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Boys Hockey: Willmar skates to 3-3 tie with Apollo

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Cardinals busted out of their three-game scoring slump but had to settle for a 3-3 tie with Central Lakes Conference rival St. Cloud Apollo on Thursday evening at the Civic Center.

Willmar scored three times in the first 8:03 of the game but couldn't dent Eagles' goalie Nate Hampton after that.

A strong forecheck kept the action in the Apollo end as the Cardinals ended a three-game drought in which they had only one goal.

The Cardinals put together plenty of threats throwing 45 shots on the Eagle net -- but none found an opening after the early three-goal flurry.

Richie Norris scored twice in the first period around a tally from Joel Jonsson. Andy Boersma and Griffin Leitch each recorded two assists in the period.

Willmar outshot the Eagles 14-4 in the third period, but Brent Bukowski's power play goal 32 seconds into the frame was the only score.

Willmar goalie Jon Mattison had seven stops in the overtime and finished with 26 for the game.

Jonsson and Butkowski tangled in the last few seconds of overtime and each were given a game misconduct.

Jonsson will miss Saturday's game at Litchfield.

Willmar lost to St. Cloud Apollo 4-2 on Jan. 9 in St. Cloud.

Willmar 3, SC Apollo 3

SC Apollo (6-8-1, 9-12-2) 0 2 1 0 -- 3

Willmar (1-12-2, 5-15-2) 3 0 0 0 -- 3

FIRST PERIOD - Wil: Richie Norris (Andy Boersma, Griffin Leitch) 2:30, pp .... Wil: Joel Jonsson (Jordan Gauer, Leitch) 6:33 ... Wil: Norris (Boersma) 8:03.

SECOND PERIOD - Apo: Ryan Christian (Chad Hockemeyer) 3:02 .... Apo: Matt Brateng (Steve Theis, Hockemeyer) 5:55 pp

THIRD PERIOD - Apo: Brent Butkowski (Christian, Hockemeyer) :32, pp.

OVERTIME- no scoring

Goalie saves - St. Cloud Apollo: Nate Hampton 14-9-14-5-42; Willmar: Jon Mattison 8-8-3-7-26