A.L. B Bantams finish successful season

Published 1:21 pm Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Albert Lea B Bantams hockey team celebrates a win earlier this season in Austin. The B Bantams finished the season with a 34-12-2 record. -- Submitted photo

After finishing district league play with an 11-3 record, the Albert Lea B Bantams were the No. 2 seed in the District 9 league playoffs held in Austin.

The top-three placing teams from the playoffs advanced to the regional tournament to compete against the top-three teams from Districts 4, 8 and 9.

The district tournament started Feb. 19 in Austin with a game against arch-rival Rochester White. It was a game of two very evenly matched teams. In the end, Rochester got the benefit of the breaks and won 4-2. The fourth goal was an empty-netter. Scoring for Albert Lea was Nate Hogstad, assisted by Alec Avery, and Avery, with an assist by Taylor Herfindahl.

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Game two for the Tigers began later that afternoon against Rochester Gold. Disappointed from their effort earlier in the day, the boys came out rejuvenated and took this contest handily 4-1. Albert Lea scorers were Jack Pulley, Lewis Kelly, Ben Kelly and Tatum Miller. Lew Kelly also had an assist.

The boys were scheduled to continue with the next game against Waseca on the following day, but all games were postponed a week due to bad weather.

Play resumed on Feb. 26 at Riverside Arena in Austin against Waseca. With Tanner Shaft minding the net and getting superb backing from his defense, the Tigers turned back the Bluejays 3-0. Shaft turned away all 21 shots he faced. Tyler Hendrickson led the scoring with two goals. Cody Rahn collected the other. Picking up assists were Ryan Peterson, Hogstad and Avery with two.

For third place in the tournament and the opportunity to advance to regionals in Worthington, Albert Lea again faced Rochester White and won 2-1. Helmets, gloves, and sticks flew as the boys reveled in their accomplishment. Having a monster day, Rahn scored both goals for the Tigers. Hogstad and Miller had an assist apiece.

Bringing home thirdplace secured a trip to the Minnesota south regional tournament. The last Albert Lea B Bantam team to advance was 15 years ago. Albert Lea began regional play on March 4. They lost to Windom 5-2 with both goals scored by Hogstad and assists from Kelly, Avery, Rahn and Zac Chicos. March 5 they lost a tough game against Rochester Black 5-4. Scoring was Kelly, Rahn, Miller and Collin Jahnke. The top two teams from the regional tournament advanced to the state tournament in Marshall.

The B Bantams achieved an impressive 34-12-2 record for the year. Consistent team play and outstanding defense and goaltending were the defining characteristics of the team.

The B Bantams are coached by Dick Herfindahl, Mark Runden, Ross and Robert Peterson. The team roster is as follows: Matt Carlson, Jack Pulley, Lewis Kelly, EJ Thomas, Ryan Peterson, Ben Kelly, Alec Avery, Cody Rahn, Toby Schmitt, Zac Chicos, Nate Hogstad, Brent Nafzger, Tatum Miller, Collin Jahnke, Taylor Herfindahl, Tyler Hendrickson, Kasey Habana and Tanner Shaft. The team is sponsored by the Albert Lea Moose Club again this year and wishes to thank them for their continued support to our area youth.