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Boys hockey: Alexandria hands Willmar first loss

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton A Willmar rush in the first period forces Alexandria goalie Sam Goetsch to deflect a shot on Thursday in Willmar, as Willmar’s Evan VanDenEinde looks for a rebound but the puck is controlled by Parker Revering (3) as defenseman Aaron Steidl, left, closes in.

WILLMAR — The game was even through two periods and into the 13th minute of the final frame when Brady Bast score for Alexandia which clung to the lead for the final 4 minutes and 20 seconds to claim a 3-2 victory over Willmar in Central Lakes boys hockey on Thurday.

Bast scored down low out of a scramble at the 12:40 mark of the third.

Shots were even for the game at 25 each, but Willmar was unable to take advantage of a six to one advantage in the power play.

“That was the difference,” said head coach Dan Tollefson. “We really struggled with their penalty-kill which is very good.”

Ryan Woltjer with a 20-foot wrister over the glove of Alex keeper Sam Goetsch put Willmar up 1-0 in the first.

Alexandria got the next two goals before Isaac Kobienia knotted the score 2-2 just 2:08 into the second, on a power wrist shot past a screen from the point.

Alexandria improved to 4-0 in the CLC and 5-0 overall. It was Willmar’s first loss after a 3-0 start.

“I was happy with the effort,” said Tollefson. “Alex is a highly-respected team. We played a good game, very classy.”

Willmar’s only penalty was on Cole Hagen, when he failed to drop a broken stick immediately.

The Cardinals play host to section rival Marshall on Saturday afternoon.

Alexandria 3, Willmar 2

Alexandria (4-0 5-0)         1  1  1 — 3

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

FIRST PERIOD – Wil: Ryan Woltjer 7:48 … Alx: Levi McFarlane (Brady Bast) 15:30

SECOND PERIOD –  Alx: Matt Resch (Alec Wosepka, Ryan Marciniak) :17 … Wil: Isaac Kobienia 2:08

THIRD PERIOD – Alx: Bast (Resch, Christian Canavati) 12:40

GOALIE SAVES – Alexandria: Sam Goetsch 7-8-7-23 … Willlmar: Levi Goosman 7-6-9-22