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Willmar bid comes up short against St. Cloud Tech, 4-2

Willmar's Grant Schow releases a shot and scores the first of his two second-period goals while avoiding the reach of St. Cloud Tech's Mitch Hall. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton1 / 2
Willmar's Grant Kallevig, right, whips the puck into the offensive zone flanked by Blake Vogel, left, of St. Cloud Tech Thursday in Willmar. Tribune photo by Rand Middleton2 / 2

WILLMAR -- Two teams about as close as their 12-9 records indicated fought to a near standoff before St. Cloud Tech extracted a 4-2 win from Willmar in Central Lakes Conference boys hockey at the Civic Center on Thursday.

Trailing 3-2, Willmar struck out on three solid chances in the final minute with its goalie pulled. The Tigers iced it with an open-net tally with 10 seconds left.

The Tigers swept the series, also winning 6-4 on Jan. 8 at St. Cloud.

St. Cloud Tech shot to a 2-0 lead after one. Jobe Peterson used his speed to outrace Willmar defenders down the boards each time. The first time he deked goalie Ben Leitch and on the second he handed the puck off at the goal mouth to Chase Peyton for the goal.

Willmar answered with two goals in the second stanza, both by Grant Schow. The first was unassisted when he outraced two Tech blue liners to the puck and buried a wrister from the right circle.

The second goal, a powerplay, came off excellent passes from Liam Johnston and then Grant Kallevig at 13:26.

But the Tigers retaliated a minute later on a goal by Brandon Reinholz.

Leitch stopped 28 shots in a strong showing in the Willmar cage. Allen Patten rejected 20 of 22 shots for Tech.

The Cardinals play host to Section 6A opponent Prairie Centre tonight.

S.C. Tech 4, Willmar 2

St. Cloud Tech (8-5, 13-9) 2 1 1 -- 4

Willmar (7-9, 12-10) 0 2 0 -- 2

FIRST PERIOD - SCT: Jobe Peterson (unassisted) 9:59 ... SCT: Chase Peyton (Peterson) 15:11

SECOND PERIOD - Wil: Grant Schow (unassisted) 2:18 ... Wil: Schow (Grant Kallevig, Liam Johnston) pp, 13:26 ... SCT: Brandon Reinholz (Jacob Peterson) 14:27

THIRD PERIOD - SCT: Blake Vogel (Ryan Heaton) empty net, 16:50

GOALIE SAVES - St. Cloud Tech: Allan Patten 20 ... Willmar: Ben Leitch 28