Tribune Staff Reports
ST. CLOUD -- Another night, another one-goal loss.
The hard times continued for the Willmar boys, now 2-9 in one-goal games.
Thursday night at the Granite City's MAC arenas the Cardinals lost to St. Cloud Apollo 3-2.
Two of Apollo's goals came when the Eagles' initial shots went high over the net, hit the Plexiglas and bounced out in front of the net, where the Eagles tapped in the rebounds.
"I was thinking, 'You gotta be kidding me,' " Willmar head coach Dan Tollefson said with a slight laugh. "This season, that's the way it goes, I guess."
Willmar's loss secured the Cardinals last place in the Central Lakes Conference and quite likely means that Apollo will get the No. 4 seed in Section 6A and the guarantee of a home game.
Willmar will try to end the regular season on the upswing when they play host to St. Cloud Tech (6-14-2) on Tuesday. Tollefson said section seedings also would be announced Tuesday.
The Cardinals were outshot 40-21 on the Torrey Arena ice, but senior goalie Derek Baker didn't let the Eagles get out of sight. He had 18 saves in the second period when his team was outgunned 19 shots to 5.
Apollo was cruising to the victory with a 2-0 lead when Preston Peterson and Trey Tollefson scored consecutive goals 30 seconds apart starting in the 13th minute of the third period to tie the score.
But the Eagles top line answered when senior left wing Bryan Benson scored his second goal with 1:39 remaining in the third period.
"They were edging us pretty good in shots on goal," Tollefson said. "Baker kept us in it and then we had a nice rally at the end but then they got one on us late."
Willmar (3-11, 8-16)..............0 0 2 -- 2
SC Apollo (5-7, 9-11)...........0 1 2 -- 3
FIRST PERIOD - No scoring
SECOND PERIOD - Apo: Bryan Benson (Tyler Mueller) 6:03.
THIRD PERIOD - Apo: Paul Kenney (Trent Imdieke, Jared Christen) pp, 2:32 ... Wil: Preston Peterson (Graham Dahl) 12:52 .... Wil: Trey Tollefson (Dahl) 13:21 ... Apo: Benson (Mueller) 15:21
GOALIE SAVES - Willmar: Derek Baker 9-18-10-37 ... St. Cloud Apollo: Reese Gregory 10-5-4-19
Trevor Knight and Gavin Payne scored two goals each for Orono, and the Spartans beat Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato 6-0 in a Wright County Conference game Thursday.
The Dragons fell to 0-10 in the conference and 5-18 overall.
LDC (0-10, 5-18)...................0 0 0 -- 0
Orono (6-4, 12-8-1)...............1 2 3 -- 6
FIRST PERIOD - O: Trevor Knight (Daniel Trio) 14:48
SECOND PERIOD - O: Knight (Gavin Payne) 14:37, O: Payne (Jimmy Lee) 16:25
THIRD PERIOD - O: Nick Schroeder (Lee, Jake Flemmer) 5:32, O: Payne (Lee) 12:08, O: Trio (Schroeder) 12:51
GOALIE SAVES - Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato: Braeden Wahl 31 ... Orono: Ryan Breon 18
Sartell 4, River Lakes 2
(At Richmond) -- Jake Herges scored on passes from Matt Kisner and Austin Athmann at the 9:54 mark of the first period for River Lakes before Sartell netted four unanswered goals.
The Stars later got a goal from Athmann on passes from Tanner Anderson and Eric Zimmer with 3:34 remaining in the game.
Sartell (5-7-2, 5-16-2)...........1 2 1 -- 4
River Lakes (5-9, 13-11)......1 0 1 -- 2
FIRST PERIOD - RL: Jakes Herges (Matt Kissner, Austin Athmann) 9:54 ... Sar: Christian Murray (unassisted) 11:39
SECOND PERIOD - Sar: Blake Guggenberger (unassisted) 4:13 ... Sar: Matt Worzala (Guggenberger, Michael Whitson) 4:31
THIRD PERIOD - Sar: Whitson (Murray) 10:28 ... RL: Athmann (Tanner Anderson, Eric Zimmer) 13:26
GOALIE SAVES - Sartell: Elliot Brookings 7-16-10-33 ... River Lakes: Joachim Speldrich 6-4-*-10, Chris Skluzacek *-4-8-12