but that’s all the Jets put on the board as Albert Lea played solid defensively the entire game.

The Thunder killed six penalties and scored on one of their power-play opportunities.

Not only did the win break a lengthy losing streak, but it allowed Albert Lea to close to within eight points of North Iowa for fourth place in the Central Division and gave the team some momentum heading into a matchup with the Outlaws Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at City Arena.

The Thunder moved the start time for Sunday’s game up two hours because of the NFC Championship game and as part of that fans who come to the game in Vikings attire will get in for $5 at the door.

Albert Lea 5, Janesville 1

Janesville 0 0 0 — 1

Albert Lea 1 1 3 — 5

First Period—1, Albert Lea, Anthony Iaquinto 4 (Brian Nehring, Bryan

Mitchell), 10:15 (pp.). Penalties—Mike Schenfeld, Jan (hooking),

9:55; Patrick Kinkopf, Alb (holding), 18:34.

Second Period—2, Albert Lea, Iaquinto 5 (unassisted), 7:41. Penalties—

Taylor Ward, Alb (cross checking), 4:32; Mark Ellis, Jan

(interference), 13:33.

Third Period—3, Albert Lea, Bryan Mitchell 3 (Iaquinto), 0:30. 4,

Janesville, Rui Encarnacao 19 (unassisted), 11:32. 5, Albert Lea,

Alex Niestrom 8 (unassisted), 12:43 (sh.). 6, Albert Lea, Kinkopf 2

(Matt Johnson, Niestrom), 17:07 (en.). Penalties—Mitchell, Alb

(hooking), 1:57; Kinkopf, Alb (hooking), 4:23; Chris Cass, Alb

(holding), 12:11; Harry Quast, Jan (hooking), 16:27; Iaquinto, Alb

(roughing), 16:46; Mike Thompson, Jan (high sticking), 18:33; Mike

Thompson, Jan (fighting misconduct), 18:33.

Shots on Goal—Janesville 12-20-13—45. Albert Lea 10-24-16—50.

Power-play opportunities—Janesville 0 of 6; Albert Lea 1 of 4.

Goalies—Janesville, Matt Wichorek 11-9-3 (49 shots-45 saves). Albert

Lea, Joe Rogers 7-12-2 (45-44).

A—450. T—2:11.

Referee—Brady Johnson. Linesmen—Sterling Egan, Andrew Dokken.