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Blizzard hockey: Alexandria digs 0-2 playoff hole

Ian Ecklund broke toward the puck in the team's last home game on February 15. Alexandria will be back at the RCC this Friday night as the Blizzard enter a must-win situation in game three. (Lori Mork, Echo Press)

By Lori Mork

In both of their first two playoff games, the Alexandria Blizzard outshot Granite City 28-18 and 30-22, and in both games, penalties against the Blizzard proved costly as they dropped both 4-1 and 4-3 in their best-of-five game series with the Granite City Lumberjacks.

Alexandria faces elimination from playoffs if it can't get a win in game three back at the Runestone Community Center this Friday night. A win would bring game four on Saturday at the RCC, with a fifth and deciding game scheduled for Sunday at Granite City.



Drew Otto was the big culprit for the Lumberjacks, and he netted a hat trick in the 4-1 win Friday night, scoring the final three goals of the game. The final goal came on an empty net play.

Alexandria scored the opening goal in the second period on a power play with Ian Ecklund assisting on a Tanner Duffney score as Nick Turbitt sat for an interference penalty, but Granite City came back to score two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead.

The Blizzard fired 28 shots at Lumberjack goalie Scott Murray, while Dom DeGuisseppi took the loss in goal for Alexandria.

Granite City incurred six minutes in penalty time with three minors, and Alexandria's only goal came during the second of those penalties for the Lumberjacks. The Blizzard incurred 20 minutes in penalty time with five infractions and Granite City took advantage of that a goal from Eric Miller that tied things at one apiece in the second frame.

Blizzard player Danny Pelzer picked up a double minor of 4 minutes for spearing and a game ejection and 10 minute penalty in the second period.



Granite City took advantage of Alexandria penalties through the first two periods with a pair of power play goals.

The Lumberjacks then held off the Blizzard, who came back to within one early in the third. Alexandria couldn't find any more magic, however, falling short 4-3.

Otto scored an unassisted goal early in the first period and Eric Miller picked up the Lumberjacks' first power play goal 8:55 in, giving their team a 2-0 lead. Alexandria cut that lead in half with a goal by Nate Mettenburg at 17:35 as the Blizzard played short-handed when Ricky Seidel was ejected for head contact.

A goal by Mitchell Gwost put Granite City up 4-2 in the third period, but Alexandria pulled to within one on Will Becker's tally 5:45 into the third period.

Scott Murray made 27 saves for Granite City on 30 shots, and DeGuisseppi took the loss, making 18 saves.


ALEXANDRIA 0 1 0 -- 1

GRANITE CITY 0 2 2 -- 4


No scoring.


ALEX - Tanner Duffney, pp (Ian Ecklund) 7:46, GC - Eric Miller, pp (Mitchell Gwost, Aidan Verbeke) 17:15, GC - Drew Otto (Aidan Verbeke, Eric Miller) 18:02.


GC - Drew Otto (Eric Miller) 5:39, GC - Drew Otto, en (Mitchell Gwost, Aaron Azevedo) 19:37.

SHOTS ON GOAL - Alexandria 6-10-12--28, Granite City 3-10-5--18.

GOALIE SAVES - Dom DeGuisseppi, Alexandria, 14; Scott Murray, Granite City, 27.

PENALTIES - Alexandria 20 minutes on 5 infractions, Granite City 6 minutes on 3 infractions.

ALEXANDRIA 1 1 1 -- 3

GRANITE CITY 2 1 1 -- 4


GC - Drew Otto (unassisted) 3:54, GC - Eric Miller, pp (Drew Otto, Aidan Verbeke) 8:55, ALEX - Natae Mettenburg, sh (Spencer Peratalo, Karson Kuntz) 17:35.


ALEX - Mick Dhein (Nate Mettenburg, Hunter Bowlin) 9:39, GC - Drew Otto, pp (Matt Petersen, Aidan Verbeke) 15:05.


GC - Mitchell Gwost (Drew Otto) 3:41, ALEX - Will Becker (Ian Ecklund, Spencer Peratalo) 5:45.

SHOTS ON GOAL - Alexandria 9-12-9--30, Granite City 10-4-8--22.

GOALIE SAVES - Dom DeGuisseppe, Alexandria, 18; Scott Murray, Granite City, 27.

PENALTIES - Alexandria 28 minutes on 6 infractions, Granite City 17 minutes on 7 infractions.