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Boys Hockey: Cardinals can't shake off slow start

Willmar’s Josh Tinklenberg (12) tips a point shot that St. Cloud Apollo goalie Nick Althaus, not shown, was able to stop during the second period Thursday at Cardinal Arena in Willmar. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR — The Willmar Cardinal skaters couldn’t overcome a slow start and fell to visiting St. Cloud Apollo 3-1 on Thursday in a Central Lakes Conference game.

The Eagles swarmed the Willmar zone uncorking 25 shots on goalie Levi Goosmann, who didn’t let things get out of hand early. A major for checking from behind in the last minute of the first period led to back-to-back powerplay goals and a 3-0 lead 40 seconds into the second period for the Eagles.

Willmar finally got on the board at the 7:48 mark of the third period when Evan VanDenEinde beat Apollo goalkeeper Nick Althaus for the first and only time. Ryan Woltjer and Buzzy Tollefson were the helpers.

Althaus saved 25 shots and Goosmann 44.

Willmar went 0-for-4 on the power advantage.

“We came out flat and just got outskated after a week off and Apollo’s a good team,” said Willmar coach Dan Tollefson. “I was pleased with the effort in the third period.”

Willmar travels to Brainerd on Monday.

SC Apollo 3, Willmar 1

SC Apollo (7-5, 12-8)       2  1  0 — 3

Willmar (2-6, 8-10)           0  0  1 — 1

FIRST PERIOD – SCA: Tanner Breidenbach (Skyhler Rieland, Logan Traut) 5:08 … SCA: Paul Kenney (Brandon Baker) 16:27, pp 

SECOND PERIOD – SCA: Kenney (Grady Ewing) :40, pp

THIRD PERIOD – Evan VanDenEinde (Ryan Woltjer, Buzzy Tollefson) 7:48

GOALIE SAVES – Apollo: Nick Althaus 10-8-7-25 … Willmar: Levi Goosmann 23-12-9-44