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Blizzard Hockey: Alex teamwork scores another win

Jack Mellstrom (5) and Riley Scanlon celebrate after Scanlon got the final goal of the game with 50 seconds left on the clock. The Blizzard beat the Breezy Point North Stars 5-2 on Saturday night. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)1 / 6
Josiah Roen takes a shot on goal. Roen had an assist for the Blizzard when they faced Breezy Point on Saturday, Oct. 21. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)2 / 6
Josiah Roen goes down after a hard hit in the Blizzard's game against Breezy Point. Roen later returned to the ice for further play. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)3 / 6
Refs breakup a fight on the ice. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press) 4 / 6
Riley Scanlon recovers after a hit from Jakob Parisien. Scanlon had two goals in the game against Breezy Point. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press) 5 / 6
Brett Meister takes the puck down the ice. Meister had two goals when the Blizzard played Breezy Point. (Emily Myrin / Echo Press)6 / 6

Nine games into the season, the Blizzard Hockey is hitting its stride after a slow start. Last week, Alexandria shut out the New Ulm Steel, 6-0. On Saturday night, the Blizzard scored a 5-2 victory over the Breezy Point North Stars in Alexandria.

“The guys are getting a little more used to playing together,” Blizzard coach Jeff Crouse said. “The effort is there. The intensity is there. The focus is there.”

The Blizzard took a total of 42 shots on goal compared to the North Stars’ 29 shots on goal.

Rookie goaltender Jake Levinski made 27 saves on the night. Breezy Points’ Lucas Ehrlich saved 37.  

“I’m a big believer, if we get 40 to 50 shots a game, I think we’re going to win,” Crouse said. “I think three games in a row now we’ve been over 40 shots on goal. That’s just hard work. The guys get pucks deep and they’re listening.”

Breezy Point was first to get on the scoreboard, scoring just a minute and thirty seconds into the game. But the Blizzard didn’t let the lead last long. Brett Meister hit the back of the net just two minutes later with assists from Derek Dropik and Josiah Roen. Riley Scanlon scored a little more than two minutes after Meister with assists from Alec Skar and Luke Benson.

“When we went around their defense and kept chipping pucks in their zone they got really tired,” Meister said. “They have a short back so we just tried to wear them down.”

The Blizzard shut Breezy Point out in the second period. Michael Behl push the Blizzard lead to 3-1 with a goal 15 minutes into the second period with assists from Scanlon and Jack Mellstrom.

“We played really good as a team,” Scanlon said. “We moved the puck around really well and that’s honestly what helped us. We weren’t being selfish. We were working well as a team to get the pucks deep and just grinding, honestly.”

That team effort is what is winning games for the Blizzard, said Crouse.

“They’ve accepted the new guys,” Crouse said. “Sometimes it takes some time. When you get all 24 guys here on the same page you’re going to have good outcomes when that happens.”

Breezy Points’ Jared Fladebo scored just shy of six minutes into the third period, making the score a close 3-2. But Meister struck again with assists from Skar and Matt Dahlseide. Scanlon scored the last goal of the game with just 50 seconds left in the period with assists from Peter Johnson and Jack Mellstrom.

“Everybody was really positive on the bench,” Meister said. “Everybody was playing their role. Everybody was supporting. Everybody was talking. We’ve got a lot of veterans coming back, we’ve got a few three year guys. Everybody just kind of feeds off their energy. The leaders and captains do really well with that. Everybody gets along, so that really helps.”

This win pushed the Blizzards overall season record to 4-5.

The Blizzard hosts the Breezy Point North Stars again on Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m.