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Willmar senior forward T.J. Mattison comes from behind the net to tuck the puck into a small, near-side opening off a pass from Riley Grabow for a 1-0 Cardinals’ lead over Windom in the Section 3A quarterfinals Friday at the Civic Center. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

Boys hockey: Willmar off to fast start in Section 3A

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WILLMAR — The senior-strong Willmar Cardinals wrapped up business Friday afternoon on their home ice, dispatching the Windom Eagles from the Section 3A tournament with a 7-0 whitewash.

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The Cardinals hit the road Saturday to play New Ulm at 8 p.m. on the Gustavus Adolphus campus in St. Peter.

The Cardinals outshot the Eagles 49 to 11. Levi Goosmann took the shutout, needing two hard saves in the closing minutes for his first shutout.

T.J. Mattison, who scored the game’s opening goal, finished with three points as did linemate Riley Grabow. Cole Block, Hunter Mottinger and Isaac Kobienia notched two-point games and Trevor Tschida logged his first varsity point assisting on Mattison’s second goal early in the third.

Windom goalie Nate Monson did all he could to keep the Eagles in the game, including 17 saves the first 17 minutes. 

With the player bus late arriving for the scheduled 3 p.m. faceoff, the start was delayed 1 hour and 10 minutes. One Windom fan described the tricky drive up on glazed U.S. Highway 71 as three-hours of “white-knuckle” driving.

“You always worry about a delay like that,” said Willmar head coach Dan Tollefson. “But the guys stayed loose and played very well. T.J., especially, had a really nice game.”

The coaches used the entire bench of 12 skaters, which included a dozen seniors dressed for their final game at the Cardinal Arena.

Six seniors on the Windom squad ended their last season 9-15.

Willmar takes a 12-12-1 record to the Section 3A final four at the Don Roberts Ice Rink this evening.

Willmar 7, Windom 0

Windom (9-15)   0  0  0 — 0

Willmar (12-12-1)              2  2  3 — 7

FIRST PERIOD – Wil: T.J. Mattison (Riley Grabow, Cole Block) 4:12 … Wil: Isaac Kobienia (Hunter Mottinger, Evan VanDenEine) 6:57

SECOND PERIOD – Wil: Hunter Mottinger (Kobienia) 12:13 .. Wil: Joey Lee (Cole Hagen, Nate Ackerman) 13:29

THIRD PERIOD – Wil: TJ Mattison (Grabow, Trevor Tschida) 2;07 .. Wil: Cole Block 3:33 .. Wil: Grabow (Mattison) 4:05

GOALIE SAVES – Windom: Nate Monson 17-14-11-42 … Willmar: Levi Goosmann 7-2-2-11

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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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