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Girls Hockey: Willmar takes tumble in 6A semifinals

ALEXANDRIA -- Willmar rallied after a slow start but two Alexandria goals in a 51-second span of the second period proved the back-breaker as second-seeded Alex defeated the third-seeded Cardinals 6-4 in a Section 6A semifinals game on Tuesday at...

Willmar's Serena Monson, middle, pokes the puck past Alexandria goalie Hailee Bailey while Alex defenders Ali Castle (22) and Riley Nyberg (21) move in on the play during a Section 6A semifinals game Tuesday at the Runestone Center in Alexandria. Jared Rubado / Forum News Service
Willmar's Serena Monson, middle, pokes the puck past Alexandria goalie Hailee Bailey while Alex defenders Ali Castle (22) and Riley Nyberg (21) move in on the play during a Section 6A semifinals game Tuesday at the Runestone Center in Alexandria. Jared Rubado / Forum News Service

ALEXANDRIA - Willmar rallied after a slow start but two Alexandria goals in a 51-second span of the second period proved the back-breaker as second-seeded Alex defeated the third-seeded Cardinals 6-4 in a Section 6A semifinals game on Tuesday at the Runestone Community Center.

Willmar wrapped up its season 13-12. Alexandria (15-12) plays No. 1 Fergus Falls for the 6A championship at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Willmar Civic Center. The Otters defeated River Lakes 5-1 in the other 6A semifinal.

Alexandria's McKenna Ellingson scored twice and Hanley Block also scored to stake Alex to a 3-0 lead in the first 14 minutes of the first period.

Willmar's Bailey Olson kick-started a Cardinal rally with an unassisted goal with just 10 seconds left in the first.

"They got their belief back that they could play with them (after Bailey's goal)," said Cardinals head coach Eric Setrum. "They battled hard, got good shots on net. When you do that, good things will happen."

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Madison Garberding scored two power-play goals 55 seconds apart midway through the second period to tie the game 3-3.

But Ellingson completed her hat trick with a goal and 12:46 of the second, and Mayson Toft scored unassisted at 13:37 to put Alexandria up by two.

Willmar's Ashley Larson scored at 14:49 of the second, but the Cardinals couldn't find the net in the third, and Block scored her second goal of the game into an empty net with seven seconds to play.

Willmar goalie Savana Knutson stopped 28 of 33 shots.

Section 6A

Semifinals

Alexandria 6,

Willmar 4

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Willmar 1 3 0 - 4

Alexandria 3 2 1 - 6

FIRST PERIOD - A: Hanley Block (Mayson Toft) 2:34 ... A: McKenna Ellingson (Alexis Heckert) 4:52 pp ... A: Ellingson (Makenna Aure) 13:18 ... W: Bailey Olson 16:50

SECOND PERIOD - W: Madison Garberding (Sydney Olson, Serena Monson) 7:12 pp ... W: Garberding (Kessa Mara) 8:07 pp ... A: Ellingson (Block) 12:46 ... A: Toft 13:37 ... W: Ashley Larson (B Olson) 14:49

THIRD PERIOD - A: Block (Ellingson) 16:53 en

GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS - Willmar: Savana Knutson 28/33 ... Alexandria: Hailee Bailey 22/26

Fergus Falls 5,

River Lakes 1

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With two-goal nights from Ellie Andersen and Sophie Rausch, top-seeded and 11th-ranked Fergus Falls advanced to the Section 6A championship game after knocking off fourth-seeded River Lakes on Tuesday, 5-1.

After Jade Zierden netted the only first-period goal, the Otters went up 2-0 after Andersen tallied her first goal at the 6-minute, 1-second mark of the second. While on the power play, the Stars cut the deficit to 2-1 when Tyra Johnson, off assists from McKenzie Cremers and Aubrey Griffin), scored at 8:26. But later in the period, Rausch grabbed the momentum back for Fergus Falls with a goal at 12:51.

From there, Andersen and Rausch tacked on a pair of power-play goals in the third to cement the section victory.

In net, River Lakes goaltender Nicole Wander stopped 30 of 35 shots while the Otters' Jadyn McKeever had 23 saves in 24 attempts.

River Lakes ends the 2018-19 season with an 11-15-1 record.

River Lakes 0 1 0 - 1

Fergus Falls 1 2 2 - 5

FIRST PERIOD - FF: Jade Zierden (Sophie Rausch, Ellie Andersen) 15:38

SECOND PERIOD - FF: Andersen (Rausch, Gabby Brimhall) 6:01 ... RL: Tyra Johnson (McKenzie Cremers, Aubrey Griffin) 8:26 pp ... FF: Rausch (Zierden, Chloe Nelson) 12:51

THIRD PERIOD - FF: Andersen (Hallie Sheridan) 2:19 pp ... FF: Rausch (Sheridan) 13:47 pp

GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS - River Lakes: Nicole Wander 30/35 ... Fergus Falls: Jadyn McKeever 23/24

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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