Morris Benson Area was outshot nearly 2-1, but the Storm outlasted Willmar to edge their Section 6A rival 4-3 on Thursday to open the boys' hockey season.
The teams were scheduled to play Tuesday, but a winter storm postponed the meeting two days.
Tyler Hansen netted two goals and Kelly Engquist scored one in the first period as the Storm never trailed. MBA eventually stretched its lead to 3-1 midway through the third period before a flurry of action capped the non-conference matchup.
Gabe Amon closed the gap to 3-2 for Willmar by scoring with 3:16 remaining. Luke Schwarz answered just over a minute later to regain the Storm's two-goal advantage. Amon scored again just 19 seconds later to get Willmar within one again, but MBA goaltender Andrew Fath held on down the stretch to secure the win for the Storm.
Fath collected 42 saves as Willmar outshot the home team 45-23. Willmar goalie Derek Baker recorded 19 saves but the Willmar defense in front of him committed several costly turnovers.
MBA last beat the Cardinals in the 2006 opener 8-5; Willmar had won the last three meetings with the Storm to open the season by a combined 25-5 score.