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Blizzard hockey: Alexandria opens season with a weekend split

The Alexandria Blizzard kicked off the 2017-18 NA3HL season this past weekend as the local team went 1-1 on the road.

The Blizzard beat Breezy Point 5-3 in the season opener last Friday before losing 3-1 to Granite City on Saturday.

The perennially-tough Lumberjacks got the early edge in the season series by striking early with two goals from Owen Sikich and Logan Neu in the first period on Saturday. That made it 2-0 before the Blizzard's Brett Meister scored off a Jack Mellstrom assist at 8:03 in the third period.

The game stood at 2-1 Granite City until the final minute. That's when the Lumberjacks took advantage of Alexandria's extra attacker with an empty-net goal from Braden Altena to secure the win.

Alexandria goaltender Brady Meyers gave his team a chance in net. He stopped 43 of the 45 shots he faced, while Granite City's David Mulligan got the win by turning aside 19 shots.

Friday's contest saw Breezy Point jump out 2-0 early, but the Blizzard had an answer in the opener. Logan Nelson got Alexandria on the board with a power-play goal at 11:05 in the first to make it 2-1 at the first intermission.

The Blizzard built off of that. Meister scored almost three minutes into the second period to tie it, and Josiah Roen gave his team its first lead with a shorthanded goal at 7:42.

Breezy Point tied it 10:32 into the third on an Alex Flicek goal, but the Blizzard got a Brenden Payne goal at 13:26 and an empty-netter from Alec Skar with a second left to secure the win.

Alexandria (1-1) is back on the road this weekend with another game against Granite City on Saturday. The Blizzard's first home game isn't until Oct. 14 when New Ulm comes to the Runestone Community Center at 7:10 p.m.

ALEXANDRIA 0 0 1 - 1

GRANITE CITY 2 0 1 - 3

SHOTS - Alexandria - 6, 6, 8 - 20; Granite City - 13, 15, 18 - 46

SCORING - FIRST PERIOD - Granite City - 4:11 - Owen Sikich (Braden Altena, Jordan Olson); Granite City - 13:00 - Logan Neu (Brandon Baker)

SECOND PERIOD - No scoring

THIRD PERIOD - 8:03 - Alexandria - Brett Meister (Jack Mellstrom); Granite City - 19:27 - Altena (empty netter) (David Mulligan)

GOALTENDING - Alexandria - Brady Meyers - L, 43 saves, 2 goals allowed; Mulligan - W, 19 saves, 1 goal allowed

ALEXANDRIA 1 2 2 - 5

BREEZY POINT 2 0 1 - 3

SHOTS - Alexandria - 11, 9, 11 - 31; Breezy Point - 15, 18, 12 - 45

SCORING - First Period - Breezy Point - 7:55 - Jared Fladebo (Austin Langworthy, AJ Hoyt); Breezy Point - 8:47 - Dylan Borseth (Tate Steffan, Josh Maucieri); Alexandria - 11:05 - Logan Nelson (PPG) (Alec Skar, Brett Meister)

SECOND PERIOD - Alexandria - 3:11 - Meister (Brenden Payne); Alexandria - 7:42 - Roen (Nelson, Jack Mellstrom)

THIRD PERIOD - Breezy Point - 10:32 - Alex Flicek (Jakob Parisien, Josh Maucieri); Alexandria - 13:26 - Payne (Skar); Alexandria - 19:59 - Skar (empty netter) (Tanner Frerichs)

GOALTENDING - Alexandria - Brady Meyers - W, 42 saves, 3 goals allowed; Breezy Point - Bronson Moore - L, 26 saves, 4 goals allowed

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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