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Rochester spoils WarHawks' home opener

WILLMAR—The Willmar WarHawks' early season road troubles followed them to the Willmar Civic Center Saturday night.

Much like the Minnesota Wild, the WarHawks lost their home opener, not by a shootout to the Vegas Golden Knights but rather a 7-1 loss to the Rochester Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies scored six-straight goals to kick off the game, including four in the opening 10 minutes of the game, to put the pressure on the home team. Willmar, who 5-0 Friday night to the Grizzlies in Rochester, managed to get one back with a power play goal after Rochester's Seth Bacon was booked for unsportsmanlike conduct following his goal. Jacob Berkowitz responded with a redirection of a shot by Adrian Martinelli for Willmar's lone goal of the game. Rochester's Peyton Hart added the game's final goal less than four minutes later. His team finished the night with a 37-12 shot advantage.

Rochester keyed in on Willmar netminder Moritz Ertl, who made 16 saves on 23 shots in just less than two periods of play. Jake Sumner proved to be a bright spot for the WarHawks, stopping all 14 shots he faced in 21 minutes, 55 seconds played between the pipes. Including a one-period audition against Granite City last weekend, Sumner has stopped all 24 shots he has faced in 41 minutes, 55 seconds.

The WarHawks will go back on the road next weekend with a two-game set against the Peoria Mustangs, starting at 6:45 p.m. Saturday, followed by a 1:15 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Rochester 7, Willmar 1

Rochester 4 3 0 — 7

Willmar 0 1 0 — 1

FIRST PERIOD — R: Matthew DeRosa (Owen Bourdow) 0:45 ... R: Caden Duggan 3:51 ... R: Bourdow (Duggan) 9:27 ... R: Bourdow (Logan Olson) 9:57

SECOND PERIOD — R: Nathan Bennett (Duggan) 4:18 ... R: Seth Bacon 13:54 pp ... W: Jacob Berkowitz (Adrian Martinelli, Eli Slagter) 14:19 pp ... R: Peyton Hart 18:05

THIRD PERIOD — No goals scored

GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS — Rochester: Nick Bucklin (W) 11/12 ... Willmar: Moritz Ertl (L) 16/23; Jake Sumner 14/14

Rochester 5, Willmar 0

xxxxx

Willmar 0 0 0 — 0

Rochester 0 1 4 — 5

FIRST PERIOD — No goals scored

SECOND PERIOD — R: Vladislav Sorokin (Richard Szabo) 2:31 pp

THIRD PERIOD — R: Sorokin (Peyton Hart) 10:40 ... R: Lucas Newman (Nick Latvala) 10:40 ... R: Sorokin (Colin Mehren, Matthew DeRosa) 13:43 ... R: Seth Bacon 15:04

GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS — Willmar: Moritz Ertl (L) 47/52 ... Rochester: Nick Bucklin (W) 24/24

Jake Schultz

Jake Schultz is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune, working his first job out of college. He graduated from St. John's University (CSB/SJU) in 2016 and is a baseball fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @StJake29. 

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