WILLMAR — Trying to climb up the West Division standings with 12 games to go in the season, the Willmar WarHawks have a chance to boost their postseason chances against last-place Breezy Point.
Starting with Friday’s home game at the Willmar Civic Center, the WarHawks have four of their next five games against the North Stars, losers of 10 straight.
And thanks to a pair of goals by Dylan Svoboda and a strong effort in net by Luke Weberg, Willmar got a much-needed 3-1 victory in the NA3HL game, snapping the team’s seven-game losing skid.
Svoboda got his first tally of the night at 17 minutes, 56 seconds of the first period when he took a shot behind the goal that bounced off the back of North Stars goaltender Griffin Foster and into the net.
Early in the second, the WarHawks notched another goal, this time a man down, as Brandon Holt put in his 13th goal on the season on a shorthanded attempt. Before the end of the period, Breezy Point cut the deficit to one on Laauli Tosi’s fourth score of the year.
Holding onto the one goal lead through 19 minutes of the final period, Svoboda notched his 11th goal of the year on an empty-netter that secured the victory.
Eli Slagter had a pair of assists for Willmar, bumping his season total to 14.
While the WarHawks outshot the North Stars 43-30, Weberg did his job in net with 29 saves, including 17 in the first period.
Willmar has two more games this weekend, heading to Alexandria on Saturday night then returning home at 2:30 p.m. Sunday with another match-up with Breezy Point.
Breezy Point 1
Breezy Point (7-31-1-0) 0 1 0 — 1
Willmar (14-19-2-1) 1 1 1 — 3
FIRST PERIOD – (1) W: Dylan Svoboda (Marquez Ginger, Logan Starkey), 17:56. PENALTIES: None
SECOND PERIOD – (2) W: Brandon Holt (Eli Slagter), 2:57 SH … (3) BP: Laauli Tosi (Garrett Freeman, Jordan Linder), 12:31 PP. PENALTIES: (1) W: Mason Wiebusch (tripping, minor), 2:44 … (2) W: Christopher Drews (kneeing, minor), 12:13 … (3) BP: Trevor Hubert (interference, minor), 16:51
THIRD PERIOD – (4) W: Svoboda (Slagter, Zack Bender), 19:28 EN. PENALTIES: (4) BP: Andrew Roth (roughing, minor), 15:13
GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – Breezy Point: Griffin Foster 41/44 … Willmar: Luke Weberg 29/30