The red-hot Willmar WarHawks cooled a bit on Saturday night as the visiting Granite City Lumberjacks scored four times in the third to win 5-3. The loss snapped a four-game win streak by Willmar (12-11-0-0) who are battling for second place in the NA3HL West Division. Granite City (11-7-0-0) are now within two points with five games at-hand.
Willmar were flying early in the game outshooting the visitors 14-7 in the opening frame, but neither team could find the back of the net.
Alex Kupka struck first with a powerplay tally 1:40 into the second period. Gavin Uckele and Dylan Gajewski assisted on the play.
A turnover in front of goaltender Lukas Haugen ended up on the stick of Wyatt Halverson who tied the game for the Lumberjacks 1-1.
The WarHawks were not done though as Lewis Rowan scored the first of two goals with just 1:35 remaining in the period to make the score 2-1.
With the third period puck drop the game changed course as Granite City scored four times in the first seven minutes to take command of the game. Braeden Bartoo, Carson Simon, Brett Reed and Brock Masseth were the goalscorers helping the Lumberjacks to a 5-2 advantage.
Rowan added his second late in the period as the WarHawks pulled their goaltender for an extra attacker.
Shots totals in the game ended with Willmar holding a slight edge 33-26.
Willmar are back in action on Sunday night facing the division leading North Iowa Bulls (19-5-0-0) in Mason City. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 PM.
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