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Out-of-state teams take top prizes in Willmar

Omaha and Sioux Falls claim first place at Willmar's Squirt A/B2 tournament.

Omaha players warm up before the championship game.
Omaha warms up before the championship game in Squirt A.
Sydney Wolf / The Rink Live

WILLMAR — Minnesota may be the state of hockey, but out-of-state teams won first place at the recent the Willmar Squirt A/B2 tournament.

Omaha Squirt A and Sioux Falls Squirt B2 made the trip up to Willmar to compete Feb. 4-6 against teams from all over Minnesota, and it definitely paid off.

The Squirt A championship game between Omaha and Delano, Minn., was a back-and-forth matchup, and neither team was able to sustain pressure, or a lead, for more than a few minutes.

Omaha started off slow, taking more than three penalties in the first period. In the second period though, the Mavericks were able to find some grit and score back-to-back goals to give themselves the lead. Late in the third, the Tigers found themselves on the power play and used their advantage to tie things up late in the period.

The game then went on to have eight rounds of shootout (16 different shooters!). Both teams scored one shootout goal early, but eventually Omaha would get the win, scoring on their eighth shootout chance. Shootout goals came from Volzke and Vander Pol (game winner) from Omaha, and Delano's Jackson Perlich (watch the video below to see all three). Omaha's goaltender was chosen as player of the game for his strength in net throughout the entire championship game.


The Squirt B2 championship game was a little bit different. Sioux Falls would square up against the St. Cloud Huskies.

The game was one-sided as Sioux Falls was able to dominate and maintain pressure for almost the whole game. St. Cloud was able to score one goal, but ultimately Sioux Falls prevailed with a final score of 7-1. Michael Sislo was chosen as the player of the game for his outstanding play.

For more details on the weekend in Willmar and more footage of the championship games, including post-game comments from Sioux Falls head coach Lance Staples, watch the video below.

Make sure to also check out our photo gallery, and full results from this weekend's tournament in Willmar below as well.

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Squirt A Results from Willmar

1st: Omaha
2nd: Delano
3rd: Red Lake Falls
4th: Luverne
5th: Litchfield-Dassel-Cokato (LDC)
6th: Willmar

Squirt B2 Results from Willmar

1st: Sioux Falls
2nd: St. Cloud
3rd: Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul
4th: Orono
5th: Redwood Area
6th: Cambridge-Isanti
7th: Worthington
8th: Willmar

Sydney Wolf is a reporter for The Rink Live, primarily covering youth and high school hockey. She joined the team in November of 2021 and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies.
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