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River Lakes turns back Willmar, 5-1

PAYNESVILLE -- James Paul had two goals and Alex Naujokas had a hand in every score to lead the River Lakes Stars to a stunning 5-1 win over the Willmar Cardinals Thursday.

The victory gave the host team the trophy at Holiday Invitational at the Koronis Civic Center.

Both teams came in with wins over Prairie Centre and Redwood Valley.

The Stars scored three powerplay goals in the first period -- the product of the Naujokas-Paul-Zach Johnson line with Luke Harren also scoring. Second-period goals, both shorthanded, were scored by Josh Engquist and Paul.

Willmar had more than a dozen good looks at senior goalie Eric Prowker, but the Cardinals were unable to find an opening until the final minute when Josh Aslesen scored with Willmar on a two-man advantage.

Goalie Kevin Maxfield, who was in goal Wednesday night when Willmar tipped Redwood Valley 4-2, took over for starter Jon Mattison after the Stars went up 5-0 with four minutes left in the middle frame.

It was the Stars' first win over Willmar in four meetings. The Central Lakes teams will meet again Jan. 19 in Willmar.

River Lakes 5, Willmar 1

Willmar (3-6) 0 0 1 -- 1

River Lakes (4-6) 3 2 0 -- 5

FIRST PERIOD - RL: Alex Naujokas (James Paul, Zach Johnson) 6:40, pp ... RL: Luke Harren (Johnson Naujokas) 8:31, pp ... RL: Paul (Naujokas, Johnson) 12:38, pp.

SECOND PERIOD - RL: Josh Enquist (Naujokas) 6:00 sh... RL: Paul (Naujokas) 13:00, sh.

THIRD PERIOD - Wil: Josh Aslesen (Griffin Leitch) 16:47, 2-man advantage

Goalie saves - Willmar: Jon Mattison (30 minutes; Kevin Maxfield (21 minutes)...River Lakes: Eric Prowker (saves not available)