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Willmar turns back River Lakes

Junior forward Joe Grotsun (5) of River Lakes flicks a shot that bounced wide off Willmar goalie Keifer Dahle in the first period at the Willmar Civic Center on Tuesday. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton

WILLMAR -- Keifer Dahle made 25 saves and Grant Schow had a pair of goals as Willmar defeated Central Lakes Conference rival River Lakes 3-1 in boys hockey on Tuesday.

"It was a good Central Lakes Conference game," said Willmar coach Dan Tollefson. "It was physical and Dahle did a good job in net keeping us in the game."

Shots on goal were near even the first period, but neither team was able to sustain an attack.

The lone score was a quick burst out of center ice by Liam Johnston with Schow on the left wing. Schow took the pass, faded to his backhand and beat Stars goalie Tyler Sieben low to the glove side from 12 feet out.

Gabe Amon made it 2-0 at 12:18 of the second, a powerplay goal with assists to Mitch Fader and Landon Peterson.

Jess Engquist broke up the shutout attempt scoring 3:05 into the third stanza, assisted by Joe Grotsun.

But the Stars (0-1, 2-2) couldn't get the tying goal and Schow, again from Johnston, added insurance with less than three minutes on the clock.

Sieben finished with 25 saves also.

The game matched former Cardinal teammates. The Stars' first-year headcoach Jeff Melby and Tollefson both graduated from Willmar in 1988.

Willmar 3, River Lakes 1

River Lakes 0 0 1 -- 1

Willmar 1 1 1 -- 3

FIRST PERIOD - Wil: Grant Schow (Liam Johnston) 5:37

SECOND PERIOD - Wil: Gabe Amon (Mitch Fader, Landon Peterson) pp, 12:18

THIRD PERIOD - RL: Jess Engquist (Joe Grotsun) 3:05 ... Wil: Schow (Johnston) 14:27

GOALIE SAVES - River Lakes: Tyler Sieben 8-10-7-25 ... Willmar: Keifer Dahle 8-9-8-25