The Alexandria Blizzard and Willmar WarHawks are in a race for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division, so Saturday’s head-to-head win for Willmar over Alexandria carried some weight.
The WarHawks (15-19-2-1, 33 points) came to the Runestone Community Center and left with a 5-2 win after jumping out to a 5-1 lead through two periods. That was led by Justin Ohnstad, who finished with a hat trick. Brandon Holt and Trent Sylvester each had one goal.
The Blizzard (16-17-2-1, 35 points) got goals from Michal Trejbal and Austin McNeil, but Alexandria could not convert enough on 45 shot attempts. Willmar had just 23 shot attempts, but made those count.
Lukas Haugen got the win in net with 43 saves. Bailey Rosch took the loss for the Blizzard after eight saves and four goals allowed in 27:47. Ville Hyttinen had 10 saves and one goal allowed in 32:13 of playing time.
The Blizzard is still two points up on Willmar in the race for the fourth playoff spot. Alexandria will now head to Rochester on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. before facing Granite City at the RCC on Feb. 14 at 7:10 p.m.
WILLMAR 2 3 0 - 5
ALEXANDRIA 1 0 1 - 2
SHOTS - Willmar - 7, 8, 8 - 23; Alexandria - 13, 12, 20 - 45
SCORING - FIRST PERIOD - Willmar - Trent Sylveser (Eli Slagter, Jake Saantarelli), 2:31; Willmar - Justin Ohnstad (Dylan Svoboda, Zack Bender), 5:44; Alexandria - Austin McNeil (Brandon Connett), 11:18
SECOND PERIOD - Willmar - Brandon Holt (shorthanded) (Eli Slagter), 6:09; Willmar - Justin Ohnstad (Danny Klatt, Marquez Ginger), 7:47; Willmar - Justin Ohnstad (Ty Hill, Nick Foldesi), 10:22