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River Lakes drubs Willmar

Willmar forward Rebecca Freese slides the puck by River Lakes' Jessica Kooiman at the Cardinals' blue line on Thursday at the Civic Center. Kooiman, a freshman wing, scored the Stars' first two goals. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR -- River Lakes picked up its first Central Lakes Conference girls hockey win of the season at the expense of the Willmar Cardinals 4-1 Thursday at the Civic Center.

The win lifts the Stars to 1-6-2 in the league at 7-9-2 overall.

Willmar falls to 2-5 in the Central Lakes Conference and 8-8 overall with their fifth straight loss.

After having a six-game winning streak end in late December, the Cardinals have scored only three goals in their last five games.

"We're hitting pipes and the goalie's facemask, but we're not getting it into the net," said Willmar coach Lee Wierschem.

Jessica Kooiman scored one goal in each of the first two periods for River Lakes. Jenn Paul popped in two goals in the third period for the Stars.

Erin Sheehan scored unassisted at 6:44 of the third period for the only goal the Cardinals could manage.

Steph Lucas recorded 22 saves for River Lakes. Baylie Young had 23 saves in the Willmar net.

Willmar will try to land the top seed for the upcoming Section 2A tournament when the Cardinals face Mankato West at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center.

River Lakes 4, Willmar 1

River Lakes (1-6-2, 7-9-2) 1 2 2 -- 4

Willmar (2-6, 8-9) 0 0 1 -- 1

FIRST PERIOD - RL: Jessica Kooiman (Jenn Paul, Kelsey Athmann) pp, 12:57

SECOND PERIOD - RL: Kooiman (Rachael Prozinski, Erin Porwoll) 9:57

THIRD PERIOD - RL: Paul (Katie Alexander) 6:20 ... Wil: Erin Sheehan (unassisted) 6:44 ... RL: Paul (unassisted) 10:59

GOALIE SAVES - River Lakes: Steph Lucas 22 ... Willmar: Baylie Young 23