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Prep Hockey Roundup: Willmar boys get back at Morris/Benson Area

Cardinals even the season series with a 4-3 win over the Storm

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Willmar sophomore Cullen Gregory, right, fist-bumps his teammates after scoring a goal in the first period during a non-conference game against Morris/Benson Area Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at the Willmar Civic Center.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
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WILLMAR — The last time the Willmar boys hockey team met up with Morris/Benson Area, the Storm prevailed with a one-goal victory.

Their rematch on Thursday was once again decided by a goal. This time, it went the Cardinals’ way as they clinched the non-conference victory, 4-3, at the Willmar Civic Center.

In the previous matchup, the Storm won 3-2 on Dec. 9 in Benson.

Willmar sophomore Cullen Gregory opened the scoring with the lone first-period goal. Then in the second, the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead on a goal by Jason Malmgren.

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Willmar junior Trenton Larson, 4, and Morris/Benson Area junior Trevor Buss battle for the puck on the faceoff during a non-conference game Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at the Willmar Civic Center.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

The two teams traded goals in the second, with Brady DeHaan scoring for Morris/Benson, followed by Willmar’s Dylan Staska, then the Storm’s Cole Blume. Willmar carried a 3-2 lead going into the final period.

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An unassisted score by Ethan Stark gave the Cardinals a 4-2 edge. They needed it after MBA cut the gap after a goal from Ian Rajewsky.

In net, Willmar’s Braxton Heid got his first win of the season, making 30 saves. Christopher Danielson made 29 stops for Morris/Benson.

Willmar next plays Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Willmar Civic Center. MBA plays Windom at 3 p.m. Saturday in Benson.

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Morris/Benson Area senior Tim Blume, 22, dumps the puck deep into the offensive zone during a non-conference game Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 against Willmar at the Willmar Civic Center.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Boys

Willmar 4, MBA Storm 3

MBA Storm (5-6-1)          0     2     1 — 3

Willmar (4-7)                    1     2     1 — 4

FIRST PERIOD –  (1) W: Cullen Gregory (Henry Michelson, Jason Malmgren), time unavailable.

SECOND PERIOD –  (2) W: Malmgren (unassisted), time unavailable … (3) MBA: Brady DeHaan (Trevor Buss, Hunter LeClair), time unavailable … (4) W: Dylan Staska (unassisted), time unavailable … (5) MBA: Cole Blume (Charlie Goff), time unavailable.

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THIRD PERIOD – (6) W: Ethan Stark (unassisted), time unavailable … (7) MBA: Ian Rajewsky (Sam Thompson, Charlie Goff), time unavailable.

GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – MBA: Christopher Danielson 29/33 … W: Braxton Heid 30/33.

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Willmar freshman Lauren Eilers lines up a shot during the second period of a non-conference game against Morris/Benson Area Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at the Willmar Civic Center.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Girls

Willmar 13, MBA Storm 0

Holding a 41-4 edge in shots on goal, Willmar peppered Morris/Benson Area with pucks on the way to victory at the Willmar Civic Center.

It was the Cardinals’ second win over the Storm this season. Willmar won 6-1 the last time the teams played Nov. 18 in Morris.

Nina Dawson and Macee Hansen each had a hat trick for the Cardinals. Kessa Mara scored three points with a goal and two assists. Lauren Eilers and Makenna Larson both had a goal and an assist, and Chloe Lownsbury added two helpers in the victory. Brynn Grieger got the shutout in net.

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Willmar senior Kessa Mara, 12, takes the puck at the point during a non-conference game against Morris/Benson Area Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at the Willmar Civic Center.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

For the Storm, Mea Alsaker made 28 saves.

Willmar faces Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato at 3:15 p.m. Saturday in Willmar.

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MBA next plays at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Prairie Centre in Long Prairie.

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Morris/Benson Area eighth-grade goaltender Mea Alsaker, back, keeps an eye on the puck during a non-conference game against Willmar Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 at the Willmar Civic Center.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

MBA Storm (1-13)          0     0     0 — 0
Willmar (8-9)                   6     5     2 — 13
FIRST PERIOD –  (1) W: Gretchen Volk (Avery Olson, Makenna Larson), 2:13 … (2) W: Nina Dawson (Katie Hagen, Kessa Mara), 3:16 … (3) W: Larson (Jayda Richter), 4:13 … (4) W: Dawson (Birgit Figenskau), 11:20 … (5) W: Avery Quinn (Samantha Poe), 12:49 … (6) W: Hannah Bredesen (unassisted), 16:58.
SECOND PERIOD –  (7) W: Macee Hansen (unassisted), 2:53 … (8) W: Dawson (Mara), 3:03 … (9) Sophia Quinn (Chloe Lownsbury, Lauren Eilers), 3:59 … (10) W: Eilers (Lownsbury), 9:10 … (11) W: Hansen (unassisted), 14:42.
THIRD PERIOD – (12) W: Mara (unassisted), time unavailable … (13) W: Hansen (Hannah Quinn), time unavailable.
GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – MBA: Mea Alsaker 28/41 … W: Brynn Grieger 4/4.

Litchfield/D-C 1, Waconia 0

Anna Holcomb’s goal at 7 minutes, 12 seconds of the first period held up as Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato got the non-conference road win at Waconia.

Emmy Haataja had an assist on the play. And in net, the Dragons’ Kira Kuechle made 19 saves for the shutout.

Litchfield/D-C travels to Willmar at 3:15 p.m. Saturday at the Willmar Civic Center.

Litchfield/D-C (9-7-1)          1     0     0 — 1

Waconia (5-12-1)                 0     0     0 — 0

FIRST PERIOD –  (1) LDC: Anna Holcomb (Emmy Haataja), 7:12.

SECOND PERIOD –  No goals. 

THIRD PERIOD – No goals. 

GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – W: Maya Pena 19/20 … LDC: Kira Kuechle 19/19. 

Brainerd/LF 4, River Lakes 3

Brainerd/Little Falls moved to 12-6 overall after netting a Central Lakes Conference win over River Lakes at Essentia Health Sports Center in Brainerd.

The Flyin’ Warriors are ranked 20th in Class AA while the Stars are 19th in Class A.

River Lakes (9-9) next plays at 2 p.m. Saturday against Bemidji.

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