Penalties mar Thunder’s first playoff game

Published 10:51 pm Friday, April 2, 2010

Albert Lea head coach Chuck Linkenheld said prior to the start of the Thunder’s playoff series with Bismarck that penalties would be one of the difference makers and that played true as the Bobcats used two power-play goals to get past Albert Lea 4-2 in the opening game of the best-of-five series Friday in Bismarck.

The Thunder grabbed a 2-1 lead after the first period, but a penalty-filled second period wore down Albert Lea and the Bobcats rallied to tie the game.

Bismarck’s Tim Serratore scored a power-play goal 1 minute, 34 seconds into the second period to tie the game at 2 after a Thunder turnover turned into a 3-on-2 rush.

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Albert Lea tallied six penalties in the period while frustration and fatigue held the Thunder back in the third period.

Dominc Panetta, who finished with three points, scored the game-winner at 7:44 of the third period and Trent Johnson added an insurance goal four minutes later to give the Bobcats a 1-0 series lead.

“We killed penalties the whole second period,” Linkenheld said. “After a while what happens is they get frustrated and tired. I thought we played well enough to win the hockey game.”

Albert Lea’s Anthony Iaquinto scored 2:50 into the game to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead, but a power-play goal from Bismarck’s Sean McKenzie tied the game.

Niko Kapetanovic scored a go-ahead goal at 13:38 of the first period, but that marked the last time Albert Lea held a lead.

“We played well enough to win the hockey game,” Linkenheld said. “I’m sure if you asked their coach he’d say they dodged a bullet.”

Linkenheld said he wasn’t pleased with many of the calls made in the game and felt it disrupted the flow of the game for the Thunder. He added that the team can use the frustration from the loss as energy for Saturday’s game.

“You turn around and get angry and say, ‘We’re going to win this game come hell or high water,'” Linkenheld said. “We gotta bounce back tomorrow and find some energy.”

The Bobcats outshot the Thunder 38 to 26.

Albert Lea and Bismarck play Game 2 Saturday at 7:15 p.m. in Bismarck.

Bismarck 4, Albert Lea 2

Albert Lea 2 0 0 — 2

Bismarck 1 1 2 — 4

First Period—1, Albert Lea, Anthony Iaquinto 21 (Zack Smoot, Brandon Lubin), 2:50. 2, Bismarck, Sean McKenzie 15 (Dominic Panetta, Sam Rendle), 10:27 (pp.). 3, Albert Lea, Niko Kapetanovic 18 (Brian Nehring), 13:38. Penalties—Harry Quast, Alb (cross checking), 9:43; Jason Fabian, Bis (kneeing), 14:07; Smoot, Alb (tripping), 14:40; Alex Niestrom, Alb (charging), 19:22; Tom McCarthy, Bis (cross checking), 19:22.

Second Period—4, Bismarck, Tim Serratore 11 (Ryan Jacobson), 1:34 (pp.). Penalties—Iaquinto, Alb (hooking), 0:50; Derek Docken, Alb (slashing), 1:34; Luke Jenkins, Alb (hooking), 3:00; McKenzie, Bis (slashing), 6:15; Chris Cass, Alb (holding), 6:26; Casey Kleisinger, Bis (delay of game), 11:03; Joe Kozlak, Alb (roughing), 11:03; Kozlak, Alb (delay of game), 11:03; John Avino, Bis (elbowing), 19:59.

Third Period—5, Bismarck, Panetta 25 (Serratore), 7:44. 6, Bismarck, Trent Johnson 9 (Panetta), 13:07. Penalties—Smoot, Alb (interference), 2:49; Jacobson, Bis (interference), 2:55.

Shots on Goal—Albert Lea 6-7-13—26. Bismarck 16-9-13—38.

Power-play opportunities—Albert Lea 0 of 4; Bismarck 2 of 8.

Goalies—Albert Lea, Joe Rogers 13-20-0 (38 shots-34 saves). Bismarck, Jake Williams 13-5-0 (26-24).

A—1,014. T—2:15.

Referee—Brett Sheva. Linesmen—Andrew Dokken, Robert Lukkason.