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Final Thunder Away Match Ends in 1-1 Draw with Montreal Impact

September 13, 2009 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Minnesota Thunder News Release

MONTREAL (Sunday, September 13, 2009) - The Minnesota Thunder finish their road games with a 1-1 draw against the Montreal Impact. Minnesota came out and played with confidence and were able to take the lead early in the first half, but Montreal dominated the second half and especially in the final minutes. Minnesota is usually the team to come back and score a last minute goal but today it was Montreal.

The Thunder started another match with an early goal in the sixth minute. Nate Knox assisted when he dished the ball off to Marco Terminesi who finished the advance. This is the second game in a row that Terminesi scored a goal within the first ten minutes.

Montreal's Rocco Placentino rushed the net in the 28th minute and took a short range shot but Matt Van Oekel, who started for the first time this season, came up with a good save. Van Oekel lost his rebound but kept his composure and made another quick save allowing the defense to clear the ball.

The tempo of the first half was much quicker than most Thunder matches this season but toward the end of the first 45 minutes the pace slowed down. The first half was full of back and forth plays and turnovers by each team.

Peter Byers of Montreal nearly scored the equalizer in the first minute of the second half. He beat the Thunder defenders and came to a one on one with Van Oekel but Van Oekel made the stop.

The second half was mostly in the favor of Montreal but Minnesota's goalkeeper Van Oekel held together the Thunder defense. Van Oekel made save after save, many of which were on one on one plays. The Thunder offense still had its presence but it was not nearly as obvious as the first half.

Peter Byers scored the equalizer in the 85th minute. Byers danced around a Minnesota defender to create a shooting lane and blasted a shot to the corner. Van Oekel was not able to make the save and the Impact evened the score.

The last minutes were played exclusively in Minnesota's third with many shots on goal but Van Oekel and the rest of the Thunder were able to maintain the 1-1 score until the final whistle blew.

"The team should be proud of themselves tonight," said Thunder Head Coach Donny Gramenz. "I thought we played very well for the first 60 minutes and had a couple scoring opportunities. Montreal gave us a lot of pressure in the last 30 minutes. It was unfortunate to give up the tying goal in the 85th minute but Matt Van Oekel played very well for his first USL First Division match."

The Minnesota Thunder have only one more game left in their 2009 campaign. Charleston Battery will be visiting the National Sports Center on Sunday, September 20 and kick off will be at 5:05 p.m.

For individual tickets to final Thunder match of the season, please visit or for group tickets call the Thunder office at 763.390.8336.

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