Blizzard hockey: Dominant in every wayThe Blizzard has reason to feel good about itself after a 10-0 win
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
One would be hard pressed to find a more complete game that the Alexandria Blizzard has played in recent memory than the 10-0 win over Coulee Region last Saturday night.
Alexandria was coming off another great performance from goaltender Jacob Meyers in a 2-0 win from the night before. It was a game that could have come a little easier had the Blizzard capitalized on a few more of its 41 shots.
Alexandria made up for that on Saturday night. The Blizzard blew the game open with six goals in the second period. Alexandria put 49 shots on net on its way to securing head coach Doc DelCastillo’s 100th win with the organization in just his third season.
“You kind of cover the whole aspect of the game,” DelCastillo said. “As far as goaltending, defense, special teams, scoring goals – it was a pretty complete, thorough game that night. There’s nights where we play really well but don’t capitalize. We definitely put things together on Saturday.”
It was the most goals in a single game this season for Alexandria, and it epitomized what this team is all about. Justin Moody and Reid Sturos each had a goal and three assists to lead the team with four points, but eight different players scored for the Blizzard.
Seth Ronsberg and Nick D’Avolio had two goals each and 14 players had at least one point. DelCastillo has talked about the depth of this team all season. It was on full display against the Chill.
“Usually, you go through a game like that, when you score 10 goals you’d think somebody would have five, six points,” DelCastillo said. “But to have eight different goal scorers, it just goes back to the depth of our team. We can kind of come in waves, and we do feel very comfortable with that going into a game. I don’t know what line is going to score goals for us and that’s good.”
MEYERS DOMINATES AGAIN
The explosion of goals stood out from the weekend, but the play of Meyers in goal has stood out league wide.
The Minnetonka native was named the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) first star of the week again after another dominant weekend. Meyers stopped 30 shots both nights to earn his fifth and sixth shutout of the season. They needed all of those in the win on Friday as Alexandria was clinging to a 1-0 lead before Thomas Williams added an insurance goal with about three minutes left in the game.
“They had some point blank opportunities that he got big saves on,” DelCastillo said. “He’s just been good all year. It’s almost like we’ve come to expect it. That’s not what we should expect going into a game, but he’s at that level. We’re fortunate to have him as a goalie.”
Meyers has continued to legitimize his worth of being a Division I goalie since signing with Quinnipiac University earlier this season. He ranks in the top four in the NAHL in wins (26), goals against average (2.02), save percentage (.931) and shutouts. DelCastillo said those numbers speak for themselves when asked if Meyers is the best goaltender he has had in his three years in Alexandria.
“Yeah, I think so,” he said. “I would think in all the important categories – wins would be first. He has quite a few, save percentage very high, goals against very low. He’s a good goalie. He developed himself into somebody I think at the next level can contribute in college.”
Right where they want to be?
It would seem Alexandria is right where it wants to be entering the final month of the season. The Blizzard moved to 32-14-3 (67 points) with the sweep this past weekend and 14-4-1 since January 1.
That is the blueprint DelCastillo wants his teams to follow every season. He preaches the importance of playing the best possible hockey at the end of March. After this team’s most dominant win of the season, it would seem the Blizzard is well on its way to doing that.
“I also realize that there is still a lot of hockey left,” DelCastillo cautioned. “There are still four or five weeks in the regular season. It’s nice to win a game 10-0, but especially on the road, things can run the other direction pretty quick also. We need to keep working. I like where our team is at, but we could go out Friday night and things could be totally different too.”
Friday night is the first of four straight road games over the next two weekends for this team. Alexandria will travel to Minot tonight to face a Minotauros team the Blizzard has yet to lose to this season. Alexandria will then travel to Bismarck tomorrow to wrap up the weekend against the division-leading Bobcats.
The four straight on the road should be a good test for this team as it tries to hold on to the No. 2 seed in the Central Division. DelCastillo wouldn’t want it any other way.
“It’s that time of the season,” he said. “I really enjoy challenges at this time of the year. I think our team enjoys the challenges. I wouldn’t want an easy weekend right now.”
COULEE REGION 0 0 0 – 0
ALEXANDRIA 1 6 3 – 10
SHOTS – Coulee Region – 10, 12, 8 – 30; Alexandria – 18, 18, 13 – 49; Power plays - Coulee Region – 0-3; Alexandria – 0-2
SCORING – FIRST PERIOD – Alexandria – Thomas Williams (Craig Lindegard, Tucker Coborn), 5:58
SECOND PERIOD - Alexandria – Nick D’Avolio (Hayden Trupp, Reid Sturos), 2:04; Alexandria – Seth Ronsberg (Aidan Cavallini, Justin Moody), 6:20; Alexandria – Gage Torrel (Matt Youso, Justin Moody), 10:52; Alexandria – Justin Moody (shorthanded) (Craig Lindegard, Vadim Gyesbreghs) 14:11; Alexandria – Seth Ronsberg (Justin Moody, Aidan Cavallini), 17:04; Alexandria – Reid Sturos (Nick D’Avolio, Hayden Trupp), 19:57
THIRD PERIOD – Alexandria – Hayden Trupp (D’Avolio, Sturos), 9:58; Alexandria – D’Avolio (Dylan Zink, Sturos), 13:22; Alexandria – Lindegard (Williams, Derek Sand), 14:57
GOALTENDING – Coulee Region – David Heflin – L, 40:00, 29 saves, 36 shots; Aaron Davis – 20:00, 10 saves, 13 shots; Alexandria – Jacob Meyers – W, 30 saves, 30 shots
COULEE REGION 0 0 0 – 0
ALEXANDRIA 0 1 1 – 2
SHOTS – Coulee Region – 5, 11, 14 – 30; Alexandria – 13, 18, 10 – 41; Power plays - Coulee Region – 0-7; Alexandria – 1-6
SCORING – FIRST PERIOD – No scoring
SECOND PERIOD - Alexandria – Seth Ronsberg (PP) (Charlie Aus, Justin Moody), 13:10
THIRD PERIOD – Alexandria – Thomas Williams (Seth Ronsberg, Tucker Coborn), 16:54
GOALTENDING – Coulee Region – Aaron Davis – L, 39 saves, 41 shots; Alexandria – Jacob Meyers – W, 30 saves, 30 shots