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Cardinals start quick in 8-3 victory over Worthington

WORTHINGTON -- Despite looking up and seeing a three-goal deficit early in Thursday's boys hockey game, Worthington didn't seem to have any panic. The Trojans answered with a pair of first-period goals, but Redwood Valley held on for an 8-3 victory.

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Trojans Carter Pronto (1) can not move fast enough to prevent Redwood Valley forward TJ Crews' (15) shot from scoring. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

WORTHINGTON - Despite looking up and seeing a three-goal deficit early in Thursday’s boys hockey game, Worthington didn’t seem to have any panic.

The Trojans answered with a pair of first-period goals, but Redwood Valley held on for an 8-3 victory.

“We realized that we hadn’t tested the goalie yet, so we didn’t know what we were up against,” WHS head coach Paul Olsen said. “We thought maybe we’d get some shots on net and see what happens. When you get two goals on five shots, that’s something that helps to pick you up.”

The Cardinals’ speed and puck handling was an issue for the Trojan defense all night as RV put 43 shots on goal.

“We kept doing sweep checks instead of putting a body on them. That just let them skate around the zone and pretty much control the puck whenever they wanted,” Olsen said. “We just sat there and watched them. We’d go up and give them a little stick check. We didn’t play a physical game tonight and that was the difference.”

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RV blitzed the Trojans at the onset, scoring three times in less than six minutes to start the game.

“That’s the way our year has been,” Olsen said. “We get down early and dig ourselves a hole and it’s hard to come back from. It’s something we have to deal with. We better figure it out soon because with the playoffs coming up, we can’t afford games like this.”

Axel Persson scored the game’s first goal with Folke Bjorkman and Luke Ryan assisting. TJ Crews scored the next two goals for the Cardinals.

However, WHS answered in a big way. Lance Hibma scored a power-play goal to jump start the Trojans. Just 39 seconds later, Tommy Bauman scored with Hibma assisting as Worthington was within a goal.

Persson scored a goal 20 seconds later and Bjorkman added a late goal as the Cardinals led 5-2 after the first period.

Persson completed his hat trick with a second-period goal, giving RV a 6-2 lead.

A D’on Sullivan goal pushed the Cardinals led to 7-2 before the Trojans got on the board again.

Colby Nickel had a breakaway and was true on his shot, cutting the deficit to 7-3.

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Cordell Plass added a goal midway through the third for the Cardinals.

WHS managed just 13 shots on goal in the game.

“It’s just getting the puck into the zone is what we struggled with tonight,” Olsen said. “Their defense played tough.”

Redwood Valley 5 1 2 - 8

Worthington 2 0 1 - 3

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