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Boys hockey roundup: Late goal spills Willmar

Tribune photo by Rand Middleton Willmar goalie Levi Goosmann turns away Virginia/Mt. Iron-Buhl left wing Colton Anderson in a scoreless second period, one of the Cardinal senior’s 20 saves, on Saturday in Willmar

WILLMAR — A power- play goal with two minutes left in the third period at the Cardinal Arena ended a smashing-good standoff and sent Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl back to the Iron Range with a 2-1 win Saturday.

Reed Larson’s Blue Devils (12-5-1) swept the first-ever North/South showdown which saw them also win at Hutchinson 7-1.

 Willmar (7-8) and Hutchinson (8-5-1) each went 1-1 with Eveleth-Gilbert (9-5-1) retreating northward 0-2.

 Ville Heikklila fired the game-winner from the right point, a hip-high, well-placed zinger off a screen that gave Card goalie Levi Goosmann little  chance.

The winning goal came at 13:58, just 16 seconds into the period’s only penalty.

Until then, neither team could find an advantage in the fast, tight-checking matinee, which drew a nice turnout of Willmar fans.

Colton Croft scored for the Blue Devils in the game’s third minute. Hunter Mottinger tied it 1-1 at 8:58, scoring shorthanded. Both goals were on breakaways that were not to be repeated.

Willmar head coach Dan Tollefson and Larson were colleagues for six seasons here, the first two years with Larson as head coach and the next four with Tollefson in charge.

“We run some of the same systems, but as a coach you change things from year-to- year based on yours kid’s strengths,” said Tollefson. “The teams were pretty even and both worked very hard and had [good] chances. It was a great game to watch and very fun to play in. Reed has developed into one of the top coaches up on the Iron Range and has a very classy team.”

The shot chart showed Willmar with a 16-12 edge  after two but the blue-shirted Devils, slightly-bigger physically, showed a 10-2 advantage in the third.    

Virginia/MIB 2, Willmar 1

Virg/Mt.Iron-Buhl (12-5-1)             1  0  1 — 2

Willmar (7-8)      1  0  0 — 1

FIRST PERIOD – V: Colton Croft 2:49 … Willmar: Hunter Mottinger 8:58, sh

SECOND PERIOD – no scoring

THIRD PERIOD – V: Ville Heikkila (Trvis Kemp) 13:58 pp

GOALIE SAVES – Virginia/Mt. Iron-Buhl: Lucas Murray 4-11-2-17 … Willmar: Levi Goosmann 6-5-9-20

New Ulm 2, Litchfield/DC 1

David Raisanen scored for Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato in the second to tie it 1-1.

Litchfield/DC (5-9)            0  1  0 — 1

New Ulm (9-7)    1  1  0 — 2

FIRST PERIOD – NU: Jon Kopacek (Cpolin Huffman, Ethan Kraus)  times not available

SECOND PERIOD – LDC: David Raisanen (Ethan Niemala, Ben Haugo) … NU: Kraus (Brandon Helget, Alex Stark)

THIRD PERIOD – No scoring

GOALIE SAVES – Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato: Braeden Wahl 21-19 … New Ulm: Brach Kraus 16-15

Late Friday

Marshall 4, MBA 1

Marshall (7-8)     0  1  3 — 4

MBA (1-13-1)       0  0  1 — 1

FIRST PERIOD – no scoring

SECOND PERIOD – Mar: Blaine Moran (Derek Rasmussen, Brent Haukom) 12:27

THIRD PERIOD – Mar: Haukom (Andy Bell) 4:03 pp … Mar: Taylor Rasmussen (Derek Rasmussen) 13:20 … MBA: Corey Storck (Corey Goff, Bo Olson) 14:36 … Mar: Sebastian Landry 15:23, empty net

GOALIE SAVES – Marshall: Jon Loefke 19-18 … Morris/Benson Area: Tony Bruns 42-39

River Lakes 3, Becker/Big Lake 1

Becker/Big Lake (7-9)      0  0  1 — 1

River Lakes (6-9)              2  0  1 — 3

FIRST PERIOD – RL: Grant Thompson 1:54 … RL: Thompson (Ethan Parson, Blake Karsch) 9:50

SECOND PERIOD – no scoring

THIRD PERIOD – BBL: Ethan Boutin (Tristan Gust, Zack Vieau) 5:27, pp … RL: Matt Prozinski  16:26, empty net

GOALIE SAVES – Becker/Big Lake: Ben Manzke 35-33 … River Lakes: Trevor Meed 36-35

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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