The Austin Packers boys’ hockey team played host to the Albert Lea Tigers Tuesday night in a Big 9 Conference matchup at Riverside Arena, and the Tigers broke the game wide open with six goals in the second period on their way to a 11-2 win.
Albert Lea led 4-0 at the end of one period thanks in large part to defenseman Campbell Cichosz, who tallied two goals and two assists in the period and wound up with seven points in the game. Blake Ulve, who led the Tigers in points coming into the game finished off a hat trick with goals at :32 and 6:50 to make the score 6-0 before Nick Dunlap tallied a goal for the Packers, with assists from Cal Fox and Cameron Johnson to cut the Tiger lead to 6-1. Albert Lea countered with goals by Owen Zelenak and John Jensen :17 apart at 10:24 and 10:41 to increase the Tiger lead to 8-1, and two more quick back-to-back goals by Cichosz and Culley Larson :28 apart at 14:17 and 14:45 made the score 10-1 after two.
Albert Lea increased the lead to 11-1 before Kaleb Ree scored his team-leading seventh goal at 13:34 to account for the final score. Sam Eyre faced 46 shots and made 35 saves between the pipes for Austin, while Braden Fjelsta turned aside 15 of the 17 shots he faced for the win.
Austin falls to 1-13 overall and 0-8 in the Big 9 Conference, and the road ahead gets no easier as the Packers will entertain Rochester Century, the leaders in the Big 9 Conference Thursday night at Riverside Arena. Face-off will be at 7:15 p.m.