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Hutchinson skates past Willmar

HUTCHINSON -- The Hutchinson Tigers scored the last three goals of the game to upend Willmar 5-2 on Saturday afternoon in a battle for position in Section 3A.

HUTCHINSON -- The Hutchinson Tigers scored the last three goals of the game to upend Willmar 5-2 on Saturday afternoon in a battle for position in Section 3A.

The Tigers (7-3-1) won their fifth straight and upped their unbeaten streak to six.

Willmar is now 1-3 against in the new Section 3A where both Hutchinson and Willmar will head for post-season play.

Willmar has one more 3A foe on the schedule, at New Ulm on Saturday.

"Hutchinson looks like the top team in the section at this point," said Willmar coach Dan Tollefson. "They were a little bit stronger than us. I talked to their coach and they have some football kids.

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Josh Mead scored at 10:43 of the second period to tie the game 2-2. But Riley Bengston intercepted a Willmar breakout pass and walked in on goal to beat Ben Leitch at 10:41.

The Tigers added two more in the third, the second an open net score.

Rory Schneider's shorthanded goal made it 1-1 at 9:10 of the second but before the Tigers' man advantage ended Bengston put his team back in front at 9:21.

Hutchinson had a 34-25 edge in shots on goal.

Willmar went to 4-9 losing its second straight coming out of the holiday tournament.

"We've been in these games but we just have to find that guy to put the puck in the net," said Tollefson. "We're playing hard and the guys are doing a good job representing Willmar."

Willmar hosts Sauk Rapids in Central Lakes Conference action of Tuesday and entertains Wadena/Deer Creek, a former section rival, on Friday.

Hutchinson 5, Willmar 2

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Willmar (4-9) 0 2 0 -- 2

Hutchinson (7-3-1) 1 2 2 -- 5

FIRST PERIOD - Hut: Michael Hantge (unassisted) 1:21

SECOND PERIOD - Wil: Rory Schneider (Josh Mead) 9:10, shorthanded ... Hut: Riley Bengtson (Adam Katzmayer) 9:21, powerplay ... Wil: Mead (Jordan Benson, Jake Tone) 10:43 .,Hut: Bengstron (unassisted) 11:51 ,,,

THIRD PERIOD - Hut: Michael Hantge (Mike Kephart) 11:51.... Hut: Mitchell Cowger (unassisted) 16:32 open net.

GOALIE SAVES - Willmar: Ben Leitch 29 ... Hutchinson: Andrew Hantge 23

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