Sports roundup from Saturday, December 20

BOYS HOCKEY Alexandria 3, St. Cloud Cathedral 2 The Alexandria boys hockey team took another step toward establishing itself as a frontrunner in the Section 6A field by knocking off defending section champion St. Cloud Cathedral in a 3-2 game on ...


Alexandria 3, St. Cloud Cathedral 2

The Alexandria boys hockey team took another step toward establishing itself as a frontrunner in the Section 6A field by knocking off defending section champion St. Cloud Cathedral in a 3-2 game on Saturday night.

The Cardinals never trailed in this one as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period. Ryan Marciniak scored at 3:01 before Zach Johnson added a goal at 7:47. The Crusaders answered back with a power play goal from Brady Johnston at 16:10 in the opening frame, but Marciniak took the momentum back just 17 seconds into the second period.

The senior captain scored off an assist from Johnson that gave Alexandria a little cushion. Marciniak and Johnson both finished with three points on the night as the Cardinals held on to improve to 7-0-1 despite a Michael Spethmann short-handed goal at 16:31 in the third period that made it 3-2.


Christian Reimers and the Alexandria defense had another nice night. Reimers got the win in net with 17 saves and the two goals allowed. Cathedral’s Zach Fritz took the loss with 23 saves and the three goals allowed. The Crusaders had won four straight games after losing their first three of the season. They are 4-4 overall.


Redwood River Riot

The Alexandria wrestling team finished fifth out of 31 teams at the Redwood River Riot over the weekend with a total of 119 points.

Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg won the tournament with 156 points, while New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva took second (149) and Dawson-Boyd-LQPV-Montevideo took third (145.5).

The Cardinals had five top-five finishes individually to pace the team. Ben Johnson had a big hand in things with a second-place finish at 106 pounds. He had three straight pins to cement his spot in the championship before he fell in an 11-4 decision to Hser Eh Pwae of Worthington.

Ben Bogart was also second as he worked his way through the bracket at 120 pounds. He won 6-5, 7-0 and 6-3 decisions to get to the title match before falling 6-2 to Dillon Kubiatowicz of NRHEG.

Dustin Neu was third at 160 pounds. Neu won 5-0 and 11-2 in his first two matches before falling 5-0 in the semifinals. He fought back to win 8-4 in his next match before taking care of the third-place match with a 6-5 win in overtime.


Adam Johnson added a fourth-place finish at 113 pounds as he got pins in 58 seconds and 1:29 during his first two matches before falling in the semifinals. He got a pin in 3:44 in his next match before falling in the third-place match by an 11-9 decision.

Dylan Kriese rounded out the top-five finishers for Alexandria with a fifth-place finish at 132 pounds. He got a pin in his first match in 3:33 and also added 4-2 and 6-5 wins before falling to the loser’s bracket and getting the win in the fifth-place match.

Big Bear Tournament

The Strength of the West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville wrestling team was on full display over the weekend as the Knights finished second out of 36 teams at the Big Bear Tournament.

WCA finished with 152.5 points, second only to Hutchinson with 168.5 points.

“Going into this tournament, we knew we had a chance to win,” head coach Brandon Gruchow said. “We knew we needed to make a change from last weekend and do a better job in embracing the grind of a tournament and wrestling as a team even though it is an individual tournament. The boys wrestled well and fought hard during their matches on Friday and Saturday. They pushed themselves to the next level not only for themselves but for their team.”

The Knights got a fourth-place finish from Drake Swanson at 106 pounds as he finished with 18 points. Jake Nohre earned a championship at 113 pounds to finish with 31.50 points. He won his title match by major decision (12-3) against Dasin Mateski of Hutchinson.

Royal Crow added a third-place finish at 160 pounds. He won his final match in an 8-4 decision against Derek Helgoe of Big Lake. Hunter Fick backed up his state ranking with a first-place finish at 195 pounds and winning a 7-4 decision in his championship match against Tristan Palmer of United North Central.


Next up was a third-place finish from Anthony Miller at 220 pounds. He beat Alan Bast of Aitkin in a 3-1 overtime decision during his final match. The second-place finish overall is a sign of just how far this team has come in the last couple years.

“Two years ago we were in last place [here],” Gruchow said. “We had no one make it to the second day.  I remember we woke the kids up extra early, went to the tournament and had a two hour practice before the tournament even started. This is the same group of kids that were at the bottom and worked their way up to the top. Their willingness to work hard, sacrifice, and do the extra [work] is definitely paying off.”


Hopkins 8, Alexandria 0

The Alexandria girls hockey team ran into a buzz saw on Saturday as Hopkins handed the Cardinals an 8-0 loss.

Hopkins scored two goals in each of the first and second periods before blowing things open with four more in the third. Corbin Boyd, Grace Bizal and Stella Haberman all had four points apiece with two goals and two assists each. Kylie Hanley added three points.

Amy Jost took the loss for Alexandria. She  had 25 saves and the eight goals allowed after Hopkins outshot the Cardinals 33-9.


Alexandria 3, Twin City 1

The Alexandria Blizzard made it a two-win weekend on Saturday by securing a 3-1 win over Twin City on the road.

Tyler Berginski got the Blizzard going with a goal at 4:31 in the first period. The Steel tied the game at one late in the period, but Aaron Ryback made it a 2-1 lead for Alexandria less than six minutes into the second period. Tyler Sworsky then put the finishing touches on the win with a goal off an assist from Tom Schmidt late in the third period.

Evan Bisek got the win with 39 saves on a night when the Blizzard was outshot 40-34.

The win moved Alexandria to 16-9 overall with 32 points. That’s good for fourth place in the division with North Iowa leading the West with 48 points and a 24-5 record.



Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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