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Boys Hockey: Sauk Rapids rallies past Cardinals

Willmar goalie Derek Baker controls the puck with his stick blade while teammates Zech Streed (11) and Cam Swenson defend as Sauk Rapids' Dan Kotzer looks for an opportunity. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

Tribune Staff Report

WILLMAR -- Sauk Rapids scored twice in the final 90 seconds of the third period to catch and then surpass the Willmar Cardinals in Central Lakes Conference boys hockey on Tuesday in the Cardinal Arena.

Tyler Long scored the game winner with 24 seconds left in the third period. At 4-3, it was the Storm's first lead.

Luke Richardson's goal had tied the score 3-3 at 15:27.

"It was a close game, pretty much back-and-forth all night," said Willmar coach Dan Tollefson. "They started getting more opportunities in the third period."

Willmar had the edge in the first period taking a 2-1 lead on goals by Hunter Schneider and Trey Tollefson, the later on a powerplay.

Blake Phenow tied it up 2-2 in the middle of the second but Cam Swenson, with help from Joey Lee, put the Cardinals back in front 3-2 at 11:42. But that would be their last score.

The Storm, coached by former Willmar assistant and then head coach here Jerry DeGagne, took the fight to Willmar's zone in the third period piling up a 15-6 advantage in shots on goal.

Cardinal goalie Derek Baker stopped 27 shots for Willmar while Storm goalie Erik Johnson gobbled up 22 of 25 Willmar shots.

The Cardinals travel to Brainerd on Thursday.

Sauk Rapids 4, Willmar 3

Sk Rapids (6-5-1, 10-9-1) 1 1 2 -- 4

Willmar (3-8, 8-13) 2 1 0 -- 3

FIRST PERIOD - Wil: Hunter Schneider (Graham Dahl, Zech Streed) 9:13 ... SR: Matt Meyer (Luke Richardson, James Geisler) 13:40 ... Wil: Trey Tollefson (Preston Peterson, Schneider) pp, 15:55

SECOND PERIOD - Blake Phenow (Mayer) 8:24 ... Wil: Cam Swenson (Joey Lee) 11:42

THIRD PERIOD - SR: Richardson 15:27 ... SR: Tyler Long 16:36

GOALIE SAVES - Sauk Rapids: Erik Johnson 9-7-6-22 ... Willmar: Derek Baker 8-6-13-27