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Junior Hockey: Hunter Bjorge's two goals lift up the Willmar WarHawks

Defenseman gets his first two goals of the season in a 7-5 victory over the NA3HL West Division-leading North Iowa Bulls.

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Willmar Warhawks

WILLMAR — Call it a memorable night for Hunter Bjorge.

The Willmar WarHawks’ 20-year-old defenseman scored his first two goals of the season to lift his team to a 7-5 victory over the North Iowa Bulls.

Bjorge, from Grand Forks, North Dakota, scored his goals back-to-back in the third period, breaking a 5-5 tie. The first one came at 12:36 and was assisted by Jack Willis and Isaiah Thomas. The second was from Dylan Gajewski and was an empty-netter at 19:12 that sealed the win.

Bjorge, who began the season in the NAHL with the St. Cloud Norseman and the Minot Minotauros, also had an assist in the victory.

In 16 games, Bjorge now has two goals and 14 assists.

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Willmar also received two goals from Jack Willis and single goals from Gajrewski and Lewis Rowan.

The game ended a stretch of four in four nights for the WarHawks, who remain in second place in the NA3HL’s West Division. Willmar has a 17-16-0 record. North Iowa, the division leader, is 23-9-1.

Willmar’s next game is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 13 against the Granite City Lumberjacks at the Armadillo Deck Sports Arena in Sauk Rapids. The WarHawks then play at 6:10 p.m. Sunday, March 14, at New Ulm against the Steel.

Willmar 7,
North Iowa 5

North Iowa (23-9-1) 2 2 1 — 5
Willmar (17-16-0) 3 2 2 — 7
FIRST PERIOD – (1) W: Jack Willis 8 (Ben Luedtke, Ethan Light) 1:31 … (2) NI: Carson Jones 19 (Carter Newpower, Lucas Jorgenson) 5:27 … (3) W: Dylan Gajewski 10 (Lewis Rowan, Isaiah Thomas) 7:58 … (4) W: Lewis Rowan 12 (Hunter Bjorge, Thomas) 8:39 … (5): NI: Jack Campion 14 (Caden Smith, Caleb Huffman) 13:24. PENALTIES: (1) NI: Campion (high sticking-minor, 2 min) 3:08 … (2) W: Thomas (slashing-minor, 2 min) 11:24 … (3) W: Willis (tripping-minor, 2 min) 16:23 … (4) NI: Kyle Heffron (interference-minor, 2 min) 19:57.
SECOND PERIOD – (6) W: Austin Jozwick 5 (Ben Johnson, Brady O’Brien) 3:27 … (7) NI: Lucas Jorgenson 8 (Jones) 5:06, pp … (8) NI: Garrett Freeman 14 (Jorgenson) 8:53 … (9) W: Willis 9 (unassisted) … PENALTIES: (5) NI: Jorgenson (hooking-minor, 2 min) 2:31 … (6) W: Austin Jozwick (slashing-minor, 2 min) 4:13 … (7) NI: Gavin Wendorf (high sticking-minor, 2 min) 11:35 … (8) NI: Nick Mohs-Messerli (roughing-minor, 2 min) 17:40 … (9) W: Willis (roughing-minor, 2 min) 17:40.
THIRD PERIOD – (10) NI: Caden Smith 9 (Huffman) 4:29 … (11) W: Bjorge 1 (Willis) 12:36, pp … (12) W: Bjorge (unassisted) 19:12 … PENALTIES: (10) W: Nate Cox (holding-minor, 2 min) 8:20 … (11) NI: Kyle Heffron (roughing-minor, 2 min) 11:48 … (12) W: Light (interference-minor, 2 min) 16:49.
GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – North Iowa: Evan Babekuhl 35/42 … Willmar: Will Pinney (28:53) 13/17 … Cooper Olson (16/17, 31:07).

Saturday
North Iowa 3,
Willmar 1

North Iowa scored two goals in the third period to knock off Willmar at the Willmar Civic Center Arena.

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The WarHawks’ goal came from Lewi Rowan. It was at 14:35 of the second period and was unassisted.

North Iowa (23-8-1) 1 0 2 — 3
Willmar (16-16-0) 0 1 0 — 1
FIRST PERIOD – (1) NI: Cal Nauss (Lucas Jorgenson, Carson Jones,) 16:13 PP. PENALTIES: (1) W: Ethan Mock (cross checking-minor, 2 min), 1:56 ... (2) NI: Jones (roughing-minor, 2 min), 3:21 ... (3) W: Ethan Light (roughing-minor, 2 min), 3:21 ... (4) W: Ben Luedtke (cross checking-minor, 2 min), 9:46 ... (5) W: C.J. Zins (interference-minor, 2 min), 16:01
SECOND PERIOD – (2) W: Lewis Rowan (unassisted), 14:35. PENALTIES: (6) NI: Sean Sullivan (boarding-minor, 2 min), 6:24 ... (7) W: Kaleb Miller (slashing-minor, 2 min), 11:55 ... (8) NI: Jac Triemert (fighting-major, 5 min), 14:47 ... (9) W: Light (roughing-minor, 2 min), 16:50
THIRD PERIOD – (3) NI: Jorgenson (Nauss, Carter Newpower), 10:50 PP ... (4) NI: Newpower (Jones, Jorgenson), 19:55 EN. PENALTIES: (10) W: Jeremiah Konkel (high sticking-minor, 2 min), 3:59 ... (11) W: Hunter Bjorge (slashing-minor, 2 min), 9:04 ... (12) W: Miller (interference-minor, 2 min), 15:33 ... (13) NI: Nick Mohs-Messerli (roughing-double minor, 4 min), 19:59 ... (14) NI: Mohs-Messerli (continuing altercation-10 misc, 10 min), 19:59 ... (15) W: Isaiah Thomas (roughing-double minor, 4 min), 19:59 ... (16) W: Thomas (continuing altercation-10 misc, 10 min), 19:59

GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – North Iowa: Evan Babekuhl 27/28 … Willmar: Lukas Haugen 34/36

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