Blizzard hockey: Alex delivers shutout in home opener
The Alexandria Blizzard served the New Ulm Steel a 6-0 shutout in the Blizzard home opener on Saturday night.
Five different Blizzard players scored goals in the first period. Luke Benson was first on the scoreboard, assisted by Jack Westlund less than two minutes into the game and Tanner Frerichs finished the first period strong with a goal assisted by Marshall Tschida and Matt Dahlseide in the last 30 seconds.
“We played under control but we also played with a lot of energy and excitement and I think it showed in the first period,” Blizzard coach Jeff Crouse said. “Our depth played into it tonight. This is a huge win.”
The athletes were eager and excited to finally play in front of a home crowd, Crouse said.
“Home opener. It’s all nervous and excitement,” Logan Nelson said. “The crowd had a big part in it. I did not expect to shut them out. Brady Meyers played unreal tonight.”
Meyers was a wall all night. New Ulm Steel took 21 shots on goal and Meyers stopped them all.
“It was the team in front of me,” Meyers said. “Putting up five goals in the first period, it’s easy to win a game when you do that.”
Nelson had the second goal of the night with assists from Dahlseide and Tristen Poliseno just less than six minutes in. Dahlseide hit the net himself just four minutes later with assists from Nelson and Alec Skar. Connor Beltz had the fourth Blizzard goal with just five minutes left in the first period with an assist from Brett Meister.
“I thought we played a lot better as a team,” Nelson said. “We started hitting more that’s for sure. Moving the puck, just making the simple plays. Playing it easy, not trying to make the hard play.”
Nelson had the final goal of the game five minutes into the second period. Dahlseide and Skar had the assists.
“I expect this effort out of us every game,” Meyers said. “We have the potential to be very good, It’s just coming to the rink with the right mentality.”
It wasn’t a flawless game. The Blizzard did let up in the second and third period, Crouse said.
“Some penalties kind of broke the game up there a bit too,” Crouse said. “I was hounding the guys there in the third period. Getting on them a little bit to make sure we finished strong, to make sure we played all 60 minutes.”
New Ulm Steel (2-1-2-1) had eight penalties on the night and the Blizzard (3-5) had seven.
The Blizzard was coming off a 5-2 loss to the Breezy Point North Stars on Friday night. That dropped this team to 2-5 on the season, but Alexandria didn’t let that affect its home opener.
“We battled and played hard against Breezy Point,” Crouse said. “We put 40 some shots on goal (Friday) night and ended up losing. You don’t know what to expect. I knew the guys had a lot of energy today. They’ve done a real good job of learning from their mistakes.”
The Blizzard remains at home for its next two games, hosting the Breezy Point North Stars Saturday, Oct. 21 and Friday, Oct. 27. Both games are set for 7:10 p.m.
“We just need to keep working hard and hopefully the best is yet to come,” Crouse said.
Blizzard - Luke Benson scores assisted by Jack Westlund
Blizzard - Logan Nelson scores assisted by Matt Dahlseide and Tristen Poliseno
Blizzard - Matt Dahlseide scores assisted by Logan Nelson and Alec Skar
Blizzard - Connor Beltz scores assisted by Brett Meister
Blizzard - Tanner Frerichs scores assisted by Marshall Tschida and Matt Dahlseide.
Blizzard - Logan Nelson scores assisted by Matt Dahlseide and Alec Skar
Blizzard - Brady Meyers - 21/21
New Ulm - Ryan Beilenberg - 31/37