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Albert Lea holds off Mankato West

12/07/2011, 12:30am CST
By Nate Olsen, Special to the MN Hockey Hub

Tigers kill two late penalties, Griffen Wangen stops 28 shots in Big 9 victory

Griffen Wanged stopped 28 of 31 shots, Eli Malimanek and Shea Svendsen scored twice and Albert Lea killed two late penalties as it slipped past longtime rival Mankato West 4-3 on Tuesday, Dec. 6, in a Big 9 Conference matchup at All Seasons Arena in Mankato.

The victory was the first of the season for the Tigers (1-1-0), while the Scarlets (2-1-1) suffered their first loss.

Malimanek and Svendsen each scored in the third period, with Malimanek’s goal 4 minutes, 33 seconds into the period proving to be the winner. He took control of the puck in the corner and threw it on net, where it hit off a skate and went in as the teams combined for 3 goals in 3:19 seconds.

Mankato West cut the Tiger lead to one for the second time, at 4-3, on a Tyler Mata wrist shot that beat Wangen low to his blocker side with 6:23 remaining.

Albert Lea took two penalties in the final three minutes, but the Tigers effectively killed them to secure their victory.

Mankato West’s Zach Erickson and Albert Lea’s Malimanek exchanged first-period goals, and Svendsen scored the lone goal in the second to put the Tigers ahead 2-1.

Zach Fox made 21 saves on 25 shots for the Scarlets.

Albert Lea was 1-for-4 on the power play while Mankato West was 0-for-3.

Albert Lea hosts Austin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. Mankato West travels to Rochester May for a 7:30 p.m. game on Thursday.

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