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Blizzard hockey: Alexandria upended twice by Austin

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The Alexandria Blizzard suffered a setback last weekend with a trip to Austin.

The Bruins know they have to have almost everything go right to get back into the playoff picture. Last Friday and Saturday night, they took a step in the right direction with a 3-2 and 7-1 win over the team right in front of them in the Central Division.

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"As a coach, I should really give credit to Austin," Alexandria head coach Doc DelCastillo said. "They outplayed us. From the end of the first period on Friday to the end of the game on Saturday, they outplayed us...it's a long season. You play 60 games and you're going to see the good and the bad with every hockey team. Saturday night was a bad night for us and a good night for them."

The Bruins never gave the Blizzard any hope in the second game of the weekend. Mike Adamowicz scored twice and Trevor Waldoch made it a 3-0 game before the end of the first period. Austin went on to make it 6-0 before Alexandria got its only goal of the night from Jordan Nelson 11 minutes into the third period.

"On the road, you cannot fall behind 3-0 right away," DelCastillo said. "The crowd gets into it. It gives the home team a lot of confidence. That's not the start we wanted."

The Blizzard got the start it wanted but could not sustain it in the series opener on Friday. Alexandria jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first four minutes on goals from Reid Sturos and Nelson.

Austin never let things spiral out of control from there. Bruins' goaltender Keegan Asmundson withstood a first period that saw Alexandria send 15 shots at him.

That allowed the Bruins to stay within striking distance before capitalizing in the second. Jordan Greenberg cut the Blizzard lead to one less than two minutes into the middle frame. Alex Tesensky then tied things up with less than four minutes to go before intermission.

"Sometimes when you take those early leads, you have a tendency to maybe lay back," DelCastillo said. "And I thought we did that a little bit."

It ended up costing Alexandria in the end. Trevor Waldoch converted on a power play just 35 seconds into the third period. Both teams had opportunities around the net as the two combined for 29 shots in the final frame. Neither one could light the lamp, though, as Waldoch's goal proved to be the game winner.

"It was a good hockey game," DelCastillo said. "It was back and forth and when it was 2-0, their goalie made some really nice saves. When they found a way to get two in the second, it became one of those games in the third where you had a feeling that the next team that scored was probably going to win."

DelCastillo admitted that there are going to be weekends like this during the course of a 60-game season. He was not exactly hitting the panic button after Alexandria's losing streak hit three games on Saturday.

That doesn't mean he was willing to just chalk it up to a bad weekend, though. DelCastillo said there are things that stood out, especially in Saturday's 7-1 loss, that the Blizzard has to change if it wants to keep improving down the stretch. That starts on defense.

"We can't give up seven goals," he said. "Moving our feet would be a great start. I think there were certain times where we just stopped moving our feet and let them dictate the game to us. We can't function that way, but those are all things that can be fixed."

Alexandria will get a chance to make those changes against the Bruins this weekend. The Blizzard will get them at the Runestone Community Center starting tonight, Friday, before wrapping up the two-game series on Saturday. Both games start at 7:30 p.m. For Alexandria, a chance at revenge against the Bruins is exactly what this team is looking for.

"That's the way I feel," DelCastillo said. "I would think the guys feel the same way. I'm excited to get them back and get them on our home ice, but they're playing good hockey right now. We have to be ready to play because it's not going to be easy."

GAME SUMMARY

ALEXANDRIA 0 0 1 - 1

AUSTIN 3 2 2 - 7

SHOTS - Alexandria - 4, 8, 15 - 27; Austin - 14, 9, 15 - 38; POWER PLAYS - Alexandria - 0-4; Austin - 1-4

SCORING SUMMARY - FIRST PERIOD - Austin - Mike Adamowicz (PPG) (Christian Folin, Trevor Waldoch), 8:35; Austin - Adamowicz (John Kirby, Chase McDonald), 12:14; Austin - Trevor Waldoch (Cody Hotchkin, Sam Olson), 18:16

SECOND PERIOD - Austin - Chase McDonald (John Kirby), 11:08; Austin - Alex Tesensky (Jordan Greenberg, Jonathan Gehrt), 19:53

THIRD PERIOD - Austin - Chase McDonald (Chris Fischer, John Kirby), 8:09; Alexandria - Jordan Nelson (Mike Krieg, Nardo Nagtzaam), 11:02; Austin - Sam Olson (Mike Adomowicz, Jeremy Finger), 19:12

GOALTENDING - Alexandria - Jacob Meyers - L, 31 saves, 38 shots faced; Austin - Keegan Asmundson - 26 saves, 27 shots faced

PENALTIES - Alexandria - 20 minutes on seven infractions; Austin - 20 minutes on seven infractions

ALEXANDRIA 2 0 0 - 2

AUSTIN 0 2 1 - 3

SHOTS - Alexandria - 15, 9, 14; Austin - 5, 13, 15; POWER PLAYS - Alexandria - 1-6; Austin - 1-3

SCORING SUMMARY - FIRST PERIOD - Alexandria - Reid Sturos (unassisted), 2:33; Alexandria - Jordan Nelson (PPG) (Rock Einersen, Mike Krieg), 3:33

SECOND PERIOD - Austin - Jordan Greenberg (Charlie Adams, Alex Tesensky), 1:59; Austin - Alex Tesensky (Jordan Greenberg, Michael Matthes), 16:24

THIRD PERIOD - Austin - Trevor Waldoch (PPG) (Charlie Adams, Jordan Greenberg), 0:35

GOALTENDING - Alexandria - Jake Williams - L, 30 saves, 33 shots faced; Austin - Keegan Asmundson - 36 saves, 38 shots faced

PENALTIES - Alexandria - 12 minutes on six infractions; Austin - 18 minutes on nine infractions

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Eric Morken
Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
(320) 763-1229
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