ST. CLOUD — The Little Falls Flyers love having the No. 1 seed when going into the Section 6-1A championship game.
The top-seeded Flyers dispatched the No. 3 seeded Fergus Falls Otters 6-1 Thursday to advance to the Class 1A state tournament for the sixth time in program history.
Little Falls is 6-4 in section championship games, but are 6-0 when they are the No.1 seed.
The Flyers wasted little time getting started as Ben Newman scored unassisted 16 seconds into the contest and Mark Anez tallied the eventual game winner four minutes later.
Joey Hanowski and Austin Bjorge added second period scores, while Spencer Fenske and Newman wrapped up the scoring in the third.
Hanowski was also credited with three assists.
Little Falls dominated this year’s tournament outscoring its three section opponents 23-4.
Junior Mike Stumpf was once again near perfect in goal turning aside 23 shots as the Flyers outshot the Otters 29-24. Stumpf entered the game with a 91.1 save percentage allowing an average of 2.1 goals per game.
The 19-9 Flyers swept the season series with Fergus Falls by beating them 4-2 on Dec. 8 and 7-1 on Jan. 27.
Fergus Falls 0 1 0 — 1
Little Falls 2 2 2 — 6
First period: LF-Ben Newman :16, LF-Mark Anez (Michael Holthaus, Austin Bjorge) 4:33
Second period: LF-Joey Hanowski (Newman) 7:01, FF-Jake Ahlgren (Adam Evenson) 9:53, LF-Bjorge (Holthaus, Hanowski) pp 16:05
Third period: LF-Spencer Fenske (Hanowski, Mitch Gregory) pp 10:57, LF-Newman (Hanowski) pp 15:54
Shots on goal: LF 29, FF 24
Goalies: LF-Michael Stumpf (23 saves); FF-Ian Bjorgum (23 saves)
Overall: LF 19-9-0, FF 14-12-1. Next: Little Falls in Class 1A state tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Wednesday, March 7.