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Boys hockey: Cards pound Storm

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Willmar defenseman Cole Block, center, is greeted by teammates Evan VanDenEinde, left, and Hunter Mottinger after scoring his second goal and a 2-0 lead over the Morris/Benson Area Storm in the first minute of the second period Tuesday at Cardinal Arena in Willmar, the season opener for both teams.

WILLMAR — The early concern for the Willmar Cardinals centered on where would the scoring come from after graduating the two top scorers from the previous edition.

How about defense?

Willmar’s first two goals of the new season came off the stick blade of defenseman Cole Block firing from the left point each times through screens.

The second missile provided the Cardinals a 2-0 lead 30 seconds into the second frame.

Three more goals followed in the period and by the end of the evening, before a crowd of perhaps 400, the Cardinals had an 8-1 win over Morris/Benson Area on Tuesday night.

“We had good puck movement and some quality shots,” said coach Dan Tollefson. “We skated three lines and a fourth in the third period. MBA is young and they’re numbers are good. They’ll be coming on.”

Willmar won 10-7 up at Benson in last year’s opener. The Storm gave up 30 goals in their first three outings (all losses) but would go 16-7 the rest of the way.

Both teams are looking to replace their production lines this November.

After Block’s two stingers, left wing Evan VanDenEinde, center Riley Grabow and defenseman Buzzy Tollefson on a solo rush put Willmar up 5-1 after two.

Center T.J. Mattison, right wing Joey Lee and center Hunter Mottinger topped it off in the third period.

Corey Goff, from Tanner Gimberlin, put MBA on the board in the middle stanza.

Willmar outshot the Strom 54-14.

Besieged Storm goalie Kyle Kennedy stood strong with 46 saves. Levi Goosman’s 13 stops included a couple of tough saves in the first frame when the game was close.

MBA plays at Hutchinson on Friday (7 p.m.) and at Litchfield/DC on Saturday (2 p.m.), all part of the Litchfield/Hutch Invite.

Willmar is at Richmond Tuesday to play River Lakes and then at Civic to play Fergus Falls Dec. 5 to start a  three-game home stand.

Willmar 8, MBA 1

MBA (0-1)             0  1 0 — 1

Willmar(1-0)       1  4  3 — 8

FIRST PERIOD – Wil: Cole Block (Buzzy Tollefson) 11:07

SECOND PERIOD – Wil: Cole Block :30 … Wil: Evan Van DenEinde (Ryan Woltjer) sh, 3:22 … MBA: Corey Goff, pp, 3:37 …  Wil: Riley Grabow (Woltjer) 4:57 … Wil: Tollefson  7;04

THIRD PERIOD: Wil: T.J. Mattison (Joey Lee, Tollefson) pp, 2:53 ….Wil: Lee (Mattison)  4:38…. Wil:  Hunter Mottinger (Block, Isaac Kobenia) pp, 11:08

GOALIE SAVES – Morris/Benson Area: Kyle Kennedy 46 … Willmar: Levi Goosman 13