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Wadena-Deer Creek's Mitchell Swanson (6) fires a shot at North Branch goalie Donovan Steffen during first-period action Dec. 27 in the Wadena-Deer Creek Holiday Tournament. Looking on is WDC's Bridger Pettit (11). Photo by Brian Hansel

Wolverines bow to Cougars in championship match

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The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines found themselves overwhelmed by one of the state's top-scoring Class A teams Dec. 28 in an 8-1 loss in the Wadena-Deer Creek Holiday Tournament championship match.

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With three of the top scorers in the state on their roster, the Cougars made five of their 12 third-period shots good against WDC goalie Wesley Janson.

Tom McCullough did most of the damage for the Cougars with four goals. Anders Sateren iced two goals.

The Wolverines jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Mike Behl scored off feeds from Otto Asp and Dylan Phillips at the 10:49 mark of the first period.

McCullough knotted the game at 1-all with his first goal at the 13:28 mark.

The Wolverines managed to out-shoot the Cougars 11-9 in the second period, but late goals by Sateren and McCullough put Como Park up 3-1.

Both teams had chances with Como Park, edging WDC 31-30. The Wolverines were 0-for-3 on the power play. The Cougars were scoreless in both their power play opportunities.

The victory gave the Cougars top honors in the two-day tournament. Como Park was a 5-4 winner Dec. 27 over Pine City.

The Wolverines go on the road Jan. 8 for a Mid-State game with Detroit Lakes. The Wolverines head for Park Rapids Jan. 10 for a conference rematch with the Panthers. Park Rapids notched an 8-3 win over the Wolverines Dec. 13 in Wadena.

St. Paul Como Park 8, WDC 1

SPCP 1 2 5 - 8

WDC 1 0 0 - 1

First Period

WDC: Mike Behl (Otto Asp, Dylan Phillips) 10:49

SPCP: Tom McCullough (Mitch McNamee, Sawyer Scanlon) 13:28

Second Period

SPCP: Anders Sateren (Peter Gaertner, Max Inskeep) 12:35

SPCP: McCullough (McNamee) 15:54

Third Period

SPCP: McCullough (unassisted) 8:40

SPCP: Scanlon (Zach Lee, Ernie Mantel) 10:37

SPCP: Billy Mangan (Tom Stinar) 11:15

SPCP: Sateren (Gaertner, Nick Kopic) 12:12

SPCP: McCullough (Evan Berger, Drake Durand) 12:35

Saves

Ernie Mantel (SPCP) 29; Wesley Janson (WDC) 23

WDC 10, North Branch 4

Mitchell Swanson and Jake Krause led a 10-goal effort, as the Wolverines crushed North Branch in the first round of the Wadena-Deer Creek Holiday Tournament.

Swanson scored four goals and added two assists. Krause came up with two goals and four assists.

Christian Berg scored two for the Wolverines and added three assists.

The Wolverines exploded for six goals in the second period to grab a 9-1 lead. The six-goal blitz was a season-best for the Wolverines. The club's previous high was a five-goal first period in their season opener Nov. 30 at Ely.

Also scoring goals for the Wolverines were Mike Behl and Otto Asp. Bridger Pettit chalked up a playmaker while Mike Paavola and Dylan Phillips recorded solo assists.

The Wolverines had a great night on the power play, converting three of four. The Vikings had two power play goals.

WDC's Cory McManigle stopped 18 of 21 shots.

WDC 10, North Branch 4

North Branch 1 0 2 - 4

WDC 3 6 1 - 10

First Period

WDC: Mitchell Swanson (Christian Berg, Jake Krause) 7:00

WDC: Krause (Berg) 14:04

WDC: Mike Behl (Dylan Phillips) 14:32

NB: Brandon Kratzke (unassisted) 15:24

Second Period

WDC: Krause (Mike Paavola, Swanson) 1:37 PP

WDC: Otto Asp (Krause) 8:26

WDC: Berg (Swanson) 9:00

WDC: Swanson (Bridger Pettit) 11:28

WDC: Berg (Krause) 12:40 PP

WDC: Swanson (Pettit, Berg) 13:22 PP

Third Period

WDC: Swanson (Pettit, Krause) :39

NB: Colten Danks (Brandon Waldo) 9:59 PP

NB: Nate Runberg (Tim Courtright, Brandon Webb) 12:38

Saves

Donovan Steffen (NB) 20; Cory McManigle (WDC) 18

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