Huskies Escape Albert Lea with Season-Opening, Overtime Win
The Owatonna boys hockey team opened its 50th anniversary season with a 3-2 overtime victory at Albert Lea when sophomore Wyatt Oldefendt connected for his first varsity goal late in the extra session. Senior goalie Easton Sletten had nearly 30 saves for his first varsity victory. The night was an Owatonna sweep as the girls topped Albert Lea 3-1.
Oldefendt slapped the puck into the net from the high slot off a feed from senior Luke Kubicek who muscled the puck to the front of the cage from the corner. The win is worth four points in the Big Nine standings as the only meeting between the teams this season. It was the fourth time since the 2013-14 season that the Huskies and Tigers went to overtime. OHS has won three of them and has taken five out of the last six from their rivals.
Albert Lea opened the scoring 8:45 into the first period. Owatonna evened the game less than four minutes later on senior Tommy Lehrer's goal. OHS went up 2-1 at 13:10 of the second on a goal by senior Evan Steinberg. The Tigers scored with 17 seconds left in the second on a short-handed breakaway early in a major penalty.
The Huskies had the extra-skater advantage for about three-and-a-half minutes of the third period but the deadlock continued until the overtime game-winner.
Sletten made numerous stellar saves including at least two on breakaway chances for Albert Lea. Sletten was named the KRFO/TPS Insurance Player of the Game for his efforts.
Owatonna (1-0) will open its home schedule Friday, November 30 facing East Ridge at Dudley Otto Rink at the Four Seasons Centre. The game will be carried on KRFO AM 1390 and the free downloadable KRFO app as well as streamed and simulcast at OwatonnaLive.com.
The OHS girls beat Albert Lea Thursday on Dudley Otto Rink 3-1. Ezra Oien scored twice and Kiley Friedrichs added a marker. Owatonna plays a big section game at Dodge County Friday night at 7 pm.
Scoreboard for Thursday, November 29:
Owatonna 3, Albert Lea 2, OT
New Prague 3, Mankato West 2, OT (The winner came on penalty shot.)
Northfield 3, Faribault 1
Rochester JM 5, Winona 4, OT
Rochester Mayo 5, Mankato East 2
Owatonna 3, Albert Lea 1
Lakeville North 1, Rosemount 0
Lakeville South 5, Prior Lake 0
Mankato West 7, Rochester Century 3
Northfield 3, Faribault 2, OT (Falcons first loss)
Waseca 7, Morris/Benson Area 0
Lake City 85, Triton 70
New Prague 70, Century 22
Stewartville 65, Austin 58
Zumbrota-Mazeppa 74, Kenyon-Wanamingo 37