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Boys Hockey: Willmar nips River Lakes in OT

PAYNESVILLE -- Liam Johnston scored his second goal of the game 1:02 into overtime allowing the Willmar Cardinals to shade River Lakes 5-4 in the first round of the River Lakes Invite on Monday.

The late-finishing game put Willmar (6-1) up against Pierre, S.D., in the semifinals.

Johnston's game-winner, his 10th goal of the season, came on a powerplay off a three-man rush with linemate Grant Schow and defenseman Jake Tone each credited with an assist.

Goals by Joe Grotsun and Jon Cole furnished the Stars with a quick 2-0 lead, but Johnston scored to make it 2-1 after one period.

Mitch Ejnik's powerplay goal put the Stars up 3-1 until Landon Peterson and Paul Schrupp got goals for the Cardinals to tie the game 3-3.

Gabe Amon scored off the third-period faceoff for Willmar's first lead, but that was erased by Jess Engquist's tying tally at 6:45.

Willmar pelted River Lakes goalie Tyler Sieben with 57 shots.

Ben Leitch stopped 27 shots in the Willmar net.

The outcome counts in the Central Lakes Conference standings.

Willmar 5, River Lakes 4

Willmar (4-0, 6-1) 1 2 1 1 -- 5

River Lakes (1-3-1, 3-4-1) 2 1 1 0 -- 4

FIRST PERIOD - RL: Joe Grotsun (Mitch Ejnik) :30 ... RL: Jon Cole (Jesse Caldwell) 3:30 ... Wil: Liam Johnston (Paul Schrupp) 10:25

SECOND PERIOD - RL: Ejnik (unassisted) pp, 2:15 ... Wil: Landon Peterson (James Johnston) 10:09 ... Wil: 11:43 Schrupp (unassisted) sh, 11:43

THIRD PERIOD - Wil: Gabe Amon (Grant Schow, Liam Johnston) :13 ... RL: Jess Engquist (Cole) 6:45

OVERTIME - Wil: L. Johnston (Schow, Jake Tone) pp, 1:02

GOALIE SAVES - Willmar: Ben Leitch 27 ... River Lakes: Tyler Sieben 52

Result Tuesday Pequot Lakes Invite Northern Lakes 7, MBA 1

Morris/Benson Area netted the game's first goal, but Northern Lakes scored the last seven in the second round of the Pequot Lakes Invite Tuesday.

Northern Lakes (6-3) has outscored its two opponents in the round-robin tournament 15-4. The Storm (3-5), held to just one goal for the third straight game, plays Bagley/Fosston today at 10:30 a.m. in their final game of the tournament.

MBA's Kelly Engquist scored just under four minutes into the game with a feed from Tanner Picht, but Northern Lakes then took control by netting three goals in both the first and second periods.

Northern Lakes (6-3) 3 3 1 -- 7

Morris/Benson Area (3-5) 1 0 0 -- 1

FIRST PERIOD - MBA: Kelly Engquist (Tanner Picht) 3:52 ... NL: Sam Johnson (Collin Burke) 9:19 ... NL: Burke (Jace Goodmanson) 13:01 ... NL: Johnson (Cody Chambers) 14:33

SECOND PERIOD - NL: Alec Fitch (unassisted) 2:57 ... NL: Connor Chambers (Burke) 11:56 ... NL: Jake Box (Burke, Johnson) 16:28, pp

THIRD PERIOD - NL: Kyler Decent (Johnson, Cody Chambers) 13:44

GOALIE SAVES - Northern Lakes: Joey Bergquist 28 ... Morris/Benson Area: Alex Sinclair 26