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Boys Hockey: Cardinals overcome adversity to knock off sixth-ranked EGF

Alexandria's Cole Walters carries the puck in on a breakaway during the Cardinals 2-0 win over sixth-ranked East Grand Forks on Saturday afternoon. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)1 / 3
Alexandria's Evan Lattimer rips a shot from the point in the third period during the Cardinals 2-0 win over sixth-ranked East Grand Forks on Saturday afternoon. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)2 / 3
Alexandria's Josiah Gronholz skates after the puck in the first period during the Cardinals 2-0 win over sixth-ranked East Grand Forks on Saturday afternoon. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)3 / 3

The Alexandria boys hockey team knocked off sixth-ranked East Grand Forks(16-8) 2-0 on Saturday afternoon.

The Cardinals were without two forwards on their top line, seniors Jack Westlund and Ben Doherty, which are the leading two point-getters for Alexandria (17-5) this season.

"We really don't change anything," Alexandria head coach Ian Resch said. "We know we have guys that can fill in those spots as long as they do what they have to defensively and if they compete hard."

The Cardinals got on the board quick with an unassisted goal from senior forward Ben Jenson. Jenson had a strong game—creating chances for his linemates and playing smart in the defensive zone.

"Benny scored the first goal of the day with just a great effort," Resch said. "It was a huge goal. It was the winning goal."

The Cardinals matched the Green Wave in shots in the first period with five a piece, but would only tally six more shots throughout the game. Senior goaltender Bailey Rosch had another MVP performance in his 30-save shutout.

"He had to be really good all day long," Resch said. "They had a lot of chances in the slot area and he made some big saves. I'm happy for him. He's playing really good hockey right now."

The Cardinals played the third period on their heels while being outshot 15-2. Rosch's saves down the stretch kept Alexandria in the driver's seat until junior forward Caleb Strong sealed the win with an empty net goal.

Alexandria's regular season is scheduled to end on Feb. 12 on the road against St. Cloud. Pending a rematch on the road with Sartell-St. Stephen, the Cardinals are sitting in second place in the section 6A standings according to Minnesota-scores' QRF ratings. Even with one of his top guys not playing due to an injury, Resch is confident his team will be at full strength come playoff time.

"Jack (Westlund) probably could have played today," Resch said. "We just want to be careful and make sure that he's fully healed. Other than that, we should be good to go."

EGF 0 0 0 - 0

ALEXANDRIA 1 0 1 - 2

SCORING- FIRST PERIOD- Alexandria- Ben Jenson (unassisted) 3:24;

THIRD PERIOD- Alexandria- Caleb Strong (unassisted) 16:40 empty net:

PENALTIES- EGF- 8 minutes on 4 infractions; Alexandria- 10 minutes on 5 infractions;

GOALTENDING- EGF- Tucker Brown, L, 9 saves, 1 goal allowed; Alexandria- Bailey Rosch, W, 30 saves, 0 goals allowed;