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Boys Hockey: Cardinals fail Tiger test, lose 6-0

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton St. Cloud Tech's Riley Bates (7) tangles with Willmar's Trey Tollefson during the first period at Cardinal Arena in Willmar on Tuesday.

Tribune Staff Report

WILLMAR -- St. Cloud Tech dominated the Cardinal Arena ice on Tuesday night dealing Willmar a 6-0 setback.

Though it was Senior Night and a chance to make a good impression prior to today's 6A seeding meeting, the Cardinals crumbled confronted by the Tigers' superior speed.

The Cardinal got very little organized in the first period but trailed only 1-0 on Ben Honer's goal in the first minute shortly after a face-off to goalie Derek Baker's left.

The Tigers picked up the pace in the second period. Honer scored solo on a one-on-two rush banging the puck off the right pipe. Then, on a 3-on-1 rush, Tanner Skaja scored with the first assist to Joe Setrum. Honer got the hat trick 3 minutes later at 6:37 with the first assist to Riley Bates.

The Tigers kept attacking adding two more goals before the middle stanza ended.

"I thought their speed was the difference," said Dan Tollefson, the Willmar head coach. "They got a goal early in the second period and that seem to get their confidence while ours sagged."

The Tigers are only 7-15-2 but have now on four straight in the Central Lakes to improve to 5-8-2.

Tech's sophomore goalie Austin Althaus stopped all 21 shots he faced; Baker finished with 24 stops.

Willmar dropped finishes 3-12 in the CLC and takes a 8-17 mark to playoffs.

Tollefson expects a 6 or 7 seed and a home play-in game vs. Wadena-Deer Creek (1-22) on Saturday. The winner will advance to the quarterfinals at the No. 2 seed, likely either Fergus Falls or Alexandria.

SC Tech 6, Willmar 0

SC Tech (5-8-2, 7-15-2)...1 5 0 -- 6

Willmar (3-12, 8-17)........0 0 0 -- 0

FIRST PERIOD - SCT: Ben Honer (Isaac Hiltner, Connor Wendt) :40

SECOND PERIOD - SCT: Honer 1:57 ... SCT: Tanner Skaja (Joe Setrum, Matt Brettingen) 3:19 ... SCT: Honer (Riley Bates, Brettingen) 6:37... SCT: Michael Eagle (Jimmy Grimit) 7:40

THIRD PERIOD - SCT: Tanner Skaja (Hiltner, Grimit) 16:57

GOALIE SAVES - St. Cloud Tech: Austin Althaus 5-12-4-21 ...Willmar: Derek Baker 8-7-9-24