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Willmar nips Sauk Rapids

SAUK RAPIDS -- The Willmar Cardinals got both goals from their top line and squeezed by Sauk Rapids 2-1 on Thursday.

The Cardinals, off to a 3-0 start (2-0 in the Central Lakes Conference), have now won two straight against the Storm after ending a 10-game losing streak to them on Jan. 23.

Liam Johnston broke a scoreless tie with his seventh goal of the season at the 3:58 mark of the third period.

The Storm tied it with an end-to-end rush by Ethan Prow, who made a nifty backhanded shot to beat Ben Leitch.

That was the only goal the Willmar senior would allow while facing 34 shots.

The game-winner came at 10:55 of the third period when Grant Schow pumped in the rebound of a shot by Gabe Amon. Jake Tone got the second assist. It was Schow's third goal of the season.

"It was a classic CLC matchup on he road," said Willmar head coach Dan Tollefson. "It was up-and-down, physical. Ben Leitch got us out of jams several times stopping their rushes. That kept it close."

Willmar plays at Hutchinson on Saturday, a non-conference match-up.

Willmar 2, Sauk Rapids 1

Willmar (2-0, 3-0) 0 0 2 -- 2

Sauk Rapids (0-2, 0-3) 0 0 1 -- 1

FIRST PERIOD - no scoring

SECOND PERIOD - no scoring

THIRD PERIOD - Wil: Liam Johnston (unassisted) 3:58 ... SR: Ethan Prow (unassisted) 6:48, sh ... Wil: Grant Schow (Gabe Amon, Jake Tone) 10:55

GOALIE SAVES - Willmar: Ben Leitch 12-16-5-33 ... Sauk Rapids: Blake Legatt 5-4-9-18