Albert Lea climbs back above .500 with Big 9 win

Published 5:38 pm Friday, January 29, 2021

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After dropping a close game against Mankato West earlier in the week, the Albert Lea boys’ hockey team was out for redemption Thursday night hosting Red Wing. 

With both teams going scoreless in the first two periods, Albert Lea senior Blake Ulve broke the game open with an early goal in the third period, leading the Tigers to a shutout victory 2-0.

The Tigers committed a number of penalties through the first two periods with freshman Spencer VanBeek being hit with a two-minute cross check penalty in the first, and  sophomores Tim Chalmers and Joseph Yoon both being called for  tripping penalties in the second. Luckily for the Tigers, the Wingers went scoreless in their three power plays.

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The Tigers totaled 28 shots on goal through the first two periods, compared to 19 by the Wingers.

Sophomore Max Edwin fights through a Red Wing defender Thursday at home. The Tigers shutout win moves them to 3-2 on the season. – Kelly Hendrickson/For the Albert Lea Tribune

A little over three minutes into the third period, Ulve put the Tigers on top with the go-ahead goal assisted by senior Logan Barr.

“Going into the third, we knew we had to find a way to put one in the back of the net,” Ulve said. “That first goal felt pretty good to finally get the weight off our shoulders and break the tie.”

Red Wing committed its second penalty of the game just over 10 minutes into the third period. Less than a minute later, Albert Lea capitalized on the power play opportunity. Senior Logan Hacker was the goal-scorer this time around, and Ulve was in on the scoring play with the assist.

Up 2-0, the Tigers needed to hang onto the lead for six more minutes to pull out the victory. The situation got a little dicey with four minutes to play, when Ulve was sent to the box for a two-minute tripping penalty. Again, the Tigers defense held strong  and stopped all shots taken by the Red Wing offense.

Albert Lea seinor Sam Witham was called for a slashing penalty with under two minutes to play, but it was too late to have an impact on the outcome of the game.

The Tigers move to 3-2 and climb back to a record above .500.

“We love the winning record and after all the had work this team puts in, we should stay above .500 for the rest of the year,” Ulve said.   

The Tigers take on the 0-4 Packers of Austin Tuesday night before kicking off a four-game road stretch starting Thursday in Rochester.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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