Albert Lea boys’ hockey season ends in section semifinals
After winning its quarterfinal matchup against No. 4 seed Faribault Thursday night, Albert Lea was faced with the tough task of taking on No. 1 seed Dodge county Saturday night in the Section 1A semifinals.
Despite taking a 1-0 lead early in the first period, the Tigers were unable to score again after the opening period, ending their season with a 9-2 loss.
The Tigers got on the board first just two minutes into the opening period, when Blake Ulve scored an unassisted goal. The Wildcats came back and tied the game four minutes later with a goal in the sixth minute.
Dodge County was called for a minor interference penalty in the eighth minute, but instead of Albert Lea taking advantage on a power play, Dodge County turned the tables and scored a short-handed goal to take a 2-1 lead. The Tigers did make use of their numbers advantage just over 30 seconds later, when sophomore Joseph Yoon scored an unassisted goal to tie the game once again, 2-2.
Before the end of the first period, sophomore Tim Chalmers was called for a minor hooking penalty, which resulted in Dodge County reclaiming the lead with a goal in the 12th minute. The Wildcats added a fourth goal to their total in the 14th minute to take a 4-2 lead into the first intermission.
Ulve was also called for a minor penalty in the first, but did not result in any goals being scored.
Sophomore Dakota Jahnke and junior Braden Fjelsta split duties in the goal for the Tigers. The Wildcats had 11 shots on goal in the period, while the Tigers totaled four.
The second period was all Wildcats, who added four goals throughout the period, taking a 8-2 lead. The Wildcats scored goals in the second, 11th, 12th and 16th minutes of the period, all even-strength goals.
Senior Jack Waltman was called for a minor tripping penalty in the ninth minute.
Albert Lea got off just two shots in the period, while Dodge County shot 10, connecting on nine.
The Tigers were held scoreless in the third period as well, getting off 10 shots on goal in the period. The Wildcats added one more goal in the final 10 seconds of play to make end the game with a 9-2 win.
The Tigers season comes to an end with a 9-10 overall record and an 8-8 record in the Big Nine Conference. Nine seniors will be lost to graduation in the spring, including Ulve, Waltman, Spencer Clark, Caden Severtson, Sam Witham, Logan Hacker, Griffin Thompson, Logan Barr and Dylan Carlson.
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