Tigers top Falcons 6-4

Published 11:36 pm Thursday, February 24, 2011

Albert Lea’s David Enstad skates the puck down ice Thursday against Faribault at City Arena. Albert Lea edged Faribault 6-4 and advanced to the Section 1A semifinals against New Prague at the Rochester Recreation Center. -- Jon Theuer

Eric Carlson scored two goals and added an assist Thursday as the Albert Lea Tigers boys’ hockey team defeated the Faribault Falcons 6-4 in the Section 1A quarterfinals at City Arena.

The Tigers led the game 5-4 with less than a minute remaining and erased any hopes of a comeback by the Falcons when Carlson scored an empty-net goal to secure the victory.

The Tigers recorded 41 shots on goal during the game, while the Falcons finished with 33 shots.

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The Tigers and Falcons combined to score six times in a wild third period as each team netted three goals apiece.

Albert Lea held a 4-1 lead early in the third period until the Falcons scored on a Connor Wierschem power-play goal to cut the Tigers’ lead to 4-2.

Four minutes later, Faribault was again on the power play and Colbey Hullett scored to cut the Tigers’ lead to 4-3.

The Tigers responded as Shea Svendsen scorched a shot past the Falcons goalie from the blue line on a power play to give Albert Lea a two-goal cushion at 5-3 with 4:54 remaining in the game.

The Falcons wouldn’t go away as Hullett scored his second goal of the game to cut the Albert Lea lead to 5-4 with 1:31 remaining.

With 49 seconds left in the game and the Falcons goalie on the bench, Carlson scored his second goal of the night the victory.

“We played well enough to win,” Tigers coach Roy Nystrom said. “We had a lot of scoring opportunities but we didn’t make them. We could have broken this game wide open.”

The Tigers jumped out to an early lead in the first period as Adam Herbst scored a goal on an assist from Larry Olson to give Albert Lea an early 1-0 lead.

Two minutes later, Carlson scored on a sensational breakaway to give Albert Lea a 2-0 lead.

Faribault got on the board at the 5:20 mark when Brandon Teske scored to cut the Tigers’ lead to 2-1.

In the second, the Tigers scored the period’s only goal at the 7:51 mark when Luke Cheever scored on assists from Brady Falk and Nathan Stadheim to give Albert Lea a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.

Griffin Wangen earned the win for Albert Lea as he recorded 29 saves on 33 shots.

“Wangen has been playing well,” Nystrom said. “The last half of the season he has come on real strong and he played very well again tonight.”

Albert Lea will move on to play Saturday at 8 p.m. as they will take on New Prague at the Rochester Recreation Center.