Sweep catapults Albert Lea

Published 8:02 am Monday, March 15, 2010

The Albert Lea Thunder needed a three-game sweep of North Iowa this weekend to put themselves into fourth place and position for the final playoff spot in the Central Division.

The Thunder got just that with a pair of 3-2 victories Saturday and Sunday to move three points in front of the Outlaws.

Albert Lea capped off the sweep in emphatic fashion, totaling 50 shots on goal, including outshooting North Iowa 18 to 8 in the first period.

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Colton Warner scored his second game-winning goal of the series with a goal 1 minute, 6 seconds into the third period to put the Thunder (17-31-5) up 3-1.

The Outlaws got a goal from Lucas Dillon nine minutes later for the 3-2 final.

Joe Rogers made 38 saves in the game for his second consecutive victory and Brian Nehring and Derek Docken added goals.

Nehring scored his 10th goal of the season on an assist from Blake Adams and Alex Niestrom in the second period. Warner assisted on Docken’s first period goal.

Albert Lea trailed North Iowa (15-31-6) by three points heading into the three-game set.

The Thunder finish the season series with North Iowa Friday at City Arena and play Owatonna Saturday at City Arena. Albert Lea has five regular season contests remaining.

Albert Lea 3, North Iowa 2

North Iowa 0 1 1 — 2

Albert Lea 1 1 1 — 3

First Period—1, Albert Lea, Derek Docken 3 (Colton Warner), 10:14. Penalties—Bryce Anderson, Nor (too many men minor), 8:13; Mike McDonald, Nor (high sticking), 11:53.

Second Period—2, North Iowa Ryan Bohrer 12 (Matt Blomquist, Robbie Andergg), 1:42. 3, Albert Lea, Brian Nehring 10 (Alex Niestrom, Blake Adams), 18:05. Penalties—Harry Quast, Alb (high sticking), 1:05; Brad Phenow, Alb (interference), 2:00; Sheldon Taylor, Alb (interference), 5:58; Bohrer, Nor (interference), 8:17.

Third Period—4, Albert Lea, Warner 3 (Zach May, Matt Johnson), 1:06. 5, North Iowa, Lucas Dillon 8 (Connor Gaarder), 10:05. Penalties—Markus Gander, Nor (slashing), 4:52; Brandon Lubin, Alb (slashing), 4:58; Taylor Ward, Alb (interference), 19:52.

Shots on Goal—North Iowa 8-20-12—40. Albert Lea 18-13-19—50.

Power-play opportunities—North Iowa 0 of 5; Albert Lea 0 of 4.

Goalies—North Iowa, Paul Moberg 10-20-3 (50 shots-47 saves). Albert Lea, Joe Rogers 11-16-2 (40-38).

A—259. T—2:09.

Referee—Tommy Albindla. Linesmen—Sam Shikowsky, Justin Brown.