Trojans end Tigers’ season 4-1

Published 5:54 pm Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Prague’s Curt Brezina (15) watches Saturday as Albert Lea defenseman Cody Haaland controls the puck in New Prague’s zone in the first period of the Section 1A semifinals at the Rochester Recreation Center. -- Andrew Dyrdal

ROCHESTER — The Albert Lea boys’ hockey team’s only first loss since Jan. 19 — a 4-1 defeat Saturday to New Prague — ended their season and knocked them out of the Section 1A tournament.

The Trojans got off to a hot start by scoring two goals in the game’s first five minutes and never relented, building a 4-0 lead before the Tigers finally got onto the scoreboard at the Rochester Recreation Center.

The Trojans’ Brent Jones scored the first goal 1 minute and 33 seconds into the game by slipping the

Albert Lea’s Eric Carlson, center, tries to outskate a pack of New Prague players to the puck Saturday in Rochester. -- Andrew Dyrdal

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puck past Tigers’ goalie Griffin Wangen in front of a crowded net.

Cody Meyer gave the Trojans a 2-0 advantage just over three minutes later after he stole the puck in the Tigers’ zone and scored unassisted on a wide-open shot.

The Trojans had possession in the Tigers’ zone for most of the first period and held 8-3 shooting advantage with five minutes remaining.

The Trojans started the second period just as fast as the first, getting two goals from senior forward Curt Brezina within the first seven minutes.

Brezina scored unassisted 2:10 into the second period and added another at 6:54 of assists from Meyer and Ryan Richardson.

The Tigers’ Austin Larson stopped the bleeding by scoring the team’s first and only goal at the 12:08 mark of the second, assisted by Levi Hacker, but the Tigers didn’t come any closer.

The Tigers had three penalty kills and two power play opportunities in the third but came up empty.

After being outshot 23-19 during the first two periods, the Tigers outshot the Trojans 15-11 in the third and drew the shot count even at 34 for the game.

The Trojans’ win avenged a 2-1 loss to the Tigers on Dec. 14.

Trojans goalie Joe Morris had a 97.1 percent save percentage — his third highest of the season and highest for a non-shutout game.

The game was the final for Albert Lea seniors Nick Dulas, David Enstad, Dillon Stolt, J.T. Bellrichard and Luke Cheever.

The Trojans play Rochester Lourdes in the Section 1A finals at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Rochester Recreation Center.