Willmar WarHawks headed north this weekend for a pair of NA3HL games. After dropping the Friday opener at Granite City Lumberjacks the WarHawks bounced back in a big way with an 11-0 thrashing of the new Minnesota Loons.
First stop was a Friday visit to Sauk Rapids. It was the first game back at Armadillo Deck Sports Arena since the WarHawks took Game 1 of the 2021 playoffs on their way to eliminating the Lumberjacks.
After a scoreless first period Granite City struck twice in the second on their way to a 5-1 victory. Zach Dalzell scored the lone Willmar goal in the final minute of the game.
“Was a tough loss on Friday night, but the boys battled hard,” commented head coach Kirk Olimb. “We just didn’t capitalize on our opportunities and a few defensive breakdowns led to goals for them. Hats off to Granite City though. They have a tremendous team.”
The team continued their trek north to Breezy Point where they met the first-year Minnesota Loons. Willmar jumped on the host early and often, scoring six times in the first on their way to a 11-0 win. Nolan Grier scored the first goal just :23 after puck drop. He would complete the hat trick at 13:52 of the first giving the WarHawks a 6-0 advantage.
Caleb Roehrich, Jeremiah Konkel and Elbridge Dekraai all scored in the opening frame.
It was Tyler Misialek who netted the hat trick in the second period with Ethan Mock and Max Cohen each scoring in-between. The third Misialek tally came on the powerplay in the final minute of the period.
Goaltender Cooper Olson did what he had to do to earn the shutout. His first career shutout, Olson improved his record to 2-0-0-0 with a 0.50 GAA.
Olimb recalled the win after returning home on Sunday saying, “We rebounded well last night. Was nice to see the offense get going and was even more exciting to post the shutout.”
Willmar WarHawks (2-1-0-0) next turn their attention to the home opener scheduled for Saturday, October 2. Alexandria Blizzard are in town with a puck drop set for 7:10 PM.