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The Organization News: Update Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 15 Feb 2021  
By: Amy Hefti


Historic Win at North Iowa Caps Off Wild Week for WarHawks
Willmar finished off a three-game week with an OT victory at North Iowa for the franchise's  first win in Mason City.  The week began with a trip to New Ulm on Wednesday Night. Willmar continued their winning ways with an 8-1 victory. After a scoreless 1st period, Jonah Jangula opened the scoring a minute and a half into the second. Ben Johnson and Michael Sweetland assisted on Jangula’s 3rd of the year. Dylan Gajewski added two more for a 3-1 lead after two. 

Willmar poured in 5 more goals in the 3rd to cruise to victory. The Warhawks displayed a balance of scoring in the 3rd with goals from Jeremiah Konkel, Gavin Uckele, Isaiah Thomas, Jack Willis, and Cole Wigestrand. Hunter Bjorge and Isaiah had multi-point nights, and Cooper Olson stopped 29 of 30 for the victory in net.

Saturday night they hosted Granite City, and it was the Lumberjacks skating away with a 5-3 victory. Another scoreless 1st period gave way to Willmar coming out and scoring a minute and a half into the 2nd period. Alex Kupka scored his 7th of the season on the power play with assists from Gavin Uckele and Dylan Gajewski. Lewis Rowan scored another power-play goal late in the 2nd for a 2-1 lead after two periods. Granite City came out firing in the 3rd scoring 4 goals in the first seven minutes. Rowan added his 2nd of the game and 7th of the season late in the 3rd but it wasn’t enough as Granite City snapped the Warhawks home winning streak at five.

Sunday night saw Willmar travel to North Iowa and come away with a thrilling 3-2 win in overtime. Dylan Gajewski tied the game 1-1 with his 4th of the season midway through the 2nd period. Gavin Uckele and Isaiah Thomas picked up the assists. Trailing 2-1 with just under 6 minutes to go, Alex Kupka came through with the equalizer on assists from Lewis Rowan and Isaiah Thomas. Then in OT Kupka gave the Warhawks their first victory against the Bulls with his 9th of the year with assists from Hunter Bjorge and Cole Wigestrand. Will Pinney made 35 saves for the victory in net.

Willmar (13-11 – 26 pts) is alone in 2nd place in the West. They host North Iowa on Friday and Granite City on Saturday. The puck drops both nights at 7:10 pm. Tickets are available at tickets.willmarwarhawks.com or catch the action on hockeytv.com

Norsemen Split Two with the Bobcats
Friday 12th Brett Chorske’s overtime goal lifted the St. Cloud Norsemen to a 3-2 victory over the Bismarck Bobcats on Friday night. After two early chances for the Norsemen were waived off by the referee, Nate Warner scored his first North American Hockey League goal to give St. Cloud the lead. Late in the period, Bismarck evened the game with a Grant Achan powerplay goal. Moments later, the Bobcats took the lead with a Ryan Taylor tally. After trailing for the first portion of the second period, the Norsemen found themselves level with the Bobcats as Ryan O’Neill netted his fourth goal of the season to tie the game at 2-2. After a scoreless third period, St. Cloud would breakout of its own end with speed, and Tyler Borsch would skip the puck to Brett Chorske, who scored his second overtime goal of the season to give the Norsemen the 3-2 victory.

Saturday 13th Despite tying the game in the third period, the St. Cloud Norsemen could not overcome two late goals as they fell to the Bismarck Bobcats 4-2 on Saturday night. The first period saw a back-and-forth affair that resulted in a scoreless 20 minutes before the deadlock was broken in the second by Isaac Henkemeyer-How, giving the Bobcats the 1-0 lead. Inside of the final minute of the second, Bismarck extended its lead to 2-0 after a Ryan Taylor goal. In the third, Norsemen closed the gap when Brett Chorske scored a clean-up goal for his fifth of the season before Brendan Kim scored his third of the campaign to tie the game at 2-2. In the final two minutes of play, Taylor score for the Bobcats, taking the lead, before George Grannis added to the total shortly after for the 4-2 victory.

With the loss, the Norsemen fall to 7-15-0 and will take on the Bismarck Bobcats on Friday, February 19 at 7:15PM in Bismarck, ND. Mark Shelley will provide the Play-By-Play on the Lyon Sheet Metal & Heating Norsemen Network beginning at 7:10PM on HockeyTV.

For tickets and information on news and upcoming events go to st.cloudnorsemen.com and follow the Norsemen on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 Blizzard Salvage Weekend with Win on Saturday
Alexandria hosted North Iowa over the weekend and salvaged a weekend split with a 4-2 win on Saturday, after a 4-1 loss on Friday.

Friday night’s game saw new goaltender Atticus Kelly get the start in net. Kelly kept the Blizzard within striking distance for most of the game making numerous saves. North Iowa finally got on the board at the 14:23 mark of the 2nd period. Alexandria came right back with Caleb Strong hammering home a one timer from the high slot off a beautiful feed from Sean Kenny. Tied 1-1 heading into the 3rd period, North Iowa took control with three 3rd period goals for a 4-1 win. Kelly finished with 43 saves in his Blizzard debut.

Saturday night unfolded similar to Friday night, except for the 3rd period. This time it was the Blizzard who scored three 3rd period goals fueling their 4-2 victory. Colin Tushie tied the game at 1-1 midway through the 2nd period. Cole Lehman and Jared Sanborn picked up the assists. Caleb Strong scored his team leading 14th of the year off a beautiful feed from Tushie for a 2-1 Blizzard lead midway through the 3rd period. North Iowa came right back to tie it at 2-2, but the Blizzard wouldn’t relent, scoring two more goals in a half minute span to secure the victory. Carter Rieland sprung Tushie on a breakaway for his 2nd of the game and a 3-2 lead with just over two minutes to play, then Nikolai Rajala gave the Blizzard some insurance with his 4th of year. Tushie had a 3 point night, and Cole Lehmann picked up two assists. Joey Greilich made 37 saves for the victory in net.

The Blizzard (10-13-1 – 21pts) are in 4th place, one point behind Granite City (11-7 – 22pts) in the West. That’s where they’ll travel to on Wednesday for a noon (12 pm) puck drop. The Blizzard remain on the road this weekend Saturday and Sunday against the North Iowa Bulls (19-5-1 – 39 pts). Saturday night’s game is at 7:30 pm and Sunday’s is at 1 pm. Catch the action on hockeytv.com

Author: Amy Hefti


* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Amy Hefti , and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.
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