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Boys Hockey: Dragons back in the hunt

Litchfield/DC's Logan Benson (19) dumps the puck deeper into the offensive zone while Redwood Valley's Will O'Halloran closes in during Thursday's Section 3A quarterfinal game at the Litchfield Civic Arena. Joe Brown / Tribune1 / 3
Litchfield/DC's Mason Schroeder checks Redwood Valley's Luke Ryan into the boards during the first period of Thursday's Section 3A quarterfinal game at the Litchfield Civic Arena. Joe Brown / Tribune2 / 3
Litchfield/DC's Trent Raisanen skates toward the net during the first period of Thursday's Section 3A quarterfinal game against Redwood Valley at the Litchfield Civic Arena. Joe Brown / Tribune3 / 3

LITCHFIELD — Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato inched closer to a second-straight trip to the Section 3A finals on Thursday as the second-seeded Dragons disposed of seventh-seeded Redwood Valley 6-2.

LDC struck first when Mason Schroeder scored a goal off a pass from Patrick Benson at the 6-minute, 16-second mark. But the Cardinals would go into the first intermission with a two-goal lead after Luke Ryan and Chase Schablin found the back of the net.

Midway through the second, the Dragons tied the game with a Jackson Bakeberg goal. Then at 14:11, Brandt Pedersen scored what would be the game-winning goal off assists from Dylan Schutz and Caleb Keith. LDC aided its efforts with three third-period goals, punching their ticket to the section semifinals.

Despite being outshot 37-14, the Dragons got the win thanks to a 35-save effort from goaltender Darby Halonen.

LDC (12-11-3) will face off with third-seeded New Ulm Saturday for a spot in the section finals. Game time is tentatively slated for 8 p.m. at Lund Arena at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.

Section 3A

LDC 6,

RV 2

RV 2 0 0 — 2

LDC 1 2 3 — 6

FIRST PERIOD — LDC: Mason Schroeder (Patrick Benson) 6:16 ... RV: Luke Ryan 8:01 sh ... RV: Chase Schablin (Mason Clark) 16:43

SECOND PERIOD — LDC: Jackson Bakeberg 8:28 ... LDC: Brandt Pedersen (Dylan Schutz, Caleb Keith) 14:11

THIRD PERIOD — LDC: Blake Johnson (Cole Evjen) 1:00 ... LDC: Jake Johnson 9:50 ... LDC: Schroeder (Pederson) 14:28

GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS — RV: Kia Jacobson 8/14 ... LDC: Darby Halonen 35/37

Marshall 6,

Willmar 2

Within a 99-second span in the first period, Marshall blew the gates wide open in Thursday's Section 3A quarterfinal.

In that time, the top-seeded Tigers scored a trio of goals that set the tone for a 6-2 win over eighth-seeded Willmar, ending the Cardinals' season.

Both of Willmar's goals came in the third period. Down 4-0, Ashton Gregory got the Cardinals' first tally, off an assist from Elbridge DeKraai, 51 seconds into the period. Sixty-four seconds later, DeKraai popped in an unassisted goal to cut the deficit to 4-2 before Marshall tacked on two more goals later in the period.

Mason Plante finished the game with two goals and two assists for the Tigers while Bryson Whyte had a score and a helper in the victory.

Gunnar Banks stopped 23 of 29 shots in net for the Cardinals, which end the 2018-19 season with a 3-19-3 record.

Willmar 0 0 2 — 2

Marshall 3 0 3 — 6

FIRST PERIOD — M: Tristan VanDeVere (Mason Plante) 4:29 pp ... M: Joe Archbold (Caden Thordson) 5:51 ... M: Plante (Bryson Whyte, Cole Remme) 6:08

SECOND PERIOD — No goals scored

THIRD PERIOD — M: Landon Frost (Plante, Jenson Meyer) 0:20 ... W: Ashton Gregory (Elbridge DeKraai) 0:51 ... W: Elbridge DeKraai 1:55 ... M: Plante 12:36 ... M: Whyte (Landon Frost) 12:50 sh

GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS — Willmar: Gunnar Banks 23/29 ... Marshall: Dominik Caspers 17/19