WILLMAR -- Fargo Shanley scored twice in the first minute of the third period and than withstood a late Willmar flurry to dump the host team 4-3 on Tuesday on the second day of the Willmar Bus Cup at the Cardinal Arena.
The loss puts the Deacons (5-4) into the championship at 2 p.m. today against River Lakes (5-3).
Willmar (3-5) scored early and late against Fargo Shanley.
Liam Johnston punched in a ricochet off the glass on a Gabe Amon shot for a 1-0 lead with the game only 28 seconds old. But Deacon goalie Chris Stokke didn't give up another goal until Amon and Jake Sobieck scored in the last two minutes after Willmar pulled goalie Keifer Dahle for the man advantage.
Dahle was making his first varsity start and gave up a backhand goal to Elliot Bates on the first shot he saw in the first period.
It stayed 1-1 until the first minute of the third period when Sam Harvey and Bates each scored for a 3-1 lead.
"We had a couple of defensive breakdowns and they jumped right on them," said Willmar coach Dan Tollefson. "Our kids kept battling and got something going late but the hole was too deep."
The late Willmar goals sandwiched an empty-netter by a diving Matt Glogoza, who also had two assists.
Willmar had a 2-1 advantage in shots on goal (36-17), similar to Monday night when they outshot the Stars 31-17 but lost 2-1.
Willmar plays Mankato East/Loyola at noon today. MEL received a forfeit from Prairie Center, which didn't come down from Sauk Centre due to a reported eight inches of blowing snow.
Shanley 4, Willmar 3
Fargo Shanley (5-4) 1 0 3 -- 4
Willmar (3-5) 1 0 2 -- 3
FIRST PERIOD - Wil: Liam Johnston (Gabe Amon) :28 ... FS: Elliot Bates (Matt Glogoza) 2:04
SECOND PERIOD - no scoring
THIRD PERIOD - FS: Sam Harvey (Matt Glogoza) :13 ... FS: Bates (James Floyd, Bronson Jesme) ... Wil: Amon (unassisted) 15:22 ...FS: Glogoza (unassisted) 16:26, empty net ... Wil: Jake Sobieck (Trent Fader) 16:46
GOALIE SAVES - Fargo Shanley: Chris Stokke 13-11-9-33 ... Willmar: Keifer Dahle 1-7-6-14