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Junior Hockey: Alexandria locks up late win over Willmar

Blizzard beat WarHawks after high-scoring third period, 4-3

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Willmar's Michael Sweetland (21) tries to connect on a saucer pass to teammate Jordan Fjosne (26) during a NA3HL hockey game against Alexandria Wednesday at the Willmar Civic Center. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — With a flurry of goals in the third period, the Alexandria Blizzard got the final tally to leave the Willmar Civic Center with a 4-3 NA3HL victory against the Willmar WarHawks on Wednesday.

The decisive goal came with 2 minutes, 22 seconds to play when Matt McIntyre buried his eighth goal of the year for Alexandria.

The two teams traded goals over the first two-and-a-half minutes of the third period. The first came 46 seconds in when Willmar’s Ben Luedtke tied the game at 2-2 with his eighth goal of the season. Just over a minute later, Alexandria got the advantage again when Tyler Klingbeil netted his first goal of the season. At 2:28, the WarHawks tied it once again with a score from Tyler Misialek, with assists from Frank Guimont and Marcus Mack.

The Blizzard built a 2-0 lead in the first period courtesy of Blaze Braswell. The Bloomington native got the game’s first goal with an unassisted tally at 14:53. Then at 18:20, Braswell scored again, with assists from Cole Klingbeil and Alex Heidenreich.

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Willmar goaltender Will Pinney makes a glove save during the first period of a NA3HL game against Alexandria Wednesday at the Willmar Civic Center. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Willmar kept the pressure up all game, outshooting Alexandria 42-23. And at 8:54 of the second period, Michael Sweetland put the WarHawks on the board with his fifth score of the season.

In net, Will Pinney came up with 19 saves for Willmar, which fell to 10-10-1 on the season. Bailey Rosch blocked 39 shots for the Blizzard.

The WarHawks go on the road Saturday to face the New Ulm Steel. Willmar will close out 2021 with three straight home games, with back-to-back games against the Wausau Cyclones on Dec. 10-11, and the Mason City Toros on Dec. 17.

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Willmar's Anthony Foster (19) lines up a shot during the first period of a NA3HL game against Alexandria Wednesday at the Willmar Civic Center. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Alexandria 4,
Willmar 3

Alexandria (9-10-0) 2 0 2 — 4
Willmar (10-9-1) 0 1 2 — 3
FIRST PERIOD – (1) A: Blaze Blaswell 2 (unassisted), 14:53 … (2) A: Braswell 3 (Cole Klingbeil 8), 18:20. PENALTIES: (1) W: Michael Sweetland (cross checking-minor, 2 min), 4:28.
SECOND PERIOD – (3) W: Sweetland 5 (Collin Kerchoff 15), 8:54. PENALTIES: (2) W: Thomas Hollon (tripping-minor, 2 min), 6:11 … (3) W: Ethan Mock (tripping-minor, 2 min), 10:16 … (4) A: Benjamin Tschida (hooking-minor, 2 min), 11:48 … (5) W: Enzo Tarducci (boarding-minor, 2 min), 16:24.
THIRD PERIOD – (4) W: Ben Luedtke 8 (Braden Fairbanks 5), 0:46 … (5) A: Tyler Klingbeil 1 (Ethan Moerke 6), 1:47 … (6) W: Tyler Misialek 9 (Frank Guimont 1), 2:28 … (7) A: Matt McIntyre 8 (unassisted), 17:38. PENALTIES: (6) W: Misialek (tripping-minor, 2 min), 4:49 … (7) A: Justin Wasvick (tripping-minor, 2 min), 14:13.

GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – Alexandria: Bailey Rosch 39/42 … Willmar: Will Pinney 19/23.

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Willmar's Teddy Kluesner (16) goes into the circle for a faceoff in the first period of a NA3HL hockey game against Alexandria Wednesday at the Willmar Civic Center. Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

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