Willmar edges Fergus Falls to wrap up regular season, 5-3
WILLMAR -- Senior forward Rory Schneider scored twice unassisted and the Willmar Cardinals polished off Fergus Falls 5-3 on Thursday in Central Lakes Conference boys hockey.
Willmar (5-11, 10-13) also beat Fergus Falls 2-0 13 days ago at Fergus Falls to sweep the series.
The Cardinals head for the playoffs winning four of their last five -- the loss to undefeated CLC champion Little Falls.
The 10 wins are the first time Willmar has reached double figures since 2003-04 (14-11-1).
Jake Tone and Liam Johnston each scored in the opening period to give the Cardinals a 2-0 advantage after one period.
Schneider led off the second scoring at 1:44 to make it 3-0. But the Otters (5-12, 8-15-1) came back to tie the game with a pair of goals by Lucas Gervais in the second period. Gervais' second goal came when the Otters were short-handed with 1:45 left in the stanza.
Leading 3-2, Schneider hit from the top of the circle at 8:30 on a Willmar powerplay and Landon Peterson followed at 12:45 for a 5-2 lead.
Grant Schow, who assisted on Johnston's goal, suffered a wrist injury in the second period.
Willmar had a 29-23 edge in shots with its goalie Brian Leitch making 20 saves.
Willmar 5, Fergus Falls 3
Fergus Falls (5-12, 8-15-1) 0 2 0 -- 2
Willmar (5-11, 10-14) 2 0 1 -- 3
FIRST PERIOD - Wil: Jake Tone (Brian Klein), 3:36 ... Wil: Liam Johnston (Grant Schow), 8:03
SECOND PERIOD - Wil: Rory Schneider (unassisted)) 1:44 ... FF: Lucas Gervais (Cole Sonstebo) 8:37 ... FF: Gervais (unassisted), sh, 15:15
THIRD PERIOD - Wil: Schneider (unassisted), pp, 1:44 ... Wil: Landon Peterson (Stephen Reynolds, Jake Sobieck) 12:45 ... FF: Jared Swointek (LoganBriese) 16:25
GOALIE SAVES - Fergus Falls: Austin Carr 9-8-7--24 ... Willmar: Ben Leitch 8-5-7--20