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Willmar starts out with rout

Grant Schow, who scored Willmar's first two goals, maneuvers the puck away from Mike Morales of Benson/Morris Area in the offensive zone during the second period at Benson on Tuesday. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

BENSON -- For the second opener in a row, the Willmar Cardinals had too much firepower for Morris/Benson Area, winning 7-1 on Tuesday at the arena in Benson.

Grant Schow, a sophomore marking his varsity debut, got Willmar off to a 2-0 lead with back-to-back goals in the first period.

Two years ago, the Storm beat Willmar 8-5 on the Benson ice.

Last year the Cardinals won 9-2, but then dropped the next seven contests before Christmas.

"We showed our speed tonight. We looked pretty quick," said Dan Tollefson, starting his second year as Willmar's head coach.

The Cardinals launched 50 shots on goal at Morris/Benson Area goalie Will Johnson, who stopped 43 of the shots.

Goals by junior Todd Gregg and two by sophomore defenseman Landon Peterson put the Cardinals up 5-0 after two periods.

Sophomore Gabe Amon and senior Matt Odom scored in the third.

MBA got its goal on a tough re-direction by Andreas Siggerlin off a shot from the point by Peter Lindblad.

Ben Leitch made seven saves in the Willmar net.

Willmar 7, MBA 1

Willmar 2 3 2 -- 7

MBA 0 0 1 -- 1

FIRST PERIOD - Wil: Grant Schow (Gabe Amon) 2:31 ... Wil: Schow (Landon Peterson) 11:03

SECOND PERIOD - Wil: Todd Gregg (Trent Fader) 15:59.... Wil: Peterson (Jay Bredberg) 14:56 ... Wil: Peterson (Matt Odom, Jake Sobieck) 9:44 pp

THIRD PERIOD - Wil: Gabe Amon (unassisted) 2:55 ... MBA: Andreas Siggelin (Peter Lindblad) 3:24 ... Wil: Matt Odom (Bredberg) 6:16

GOALIE SAVES - Willmar: Ben Leitch 2-5-0-7 ... Morris/Benson Area: Will Johnson 13-16-14-43