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Willmar surprises Alex, 7-4

Willmar's Carlie Freese, left, and Alexandria's Claire Illies battle for the puck in the first period Tuesday at Willmar's Civic Center. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR -- Senior Night and Alexandria spurred Willmar to a 7-4 Central Lakes Conference victory on Tuesday night at the Civic Center.

Chelsey Wierschem scored four goals and freshman goalie Baylie Young made 35 saves for Willmar's first win against their arch rival since Dec. 16, 2004, also at the Civic Center on Willmar.

Alexandria had taken seven straight games from Willmar, including a 7-3 win in December.

Alexandria had outscored Willmar by a combined 22-1 in two games last season when it went on to win the Class A state title and then graduated four players to college hockey.

"This was the perfect night for this," said Wiercshem, who scored a hat trick for a second straight game. "We had played like this at times, but you could tell the 12 straight losses were getting the girls down. Tonight, we just went all out and outworked them."

Rebecca Freese scored Willmar's first two goals, each assisted by Taylor Sandberg. Ashley Hutton, from Erin Sheehan, made it 3-1 after one.

"That's the best we've played all year," said coach Rick Dahle. "Our forecheck was fantastic."

Willmar 6, Alexandria 3

Alexandria (5-5, 9-9) 1 1 2 -- 4

Willmar (2-9, 6-15) 3 1 3 -- 7

FIRST PERIOD - Wil: Rebecca Freese (Taylor Sandberg), 4:57 ... Wil: Freese (Sandberg), 8:58 ... Alx: Allyson Nielsen (Shanee Herd) 13:32 ... Wil: Ashley Hutton (Erin Sheehan) 16:10

SECOND PERIOD - Alx: Michelle Anex (Nielsen), pp, 3:09 ... Wil: Chelsey Wierschem (Ali Sing, Sam Block), pp, 16:06

THIRD PERIOD - Wil: Wierschem (unassisted), :44 ... Alx: Shelby Iverson (Brittney Lind), 2:05 ... Wierschem (unassisted), 4:53 ... Alx: Alexis Nielson (unassisted), sh, 10:02 ... Wil: Wierschem (A. Sing), 14:16

GOALIE SAVES - Alexandria: Stehanie Drown 13-8-1-22; Lindsey Lien *-*-5-4 ... Wil: Baylie Young 12-9-14-35