WILLMAR — When it comes to the Willmar-Alexandria girls hockey rivalry, for the past decade it has been a one-sided affair.

Willmar, however, got the new decade off on the right foot … er, skate.

Willmar beat Alexandria 3-2 Thursday night in a Central Lakes Conference game at the Willmar Civic Center.

“The way we played in the second and third period was really solid for us,” said Willmar head coach Eric Setrum. “They kind of got the better of us in the first period.

“But we really did a nice job in the second period, holding them to four shots and forechecking really well.”

It’s the first time Willmar has beaten Alex since Dec. 22, 2015, when it won 3-2 in overtime in Willmar.

From 2010-19, Willmar had a 1-19-1 record against Alex. It’s now 1-0 in 2020 after losing 6-2 at Dec. 5 at Alex.

Thursday, Willmar rallied from a 2-1 deficit to score two third-period goals.

First, Ashley Larson netted a power-play goal at 6:28 with assists from Mya Monson and Madison Garberding.

Then, Bailey Olson scored the game-winner unassisted at 10:50.

Bryton Carlson stopped 35 of 37 shots on goal for the victory for Willmar, which is ranked 14th in the state in Class A.

“Bryton was obviously fantastic for us tonight,” Setrum said. “She kept us in the game in that first period.”

Willmar’s next game is at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday against the St. Cloud Icebreakers at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex.

Willmar 3, Alexandria 2

Alexandria (12-6-3) 0 1 1 — 2
Willmar (14-6-1) 0 1 2 — 3
FIRST PERIOD – No scoring
SECOND PERIOD – (1) A: Mayson Toft (Lauren Maras, Anna Doherty) 5:19 … (2) W: Mya Monson (Ashley Larson) 12:17
THIRD PERIOD – (3) A: Hanley Block (unassisted) 3:06 ... (4) W: Larson (Monson, Madison Garberding) 6:28, PP … (5) W: Bailey Olson (unassisted) 10:50
GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – Alexandria: Jordan O’Kane 22/25 … Willmar: Bryton Carlson 35/37

Boys Hockey

Alexandria 12,

Willmar 0

Alexandria scored the game’s first goal 30 seconds into Thursday’s Central Lakes Conference game against Willmar. And the goals kept coming for the visiting Cardinals in a 12-0 victory at the Willmar Civic Center.

Shane Birkeland, Derek Pesta and Jaeger Steele each had a pair of goals as nine different players found the back of the net for Alexandria.

Willmar goaltender Gavin Steinwand had 44 saves. Alexandria had a 56-12 advantage in shots on goal.

Willmar returns home Tuesday for another CLC test against St. Cloud.

Alexandria (11-4-0) 4 3 5 — 12
Willmar (1-15-1) 0 0 0 — 0
FIRST PERIOD – (1) A: Caleb Strong (Derek Pesta), 0:30 … (2) Shane Birkeland (Josiah Gronholz, Nathaniel Mulder), 5:41 … (3) Pesta (Strong, Andrew Revering), 6:09 … (4) Mulder (Jacob Partington, Gronholz), 11:18
SECOND PERIOD – (5) Pesta (Strong), 6:59 … (6) Cole Walters (Peyton Doty), 10:18 … (7) Jaeger Steele (Mason Stennes), 14:27
THIRD PERIOD – (8) Birkeland (Joe Westlund, Pesta), 3:41 … (9) Gronholz (Partington, Mulder), 5:57 … (10) Matthew Carlsen (Strong), 11:31 … (11) Westlund (Carlsen, Revering), 15:27 … (12) Steele (Walters), 16:31
GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – Alexandria: Landyn James 12/12 … Willmar: Gavin Steinwand 44/56

St. Cloud 4,

River Lakes 1

Three third-period goals helped St. Cloud overcome a short-lived one-goal deficit in the Central Lakes Conference game at Richmond.

River Lakes opened the scoring 16 seconds into the second period on Logan Stellmach’s unassisted goal.

St. Cloud Tech/Apollo then got two goals apiece from August Falloon and Christian Engel.

River Lakes plays Detroit Lakes at 2 p.m. Saturday in Richmond, weather permitting.



St. Cloud (12-7-0) 0 3 1 — 4
River Lakes (10-8-1) 0 1 0 — 1
FIRST PERIOD – No scoring
SECOND PERIOD – (1) RL: Logan Stellmach (unassisted) :16 … (2) SC: August Falloon (Blake Keller, Luke Johnson) 10:35 ... (3) SC: Christian Engel (Isaac Baker, Tanner Simonson) 12:29 … (4) SC: Falloon (Luke Johnson, Sean Davidson) 12:52.
THIRD PERIOD – (5) SC: Engel (unassisted) 16:37.
GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – St. Cloud: Henry Bulson 24/25 … River Lakes: Drew Tangen 22/26



Little Falls 6,

Litchfield/DC 3

Little Falls skated past Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato for the win at the Flyers’ Exchange Arena.

Little Falls improves to 14-3-1.

Litchfield/DC (6-9-1) plays Waconia at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Litchfield.

No further information was available.