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Junior Hockey: Willmar WarHawks' comeback effort falls short

The Oregon Tradesmen defeat Willmar, 3-1

The logo of the new Willmar WarHawks, a NA3HL junior hockey franchise.

WILLMAR — The Willmar WarHawks and Oregon Tradesmen battled before Oregon came out with a scrappy 3-1 NA3HL victory before 621 fans at the Willmar Civic Center on Saturday.

Both teams recorded eight penalties. Willmar’s Owen Johnston and Oregon’s Jacob Horrall each received 10-minute misconducts in the third period.

Despite all the penalties, Willmar did not allow a goal on its penalty kill and its lone third-period goal came on the power play.

Left-handed defenseman Gavin Simon found the back of the net off an assist from right-handed forward Spencer Bergman at the 8-minute, 32-second mark.

The goal marked Simon’s first goal and Bergman’s first assist this season.


Penalties hurt the comeback effort for the WarHawks. Willmar served 18 minutes worth of penalties in the third period.

Oregon scored one goal in each period. Bryce Stensrud broke things open in the first before Carter Watters’ tally proved to be the game-winning goal in the second. Luke DiPasquale cemented the Tradesmen’s victory with a third-period goal at the 4:24 mark.

Willmar goaltender Payton Mancuso recorded 33 saves on 36 shots faced in his second game played this season.

The WarHawks (1-4) head to the Runestone Community Center in Alexandria to take on the Blizzard at 7:10 p.m. on Saturday.

Oregon 3,Willmar 1

Oregon (4-2-0)           1     1     1 — 3
Willmar (1-4-0)           0     0     1 — 1
FIRST PERIOD –  (1) O: Bryce Stensrud 3 (Will Falconer 2, Luke DiPasquale 2), 14:27. PENALTIES: (1) W: Sam Holm (holding-minor, 2 min), 7:31 … (2) W: Holm (slashing-minor, 2 min), 12:14 … (3) W: Connor Garcia (holding-minor, 2 min), 16:24 … (4) W: Ben Tarlton (cross checking-minor, 2 min), 20:00.
SECOND PERIOD –  (2) O: Carter Watters 5 (Dillon Schmidt 4), 18:56. PENALTIES: (5) O: Nathan Walker (high sticking-minor, 2 min), 16:24 … (6) O: Nathan Clark (holding-minor, 2 min), 19:36 … (7) O: Ben Parent (slashing-minor, 2 min), 19:56.
THIRD PERIOD – (3) O: DiPasquale 1 (Schmidt 5, Watters 2), 4:24 … (4) W: Gavin Simon 1 (Spencer Bergman 1), 8:32 PP. PENALTIES: (8) O: Jordan Larkee (hooking-minor, 2 min), 2:00 … (9) O: Jacob Horrall (roughing-double minor, 4 min), 5:41 … (10) O: Horrall (continuing altercation-10 misc, 10 min), 5:41 … (11) W: Owen Johnston (roughing-double minor, 4 min), 5:41 … (12) W: Johnston (continuing altercation-10 misc, 10 min), 5:41 … (13) O: Payton Stauffacher (roughing-minor, 2 min), 6:31 … (14) O: Parent (roughing-minor, 2 min), 8:25 … (15) W: Christian Kankelfrtitz (slashing-minor, 2 min), 12:00 … (16) W: Michael Sweetland (tripping-minor, 2 min), 13:38.
GOALIE SAVES/SHOTS – Oregon: Tyler Fromolz 29/30 … Willmar: Payton Mancuso 33/36.

Michael Lyne joined the West Central Tribune as a sports reporter in May 2022, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor degree in Spanish studies.

You may reach Michael at mlyne@wctrib.com, or by calling (320) 214-4345.
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