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Blizzard tie game late in third but fall 7-5 to North Iowa

Blizzard forward Ian Ecklund takes a shot on goal in the first period Friday against North Iowa. Ecklund scored a goal in the first period as North Iowa defeated Alexandria 7-5. (Blaze Fugina/Echo Press)

Joe Anderson scored two goals to pull the Alexandria Blizzard to a 5-5 tie in the third period Friday, but North Iowa scored a power play goal with three minutes remaining and buried an empty netter to pull out a 7-5 win.

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North Iowa came into the game undefeated in 13 games, but the Blizzard made things interesting when they erased a 3-5 deficit in the third period.

Ian Ecklund got the scoring started in the first period for the Blizzard, and Nate Mettenburg also scored a goal. But Alexandria still trailed 4-2 after the first period. Jake Maxson scored in the second period, but two North Iowa goals gave them a 5-3 lead.

Ecklund said the players felt the game could have gone either way after tying the score late in the third.

“We know they score goals, but we knew we could match their intensity and we did most of the game,” he said. “We just let up a couple when we shouldn’t have.”

Head coach Jeff Crouse said he was happy with the way the Blizzard battled against an undefeated North Iowa team.

“That’s why they’re good, their power play came out and buried one in the third period for them to get the win,” he said. “It was a good hockey game and it came right down to the wire. I thought my guys battled hard.”

North Iowa and the Blizzard play again at 7:10 p.m. Saturday at the Runestone Community Center.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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