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Willmar forward Ryan Woltjer, right, and Fergus Falls forward Ryan Smith duel for a loose puck off a rebound in front of the Otters’ net in the second period Thursday at the Cardinal Arena in Willmar. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

Boys hockey: Willmar clips Fergus Falls

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WILLMAR — Hunter Mottinger, Isaac Kobienia and Cole Block scored goals and Levi Goosman made 23 saves as the Willmar Cardinals tipped Fergus Falls 3-2 in a tightly-played Central Lakes Conference boys hockey game at the Cardinal Arena on Thursday.

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Block got his fourth goal in the early going of the third period using a screen on a point shot that beat Otters’ goalie Andrew MacFarlane high for a 3-1 lead just 22 seconds into the third period.

Kyler Peterson’s power play goal three minutes later got the visitors within a goal. Goosman made some big saves throughout and down the stretch to preserve the victory.

“He was steady,” said coach Dan Tollefson.

Only three penalties were called, all on Willmar.

“I like the way we battled in a close game early in the season,” Tollefson said. “We didn’t panic and kept our composure.” 

Mottinger score on a breakaway at 12:02 of the first, sliding to the right at the crease to make the stuff.

Kobienia, a sophomore skating on the first line with Cole Hagen and Mottinger, scored in the last minute of the middle frame for a 2-1 Willmar lead at the second break.

The win counted double, worth two points in the standings, since the teams meet just once.

Last season these teams were 1-1-1 head-to-head with the Otters winning in the Section 6A first round 3-2, in overtime.

Willmar has a week to prepare for Alexandria next Thursday, also a home game.

Willmar 3, Fergus Falls 2

Fergus Falls (2-2)             0  1  1 — 2

Willmar (2-0, 3-0)              1  1  1 — 3

FIRST PERIOD – Wil: Hunter Mottinger (Nate Ackerman) 14:17

SECOND PERIOD – FF: Alex Phillipe (Jack Nathe, Peter Johnson) 9:11 W: Isaac Kobienia 15:21

THIRD PERIOD – W: Cole Block (Mottinger, Tyler Pendill) :22 … FF: Kyler Peterson (Sam Rausch) 3:10, pp

GOALIE SAVES – Fergus Falls: Andrew MacFarlane 32-29 … Willmar: Levi Goosman 25-23

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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