WarHawks Split with Granite City

Feb 13, 2023

The Willmar WarHawks earned a split this past weekend in their home and home series with the top team in the division, the Granite City LumberJacks in two really well played games by both sides.  Friday night, in Sauk Rapids, the WarHawks lost a tough one 7-2.  The game was much closer than that.  The WarHawks scored first as Mike Sweetland got his 14th of the season at the 2:07 mark of the first for the early lead.  For Sweetland, he scored his 40th career goal as a WarHawk and ties him for the franchise record for career goals with Brandon Holt.  Granite City answered back early in the 2nd to tie the game at 1.  Then, just 11:25 into the 2nd , Granite City took the lead.  The WarHawks answered back just 35 seconds later as Nik Johnson scored off a great pass from Jordan Fields to tie it at 2 through 2 periods.  It was all Granite City after that.  The Lumberjacks scored a pair of goals inside the first 7 minutes of the 3rd for a 4-2 lead.  Late in the game, the WarHawks pulled their goalie twice and gave up an empty net goal twice.  A late goal wrapped up the scoring.  Mike D’Orazio was solid in the game making 45 saves.


Saturday night was a different story.  Tyler Misialek decided to have himself a game.  Misialek started the scoring just before the half way point of the first period for his 12th of the season.  Nik Johnson then scored about a minute later to make it 2-0.  The WarHawks then got a bit of a break and took advantage.  The WarHawks were on the penalty kill, cleared the zone and the puck hit the linesman and Tyler Misialek was able to skate onto it and score on the breakaway for his 2nd of the night and it was 3-0 WarHawks after the 1st period.  The 2nd period saw more physical play from both teams.  The Lumberjacks and WarHawks each had a few minor penalties called and to work through changing some lines up on the fly.  The WarHawks were able to put a couple of goals on the board as Hudson Zinda netted his 2nd of the season and Tyler Misialek completed the hat trick at 14:35 of the2nd for his 14th of the season to tie him for the team lead in goals.  That made it a 5-0 WarHawks lead through 2 periods.  In the 3rd Granite City really pressed to find some scoring and did getting 1 goal a little over 5 minutes into the 3rd, but nothing else until 41 seconds to play.  Zach Ortalano made 32 saves for the win.


Next game is Thursday as we battle the Mason City Toros – Tickets