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Blizzard hockey: Nelson's nine points lead Alex to a 2-0-1 weekend

The Alexandria Blizzard wrapped up a three-game weekend with a 2-0-1 record after falling 4-3 to Granite City on Sunday and beating Willmar 6-4 on Saturday.

The two West-Division rivals went to overtime on Sunday before Granite City's Braden Altena scored the game-winner 2 minutes, 37 seconds into the extra session. That negated a third-period goal from the Blizzard's Logan Nelson at 13:54 that tied the game.

It was a back-and-forth contest all afternoon. Granite City struck first with an Owen Sikich goal at 9:29 of the first before Nelson got his first two goals in an eventual hat trick at 13:27 and 16:42 of the first to take a 2-1 lead after one. Dylan Giorgio assisted on both of those goals, while Brenden Payne had a secondary assist on Nelson's first goal. It was part of a nine-point weekend for Nelson.

Granite City owned the second period. The Lumberjacks outshot the Blizzard 14-7 in that frame and got goals from Chase DiBari and Sikich to take a 3-2 lead.

Brady Meyers took the overtime loss in net despite 36 saves.

The Blizzard's win over Willmar on Saturday came after Alexandria broke out with four goals in the second period. Nelson had two goals and an assist, while Brett Meister, Payne, Michael Behl and Ryan Worley all scored, as well.

Kyle Haden got the win in net for Alexandria with 30 saves and four goals allowed.

The Blizzard's biggest statement of the weekend came in the first of the three games when West-Division leading New Ulm came to town and left with a 4-1 loss. Meyers stood tall in net with 30 saves and the one goal allowed to get the win.

Nelson had three more points to jumpstart his big weekend on a goal and two assists. Payne, Josiah Roen and Alec Skar all scored, as well.

Alexandria has now wrapped up a playoff spot in the West Division as it plays for seeding the rest of the way. The Blizzard is 25-13-1-1 with 52 points. Granite City (26-14) also has 52 points, while New Ulm (26-9-3-2) is first in the division with 57 points.

Alexandria will be on the road for two games this coming weekend. The Blizzard goes to New Ulm on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. before heading to Willmar on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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.

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