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Boys hockey: Warriors fight off Cards

Tribune photo by Brooke Kern Willmar’s Trey Tollefson crosses through the Brainerd defense on Tuesday at the Willmar Civic Center.

WILLMAR — Preston Peterson and Hunter Schneider each scored twice but Brainerd/Pillager/Pierz escaped the Willmar Civic Center with a 6-5 victory on Tuesday.

It was an entertaining see-saw battle but the Warriors, who won for the 12th time in the last 13 games, outscored the Cards 3-1 in the final period.

“I thought we outplayed them,” said Cardinals coach Dan Tollefson. “I thought we took it to them. We did a lot of good things. It’s a tough loss.”

Peterson’s second goal at 3:01 into the second put Willmar up 2-1.

TJ Mattison scored to make it 3-2 and Schneider’s back-to-back goals over the second and third periods nudged Willmar in front each time, 4-3 and 5-4, at 8:54.

Brainerd’s Reno Fussy’s solo effort at 11:38 tied the score again at 5-5 and Cole Smith’s third goal 23 seconds later put Brainerd up for the first time since the contest’s eighth minute.

“Preston Peterson had a couple of nice goals and we got production from all three lines,” Tollefson added.

The game sheet showed Willmar goal Joey Benson with 26 saves and Brainerd’s Kyle Helmberger with 11.

The Warriors had an 11-game win streak snapped by Roseau 2-0 on Saturday.

Willmar plays at CLC and Section 6A rival Apollo on Thursday at the MAC with a chance to avenge a 6-2 loss to the Eagles Dec. 20.

Brd./Pillager/Pierz 6, Willmar 5

Brainerd/Pill/ Pz (10-2 16-5)    1  2  3 — 6

Willmar (2-8-1 11-9-1)    1  3  1 — 5

FIRST PERIOD – Brd: Cole Smith (Logan Rivard) 4:56 … Wil: Preston Peterson (Hunter Schneider, Ryan Woltjer) 7:12 pp

SECOND PERIOD – Wil: Preston Peterson 3:01 … Brd: Smith (Thomas Stoxen) 4:29 … Wil: TJ Mattison (Schneider, Cole Hagen) 5:16 … Brd: Chris Pohlkamp (Logan Rivard) 12:37 … Wil: Schneider 13:00

THIRD PERIOD – Brd: Pohlkamp (Rivard, Jake Ellingson) 1:59 … Wil: Schneider (VanDenEinde, Zech Streed) 8:54 … Brd: Reno Fussy 11:38 … Brd: Smith (Pohlkamp, Ellingson) 12:01

GOALIE SAVES – Brainerd: Kyle Helmberger  11… Willmar: Joey Benson 26