Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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Alexandria native Tom Lehman rallied from two strokes down with three holes to play to get his first win of the 2017 golf season this past weekend as his 20-under par over three rounds sealed the deal at the Tucson Conquistadores Classic. It's the 10th PGA Tour Champions victory of his career. Lehman took advantage of a bogey on 18 on Sunday by Steve Stricker, who finished second at 19-under par, as he closed with birdies on 16 and 17 before a par on 18 got the job done. It comes after Lehman had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee this past fall.
There will be a game three back in Alexandria in the West Division NA3HL playoffs on Sunday night. Alexandria and New Ulm are tied 1-1 after the Steel kept its season alive on Saturday night with a 3-2 win. The Blizzard won by that same score at home on Friday night.
The Alexandria Blizzard opened the West Division playoffs with home ice on Friday night and got the job done to take a 1-0 lead over New Ulm in the best-of-three series. The third-seeded Steel tied the game 2-2 with a power play goal from Nicholas Campbell at 8:41 in the third. Less than two minutes later, Alexandria answered.
Eric Welle sat on the end of a diving board at the Discovery Middle School pool on Feb. 28 as six of his Alexandria teammates swam warm-up laps before practice. Welle would have given almost anything to be alongside them, to feel the rush of diving into the water that he's felt so many times since he joined swim club in the third grade.
The Fergus Falls boys basketball team waited for the biggest of three games against Alexandria this winter to play their best game against the Cardinals. The Otters (25-4) had lost twice during the regular season to Alexandria (21-8) but came out ready to go in the Section 8-AAA title game at St. Cloud State University.
The Alexandria boys basketball team was faced with adversity in certain spots during Saturday's Section 8AAA semifinals game against Bemidji that was back and forth for much of the night. The Cardinals played some of their best basketball in those tense moments to come away with an 84-74 victory. They will likely find themselves in similar spots tonight at St. Cloud State University against top-seeded Fergus Falls. Alexandria needs one more big performance amid the pressure of a section finals games to punch their eighth trip to the state tournament and first since 2014.
The Alexandria boys hockey team had plenty of players honored in the final Section 6A report that came out on March 15 after a season that saw the Cardinals make the section finals. Sophomore forward Ben Doherty was named a first team All-Section 6A forward, along with St. Cloud Cathedral's Michael Spethmann and Jake Van Halbeck. All three led the section in points this season as Van Halbeck paced the field with 75 (33 goals, 42 assists), Spethmann had 72 (29 goals, 43 assists) and Doherty had 64 (20 goals, 44 assists).
Long Prairie native Wayne Skillings was sitting at his booth at the annual Rudy Zwieg Decoy and Sporting Collectible Show in Alexandria a few years ago when one his fish decoys caught the eye of a younger spectator. The vibrant color was especially intriguing for the girl of about 4 years old. "She pointed at the decoy and just said, 'Pink, Daddy. Pink.' Skilling recalled.
The Parkers Prairie boys basketball team started the 6A South championship the way it wanted but couldn’t slow down Ortonville in the second half on Tuesday night. The two teams matched up at the University of Minnesota-Morris where the top-seeded Trojans (22-5) outscored the third-seeded Panthers (21-8) 45-31 after the break on the way to a 76-61 victory.
Kendall Kohler came off the floor at St. Cloud State University with about 30 seconds left last Thursday and the outcome of the 8AAA title game long since decided. The senior guard and her teammates had just led the Cardinals to their first state tournament since 2011. Years of frustration after falling just short in this game were eradicated, but a little piece was missing with senior guard Macy Hatlestad relegated to her new role as player-coach on the bench after a season-ending knee injury.