FERGUS FALLS -- Two goals in the first period gave Willmar a quick lead and the Cardinals held on to upend Fergus Falls 3-1 Friday in the Central Lakes Conference opener for both teams.
The Otters (0-1, 1-2) outshot Willmar 26-18, but Willmar (1-0, 2-0) goalie Baylie Young kept Fergus Falls off the scoreboard through the first two periods. The Otters outshot Willmar 9-3 in the second period.
Miranda Roelofs scored 5:43 into the game on feeds from Shelby Schneider and Annie Johnston before KyLee Hulscher scored unassisted on a power play with only 46 seconds left in the opening period.
"Baylie played really well and overall we got off to a quick start," said Willmar coach Jason Mayer. "We played strong the rest of the game to hold them off."
The Cardinals struck again on a power play in the third period with Schneider and Roelofs assisting on Johnston's goal 5:41 into the period.
Young's bid for a shutout was spoiled when Megan Niblock scored with 2:57 left in the game.
Willmar hosts the St. Cloud Icebreakers on Tuesday.
Willmar 3, Fergus Falls 1
Willmar (1-0, 2-0) 2 0 1 -- 3
Fergus Falls (0-1, 1-2) 0 0 1 -- 1
FIRST PERIOD - Wil: Miranda Roelofs (Shelby Schneider, Annie Johnston) 5:43 ... Wil: KyLee Hulscher (unassisted) 16:14, pp
SECOND PERIOD - no scoring
THIRD PERIOD - Wil: Johnston (Schneider, Roelofs) 5:41, pp ... FF: Megan Niblock (unassisted) 14:03
GOALIE SAVES - Willmar: Baylie Young 25 ... Fergus Falls: Jordie Salwei 15
River Lakes 1
River Lakes lost its season opener to Roseau 2-1 on Friday in Richmond. Rachael Prozinski put the Stars on the board first with a goal at 4:07 in the first period, but they couldn't hold the lead. The Rams scored twice later in the first period on goals from Carlie Hedlund and Tianna Gunderson to give Roseau the lead for good.
Roseau (2-0).......................2 0 0 -- 2
River Lakes (0-1)................1 0 0 -- 1
FIRST PERIOD - RL: Rachael Prozinski 4:07 ... R: Carlie Hedlund (Tianna Gunderson, Gracie Olson) 5:48 ... R: Gunderson 10:49
GOALIE SAVES - Roseau: Bridget Slater 26 ... River Lakes: Dominique Jungels 38