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Boys Hockey: Willmar fights off Alexandria, 3-2

WILLMAR -- Landon Peterson scored twice and Liam Johnston added some cushion and the Willmar Cardinals knocked off Alexandria 3-2 in boys Central Lakes Conference hockey on Tuesday in the second game of a girl-boy doubleheader.

It was the first loss for Alexandria after CLC wins over Brainerd and Little Falls, each time scoring four goals. Willmar stays at the top of the CLC with a 3-0 mark.

Willmar's Ben Leitch was stellar in goal, making 22 stops facing the potent Alexandria attack.

"Ben made the big saves when we needed them," said Willmar head coach Dan Tollefson. "Landon had the hot hand (offensively) while the defensemen played smart, hard hockey and that opened things up for us."

Peterson scored late in the first, his first goal this season, and early in the second period for a 2-0 lead. After an Alexandria goal, Johnston made it 3-1 on a powerplay at 13:27 of the middle stanza.

It was the first win over Alexandria for Tollefson, in his third year.

Willmar had lost four straight to Alexandria. The last win was Jan. 30, 2007, a 6-3 score, under head coach Reed Larson, now Tollefson's assistant.

Willmar next hosts Marshall at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Willmar 3, Alexandria 2

Alexandria (2-1, 2-1) 0 1 1 -- 2

Willmar (3-0, 4-1) 1 2 0 -- 3

FIRST PERIOD - Wil: Landon Peterson (unassisted) 13:16

SECOND PERIOD - Wil: Peterson (Liam Johnston) 1:02 ... Alex: Reed Resch (Nick Swanson, Zach Schuck) 5:24 ... Wil: Johnston (Jake Tonn) 13:27, pp

THIRD PERIOD - Alex: Scott Hennen (Thomas Williams) 14:06, pp

GOALIE SAVES - Alexandria: Jacob Rusch 8-5-4-17 ... Willmar: Ben Leitch 11-9-2-22

River Lakes 4, SC Apollo 0

Jess Engquist's hat trick helped the Stars earn their first conference win of the season. He also had an assist. Joe Grotsun scored 26 seconds into the game to give River Lakes a 1-0 lead. Tyler Sieben had 25 saves.

River Lakes (1-2, 3-3) 2 2 0 -- 4

SC Apollo (0-3, 1-5) 0 0 0 -- 0

FIRST PERIOD - RL: Joe Grotsun (Mitch Ejnik, Jess Engquist) :26 ... RL: Engquist (unassisted) 16:12

SECOND PERIOD - RL: Engquist (Dylan Berg, Grotsun) 5:10 ... RL: Engquist (Grotsun, Ejnik) 16:06

THIRD PERIOD - no scoring

GOALIE SAVES - River Lakes: Tyler Sieben 3-12-10-25 ... St. Cloud Apollo: Charlie Pentz 13-10-9-32