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Willmar thumped in season opener, 5-1

ST. CLOUD -- The Willmar girls hockey team couldn't make the most of its scoring chances to start the 2008-09 season, losing to the St. Cloud Icebreakers 5-1 in Central Lakes Conference action Friday.

The Cardinals (0-1) had nine quality scoring chances and didn't convert on two power play opportunities.

"Their goalie got the big save when they needed it and then they gradually skated away from us on the scoreboard," said Willmar coach Rick Dahle.

Meanwhile, the Icebreakers' Emily Reugemer or Michelle Bunnell had a hand in every goal for St. Cloud (3-1) in the first two periods. Reugemer scored once each in the first and the second and also added two assists. Bunnell scored on two straight goals in the second and also had two assists.

It was too much for Willmar freshman goalie Bailey Young, who left in the second after giving up four goals and recording nine saves in her first varsity start. Senior Amanda Croonquist took her place in the net, making five saves and allowing the final goal.

The Cardinals' first goal of the season came from Chelsey Wierschem on an assist from Ali Sing at the 12:49 mark of the second period.

Willmar did well from the face-off circles, winning 27-of-50 exchanges.

SC Icebreakers 5, Willmar 1

Willmar 0 1 0 -- 1

SC Icebreakers 2 3 0 -- 5

FIRST PERIOD - SCI: Emily Reugemer (Lindsey Johnson, Michelle Bunnell) 2:05 ... SCI: Johnson (Reugemer) 4:45

SECOND PERIOD - SCI: Bunnell (Rebecca Maus) 0:18 ... SCI: Bunnell (Mary Spethmann, Reugemer) pp, 6:29 ... SCI: Reugemer (Megan Schwegman, Bunnell) pp, 8:46 ... Wil: Chelsey Wierschem (Ali Sing) 12:49

THIRD PERIOD - No scoring

GOALIE SAVES - Willmar: Bailey Young 6-3-*-9, Amanda Croonquist *-3-2-5 ... St. Cloud Icebreakers: Jenna Traut 3-8-4-15