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Alexandria skates past MBA in 6A

Sam Falk, right, of Morris/Benson Area tries to knock her own rebound by Alexandria goalie Stephanie Drown in the third period on Thursday at the Willmar Civic Center. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton1 / 2
Morris/Benson Area goalie Brooke Falk deflects a second-period Alexandria short-range drive, one of the junior goalie's 38 saves Thursday at the Willmar Civic Center in the Section 6A championship. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton2 / 2

WILLMAR -- Outnumbered and a little unlucky, the Morris/Benson Area Storm came up one win short of the state tournament Thursday night at the Civic Center.

The Alexandria Cardinals scored once in each period to end the Storms' 13-game win streak 3-1 in the Section 6A championship game.

"I think we played the way we needed," said Morris/Benson Area coach Jeff Mahoney. "They just had a little more gas in the tank, but we had a lot of quality chances."

MBA had only five skaters on the bench to shuffle in and at times Mahoney shortened the bench to two.

The top-seeded Cardinals outshot the No. 2 seed 41-19 and held the state's top scorer Dani Schultz without a point.

Storm goalie Brooke Falk made countless big saves to keep it close.

"She was outstanding," said Mahoney.

Alexandria led 1-0 after one but Sara Rajewsky tied it 1-1 on a stop and shoot from the right circle to beat Alexandria goalie Steph Drown. The Cardinals (13-12-2) got a break when a spinning puck off the boards that Rajewsky was setting up to clear glanced off her stick and past Falk for a 2-1 lead after two.

Alexis Nielson added insurance at 14:55 of third.

It was the first section final for MBA (23-3). Benson reached a final, losing to Chaska, in 1999.

After missing out last year, Alexandria reaches state for the sixth time in seven years.

Alexandria 3, MBA 1

Morris/Benson (23-3) 0 1 0 -- 1

Alexandria (13-12-2) 1 1 1 -- 3

FIRST PERIOD - Alx: Michelle Anez (jBeth Rindy) 7:21

SECOND PERIOD - MBA: Sara Rajewsky (unassisted) 2:36 ... Alx: Rindy (unassisted) 16:31

THIRD PERIOD - Alx: Alexis Nielson (unassisted) 14:55

GOALIE SAVES - Morris/Benson Area: Brooke Falk 38 ... Alexandria: Steph Drown 18