The Austin Packers boys’ hockey team was on the road Thursday evening at City Arena in Albert Lea to take on the Tigers in a Big 9 Conference matchup, and although the Packers struck first, it was the Tigers breaking things open with a four-goal second period on their way to an 8-1 win.
Blaine Krueger’s unassisted goal at 7:42 of the first period put the Packers in front 1-0, but Owen Zelenak’s power play goal at 15:15 of the first tied the game at one at the end of one period of play.
The Tigers took the lead, it turned out, for good only :40 into the second period when Blake Ulve tallied on the power play to put the Tigers up 2-1. An even-stregth goal by Campbell Chichoz at 7:00 even, a short-handed goal for Culley Larson at 13:11 and Ulve’s second of the game at 14:55 ran the score to 5-1 Albert Lea at the end of two. Ulve completed the hat trick at 4:10 of the third period, followed by Larson’s second of the game at 6:01 and a goal by William Ladlie at 15:13 accounted for the 8-1 final.
Braiden Fjeista picked up the win in goal for Albert Lea, as he faced only 12 shots and made 11 saves. His counterpart Sam Eyre for Austin was peppered with 57 shots and the freshman made 49 saves. The Packers are back into action at home next Tuesday in another Big 9 Conference matchup, with one with Rochester Mayo at Riverside Arena. Face-off will be at 7:00 p.m.