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River Lakes girls skate past Willmar

PAYNESVILLE -- Jenn Paul scored twice and River Lakes avenged an earlier loss by skating past Willmar 5-2 in a Central Lakes Conference girls hockey game on Saturday.

"We battled hard and we're seeing improvement," said Willmar coach Rick Dahle. "Both teams moved the puck well. It was an entertaining game."

After a scoreless first period, River Lakes took the first lead of the game when Kelsey Athmann scored a short-handed goal at 13:04. Just 39 seconds later, Willmar tied the game, also on a short-handed goal, by Ali Sing. River Lakes took the lead for good when Traci Thielen scored at 15:22.

Paul then scored consecutive goals at 7:22 and 9:26 of the final period. Megan Bergeson added an empty- net goal for the final margin.

Becca Freese scored Willmar's other goal, at 9:33 of the third period on assists from Taylor Sandberg and Kylee Hulscher.

Willmar (1-9, 4-15), which beat River Lakes (5-3-2, 10-6-3) 5-3 on Dec. 9 in Willmar, suffered its 11th straight loss.

Bailey Young made 39 stops in the Willmar net. River Lakes netminder Steph Lucas stopped 26 shots.

River Lakes 5, Willmar 2

Willmar (1-9, 4-15) 0 1 1 -- 2

River Lakes (5-3-2, 10-6-3) 0 2 3 -- 5

FIRST PERIOD - No scoring

SECOND PERIOD - RL: Kelsey Athmann (unassisted) 13:04, sh ... Wil: Ali Sing (unassisted), 13:43, sh ... RL: Traci Thielen (Gina Athmann, K.Athmann), 15:22

THIRD PERIOD - RL: Jenn Paul (Courtney Schirmers), 7:22 ... RL: Paul (Katherine Daugherty), 9:26 ... Wil: Becca Freese (Taylor Sandberg, Kylee Hulscher), 9:33 .. RL: Megan Bergeson (Kate Alexander, Ashley Meyer), 16:18, en

GOALIE SAVES - Willmar: Bailey Young 11-17-11--39 ... River Lakes: Steph Lucas 6-9-11--26