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Boys hockey: Sabres bounce Willmar to bottom

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Hunter Schneider’s wrist shot appears headed wide but finds its way past Sartell goalie Elliott Brookins into the upper left corner for a 1-0 Willmar lead in the first period on Thursday in Willmar.

WILLMAR — Defensive mistakes and not much punch on offense cost the Willmar Cardinals on Thursday night at the Cardinal Arena.

Sartell (1-5-2, 5-6-4) took home a 3-1 win that left Willmar (0-6-1, 7-7-1) alone on the bottom of the Central Lakes roll.

It also cost Willmar a chance to advance its case in the Section 6A rankings where they fell to 3-4-1.

Willmar came out hard and dominated the puck the first 8 minutes. Hunter Schneider scooted across the top of the lane and unleashed a precise wrist shot from the right circle that found the

upper left corner for a 1-0 lead.

But in the next minute, Sartell rushed the Willmar goal and Spencer Zwiener pounded the puck past Joey Benson to tie the score 1-1.

Willmar’s defense faltered allowing the Sabres several good opportunities and forcing big saves by Benson. A 2-on-1 Sabres rush broke the tie in the second period, Andrew Lindmeier getting the eventual game-winner.

The last Sabre goal was open net when a blue-line shot by Willmar was deflected back-up ice allowing Tyler Minkel to pounce.

“It was pretty even and they just found a way to win tonight,” said Willmar coach Dan Tollefson.

Willmar is at Paynesville on Tuesday to play CLC rival River Lakes.

Sartell 3, Willmar 1

Sartell (1-5-2, 5-6-4)    1  1  1 — 3

Willmar (0-5-1 7-6-1)    1  0  0 — 1

FIRST PERIOD – Wil: Hunter Schneider (Ryan Woltjer) 8:55 ….. Sar: Spencer Zwiener (Tyler Minkel) 9:44

SECOND PERIOD – Sar: Andrew Lindmeier (Aaron Randall, Matt Bakken) 12:58

THIRD PERIOD – Sar: Minkel (Matt Ringhand, Sam Zwiener) 16:02 open net

GOALIE SAVES – Sartell: Elliott Brookins 19-20 … Willmar: Joey Benson 20-22

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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