It's tournament time in Willmar
WILLMAR -- The two-day Bremer Bank Classic and the boys hockey Holiday Tournament get underway today at the high school and Civic Center. Bremer Classic New London-Spicer (4-2) meets Duluth Central (5-2) at 6 p.m. in the tournament opener, while ...
WILLMAR -- The two-day Bremer Bank Classic and the boys hockey Holiday Tournament get underway today at the high school and Civic Center.
New London-Spicer (4-2) meets Duluth Central (5-2) at 6 p.m. in the tournament opener, while Willmar hosts the Becker Bulldogs at about 7:45 p.m.
Becker will be looking to get its game together during the two-game event. The Bulldogs have a difficult transition from fall sports since the Becker football team is annually a Prep Bowl contender; this year losing to Glencoe-Silver Lake the day after Thanksgiving.
Becker has lost 10 in a row dating back to a five-game skid at the end of last season that left the Bulldogs with a final 14-13 record.
The Cardinals look to stay unbeaten at home. Senior guard Kyle Townswick has scored in double figures in all but one game with a high of 23 in Friday's 76-40 win at Fergus Falls.
But the Cardinals have an abundance of weapons with Ryan Hagemeyer, Matt Seehusen, Casey Sussenguth, Cory Hanson and Mike Dunham all capable of having big games. Turnovers and poor results at the free-throw line have hurt the Cardinals.
NLS, the defending champion, is coming off a 69-58 loss to Paynesville on Thursday that ended a four-game winning streak. The other loss was to Rocori (6-0) in the season opener.
The Wildcats have scoring strength in the junior class; post Wade Powers, guards Jackson Wright and Jordan Radel and forward Skylar Wachter each hit double figures at least once in games last week.
Duluth Central should be a challenge for NLS. The Trojans have won five of six since losing their opener to North Branch. Most recently, they beat Esko 72-48 and Ashland, Wis., 68-35.
The three-day event starts at 6 p.m. each day with the second game slated for about 8 p.m. Today, River Lakes (1-6) plays Prairie Centre (2-6) in the first game, while Willmar (2-4) takes on Redwood Valley (0-6).
River Lakes and Prairie Centre met in the season opener with the Stars winning 4-3. The Stars have been in every game but have been held to two or fewer goals in each of their last five losses.
Prairie Centre has four one-goal losses, including 5-4 to Willmar on Dec. 15 in Sauk Centre.
Redwood Valley, which is a new program, is looking for its first win and went 0-17-2 last year. They've been competitive in most games this year and lost 6-5 to Worthington in overtime.
Aside from shutout losses to St. Cloud Tech and Alexandria, Willmar has averaged 5.2 goals per game while allowing exactly the same 5.2 goals per game. This tournament could see a lot of that kind of scoring.