Blizzard lose to North Iowa, beat Minnesota
It was a story of two very different outcomes for the Blizzard last weekend as it lost 8-2 Friday in North Iowa and rebounded to beat Minnesota 8-0 on Saturday.
Alexandria’s Ian Ecklund had a huge weekend, scoring twice against North Iowa Friday and four goals against Minnesota on Saturday. Head coach Jeff Crouse said Ecklund was determined to have a good game on Saturday after the game got away from the Blizzard the night before.
“He was obviously down, a little upset about losing on Friday,” Crouse said. “He doesn’t like losing, and he is one of our leaders of the team, one of the captains. He really picked his game up on Saturday and it was kind of a one man show.”
In Friday’s game in North Iowa, Alexandria could not corral the Bulls’ offense in the second period. North Iowa scored five goals in the period to jump out to a 7-2 lead. Goaltender Evan Bisek was handed the loss for the Blizzard, making 12 saves on 16 shots before being pulled for Kyle Miller. He did not fare much better, making 10 saves on 14 shots.
The Blizzard returned home on Saturday and greeted its fans with an eight-goal outpouring against Minnesota. Head coach Jeff Crouse said he liked the way the Blizzard played on Saturday.
“I thought we responded well on Saturday to come out, and if you beat a team 8-0 you obviously played well,” he said.
Drake Hunter scored twice, and Nate Mettenburg and Aaron Ryback each netted goals to go along with Ecklund’s four scores.
Miller earned a shutout victory for the Blizzard as he stopped all 30 shots on goal.
With 18 games left in the season, the Blizzard is currently in third place in the NA3HL’s West Division with 38 points. Twin City sits in fourth place with 31 points, and the Blizzard trail second place Granite City by 10 points.
The Blizzard hopes it can still win enough games to get into the first or second position in the standings at the end of the season. To do that they will need to win most of their remaining games against North Iowa and Granite City.
“We’ve just got to beat them head-to-head and take care of North Iowa at home here on Friday,” Crouse said.
ALEXANDRIA 1 1 0 – 2
NORTH IOWA 2 5 1 – 8
ALEXANDRIA SCORING – FIRST PERIOD – Ian Ecklund (Mitch Krafcheck, Joe Anderson), 4:06
SECOND PERIOD – Ecklund (PP) (Joe Anderson, Garrett Skinner), 12:55
GOALTENDING – ALEXANDRIA – Evan Bisek – L, 12 saves on 16 shots; Kyle Miller – 10 saves on 14 shots; NORTH IOWA – Chris Amsden – W, 22 saves on 24 shots
MINNESOTA 0 0 0 – 0
ALEXANDRIA 1 4 3 – 8
ALEXANDRIA SCORING – FIRST PERIOD – Drake Hunter (PP) (Mick Dhein, Tom Schmidt), 19:33
SECOND PERIOD – Ian Ecklund (Bo Gronseth, Tom Schmidt), 4:23; Ecklund (Gronseth, Aammir Freese), 4:40; Nate Mettenburg (PP) (Ecklund, Gronseth), 15:47; Ecklund (PP) (Zach Kihle, Kyle Miller), 17:36
THIRD PERIOD – Hunter (Mettenburg), 3:01; Aaron Ryback (Danny Pelzer, Freese), 11:24; Ecklund (Gronseth, Schmidt), 13:23
GOALTENDING – ALEXANDRIA – Miller – W, 30 saves on 30 shots; Jaxson Gosnell – L, 29 saves on 37 shots