Highlights: Albert Lea defeats La Crescent-Hokah, 5-1
Tuesday night, the Albert Lea boys’ hockey team started Section 1A Tournament play when it hosted La Crescent-Hokah. The seventh-seeded Tigers took care of business against the No. 10 seed Lancers, riding a Blake Ulve hat trick to a 5-1 win.
Despite the lopsided final, La Crescent-Hokah battled throughout the first period and took a lead into the game’s first intermission. At 7:09 in the first period, eighth-grader Wyatt Farrell fired a shot from the right side past Tiger goalie Brad Horecka for the first tally of the night. The team’s leading goal-scorer in the regular season gave La Crescent-Hokah a 1-0 lead, but it would be the only goal the Lancers scored.
Albert Lea trailed by a goal despite outshooting La Crescent-Hokah, 12-7 in the first period. However, the Tigers quickly erased that deficit and jumped ahead with three unanswered goals in the second. First, John Jensen threw a shot on net which Lancer goalie Ryan Booth initially saved, but he let a rebound float out in front and lost the puck in the ensuing scrum. The puck found the back of the net, and Jensen scored his first goal of the postseason.
After Jensen tied the score at one, Blake Ulve took over for the Tigers, scoring three unanswered goals in the second and third periods to close the door on the Lancers. His first came on a cross-ice pass from Logan Barr in transition, the second cutting back middle from the left circle with just 1.4 seconds to play in the second period, and a third on a breakaway at the start of the third. Albert Lea led 4-1 after Ulve’s scoring explosion, and Jake Prihoda sounded the horn a final time with less than two minutes to play. That goal brought the score to what would be the final, 5-1 Albert Lea.
The Tigers outshot the Lancers, 46-20, and Braden Fjelsta didn’t give up a goal in the Albert Lea net after coming in to replace Horecka at the start of the second period. Albert Lea moves on to the section quarterfinal Thursday night against Mankato West in Mankato. The Tigers and Scarlets played to a 2-2 tie at the All-Seasons Arena just last week in the final game of the regular season. KATE will be at the game on the call.
Posted: Nate Dickinson