Alexandria boys' hockey: Cards fall to Willmar, rebound to top Bemidji
The Cardinal boys’ hockey team needed a win in a bad way on Saturday and that’s what it got in a 4-2 game against Bemidji.
The Lumberjacks (6-13-1) ran into an Alexandria team that was set on snapping a five-game losing streak. Four of those losses came by just one goal, which added to the feeling on this team that it was close to breaking out of its funk.
The Cardinals made sure they did that by taking a 2-0 lead and never trailing against Bemidji. Ryan Marciniak scored in the first period and Tom Schmidt knocked in a rebound in the second to give their team all the momentum.
After Bemidji got within one, Alexandria’s Christian Canavati took an assist from Chris Leary and made it a 3-1 game. The Lumberjacks answered again with less than a minute left as they sent their goalie to the bench on a power play and scored on a 6-on-4 advantage.
Alexandria’s senior captain Jack Wensman won the ensuring faceoff and retrieved the puck himself before putting it into an open net to secure the win. Ben Allen got the win in net by turning aside 27 of the 29 shots he faced.
“The team looked like they did a few weeks ago when they were on top of their game,” head coach Scott Woods said. “Puck movement and guys working hard to get open without the puck were key points to the victory.”
It was a win that moved Alexandria to 9-10-1 overall with five games left in the regular season. The Cardinals were at St. Cloud Apollo last night, Tuesday, before welcoming in Sauk Rapids-Rice on Thursday.
BEMIDJI 0 1 1 – 2
ALEXANDRIA 1 1 2 – 4
SHOTS – Bemidji – 7, 13, 9 – 29; Alexandria – 11, 7, 19 – 37
FIRST PERIOD – Alexandria – Marciniak (Levi McFarlane), 2:05
SECOND PERIOD – Alexandria – Schmidt (Matt Resch, Wensman), 9:50; Bemidji – Zach Posner (Matt Serratore), 14:05
THIRD PERIOD – Alexandria – Canavati (C. Leary), 4:16; Bemidji – Serratore (Mike Sauer, Brett Isensee), 16:28; Alexandria – Wensman (unassisted), 16:33
GOALTENDING – Bemidji – Grant Tharaldson – L, 33 saves, 36 shots; Alexandria – Allen – W, 27 saves, 29 shots
WILLMAR 3, ALEXANDRIA 2
The Alexandria boys’ hockey team has lost five straight games, four of which came by one goal after another tough loss in a 3-2 game at Willmar last Thursday night.
Alexandria fell behind 3-1 early in the third period and couldn’t quite recover. Jack Wensman scored both of his team’s goals as he tied the game at one apiece in the first period and made it 3-2 in the third on a power play opportunity.
The visiting Cardinals couldn’t get the equalizer after pulling goalie Ben Allen for an extra attacker in the closing minute. They outshot Willmar 15-9 in the final frame, but Willmar took advantage of its opportunities with goals from Hunter Schneider and Evan VanDenEinde to secure the win.
ALEXANDRIA 1 0 1 – 2
WILLMAR 1 0 2 – 3
SHOTS – Alexandria – 9, 7, 16 – 32; Willmar – 10, 6, 11 – 27
FIRST PERIOD – Willmar – VanDenEinde (Hunter Schneider), 6:01; Alexandria – Wensman (Tom Schmidt), 8:30
SECOND PERIOD – No scoring
THIRD PERIOD – Willmar – Schneider, 2:01; Willmar – VanDenEinde (Schneider), 6:24; Alexandria – Wensman (PPG) (Schmidt), 14:39
GOALTENDING – Alexandria – Ben Allen – L, 24 saves, 27 shots; Willmar – Joe Benson – W, 30 saves, 32 shots