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Boys hockey: Block's first goal a game-winner for Cards

WAHPETON, N.D. — With time running down, Cole Block whistled the puck to paydirt helping the Willmar Cardinals sink Breckenridge-Wahpeton 4-3 on Thursday in Section 6A hockey.

Block, a junior defenseman, took a feed from down low by center Hunter Schneider. The puck sailed through a screen by Buzzy Tollefson and Evan Van Den Einde.

There was no time for Blades’ goalie Michael Withuski to react even if he did glimpse the puck.

The goal was Block’s first on varsity.

Austin Smith, a sophomore forward, also scored his first varsity goal. It came at 8:06 into the second period for a 3-2 Cardinals lead.

The Blades (3-10) tied it on their second straight powerplay goal, this one by Tyler Gripentrog at 9:02 of the third period. Block scored four minutes later.

Tollefson and Cole Hagen scored first period goals for Willmar for a 2-1 lead.

Willmar outshot the Blades 46-13.

The Cardinals (7-5-1), now 3-3-1 in section games, will play Sartell at the Cardinal Arena next Thursday.

Willmar 4, Breckenridge-Wahpeton 3

Willmar (7-5-1)    2  1  1 — 4

Breck./Wahpeton (3-10)    1  1 1 — 3

FIRST PERIOD – Wil: Buzzy Tollefson (Ryan Woltjer) 1:00 … Wil: Cole Hagen (Tyler Pendill, Hunter Mottinger) 15:57 … BW: Austin Hagstrom (Aaron Neppl) 16:00

SECOND PERIOD – BW: Neppl (Brandon Wixo, Brett Pietron) 7:26 pp …. Wil: Austin Smith (TJ Mattison, Hagen) 8:06

THIRD PERIOD – BW: Tyler Gripentrog (Clay Bassingthwaite, Zach Reiff) 9:02, pp … Wil: Cole Block (Hunter Schneider)12:51

GOALIE SAVES – Willmar: Joey Benson 10 … Breckenridge: Michael Withuski 42