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Boys hockey: Willmar tops River Lakes

RICHMOND — Three goals in the first period gave Willmar a quick advantage that would hold up as the Cardinals skated past River Lakes 6-2 Tuesday in their Central Lakes Conference opener.

Cole Block, Hunter Mottinger and Evan VanDenEinde all had a shot find the back of the net in the first 15 minutes of the game for Willmar. VanDenEinde also scored on a power play early in the second period before River Lakes finally answered with a Grant Thompson goal midway through the period.

“We got a good start and had good puck movement and good quality shots to get the momentum,” said Willmar coach Dan Tollefson. “All three lines moved the puck and the defenseman also played well.”

The Cardinals’ defensemen were key in River Lakes firing off just 15 shots. Offensively, Willmar peppered Stars goalie Trevor Meed with 56 shots.

All five of the game’s goals over the final two periods came on the power play as the teams combined for 10 penalties — 8 alone from the Stars.

Sophomores Isaac Kobenia and Nate Ackerman notched their first varsity goals for Willmar, which hosts Fergus Falls on Thursday.

Willmar 6, River Lakes 2

Willmar (1-0, 2-0)              3 2 1 — 6

River Lakes (0-1, 2-1)      0 1 1 — 2

FIRST PERIOD – Wil: Cole Block (Austin Smith) 3:20 … Wil: Hunter Mottinger 9:14 … Wil: Evan VanDenEinde (Isaac Kobenia) 14:17

SECOND PERIOD – Wil: VanDenEinde (Mottinger) 3:13, pp … RL: Grant Thompson (Christopher Thompson, Matt Prozinski) 9:25, pp … Wil: Kobenia (T.J. Mattison) 12:24, pp

THIRD PERIOD – RL: Connor Beltz (Ethan Parsons, Eric Zimmer) 5:27, pp … Wil: Nate Ackerman (VanDenEinde, Tyler Pendill) 13:39, pp

GOALIE SAVES – Willmar: Levi Koosman 13 … River Lakes: Trevor Meed 50

Jesse Fuchs
I have been with the Tribune since the summer of 1998. I enjoy covering the high school aspect of the business and designing pages.
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