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Hockey: Alexandria Blizzard defeat defending Fraser Cup champs Rochester to finish NA3HL Showcase 3-0

Sean Kenny scored a goal with 25 seconds left in overtime to give the Alexandria Blizzard the 4-3 win over the Rochester Grizzlies on Tuesday.

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The Alexandria Blizzard mob Gavin Carlson after he scored the team's first goal in a 10-1 win over the Willmar WarHawks on Oct. 15, 2022. The Alexandria Blizzard went 3-0 at the NA3HL Showcase from Dec. 18-20, 2022, and are now 17-5-1 this season.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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With the game tied at three in overtime against the Rochester Grizzlies at the NA3HL Showcase on Tuesday, the Alexandria Blizzard hockey team earned a clutch victory as forward Sean Kenny scored a goal off of an assist by forward Ethan Moerke to give it the 4-3 win.

Kenny’s goal came with 25 seconds left in the overtime period and gave the Blizzard the win over the Grizzlies, who are the defending NA3HL Fraser Cup champions.

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Sean Kenny

With the win over the Grizzlies (21-6-2), the Blizzard went 3-0 at the NA3HL Showcase in Blaine. Forward Ryan Hadland scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season in the first frame and Moerke scored once in the second frame as well.

Neither team scored in the third period, which made the game go into overtime, tied at three. Alexandria finished the game with a 45-29 shot on goal advantage. Kyle Abrahamson earned the win in net for the Blizzard as he recorded 26 saves.

The Blizzard began the showcase with a 7-2 win over the Texas Brahmas (17-9-1) on Sunday.

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Defender Matt Scribner, forward Joe Gronholz and forward Matt McIntyre scored once in the first frame to give the Blizzard a 3-0 lead heading into the second frame.

Kenny scored twice in the second frame, while Gronholz and forward Jayden Luck scored in the second frame and the Blizzard led 7-1 after two frames. The Brahmas scored once in the second and third frame but were held to 15 shots on goal for the entire game. Abrahamson had the win net for the Blizzard and he recorded 13 saves.

Alexandria had 51 shots on goal against Texas.

The Blizzard defeated the Norwich Sea Captains (14-9-4) 10-0 on Sunday and eight different players scored for the Blizzard.

McIntyre, Gronholz, forward Antonio Gomez, defender Karsten Senden, defender Wyatt Johnson, forward Ashton Collings each scored one goal, while forwards Justin Wasvick and Bazl Cook scored twice.

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Joe Gronholz (22) of the Alexandria Blizzard sits at the edge of the circle readying for a faceoff during a game against Granite City on Nov. 19, 2022. Gronholz had one goal in Alexandria's 7-2 win over the Texas Brahmas on Dec. 18, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Blizzard’s offense was particularly lethal in the second frame as they scored seven times in that frame and had 36 shots on goal.

The Blizzard had a 69-7 shot on goal advantage over the Sea Captains. Alex Lamont earned the win in net for the Blizzard and had seven saves in the game.

In the NA3HL Showcase, the Blizzard outscored their opponents 21-5 and held a combined 165-51 shot on goal advantage.

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With the three wins at the NA3HL Showcase, the Blizzard are now on a six-game winning streak. The Blizzard also went 3-0 at the NA3HL Showcase in 2021 as well.

Hadland currently leads the Blizzard in total points with 39 (20 goals and 19 assists). Gronholz is second on the team in points with 37 (15 goals and 22 assists).

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Ryan Hadland

Hadland has the ninth-most goals scored this season amongst all players in the NA3HL and his 1.70 points per game average is ninth in the league. Gronholz is averaging 1.85 points per game which is seventh in the league.

Abrahamson has a 9-3-1 record in net so far this season. He’s made 368 saves and has a .908 save percentage and a 2.54 goals against average.

The Blizzard have outscored their opponents 115-57 this season.

The Blizzard’s record now currently sits at 17-5-1. The Blizzard are second in the NA3HL Western Division behind the Granite City Lumberjacks (23-3-1).

The Blizzard wrap up the month of December with a road game against the New Ulm Steel (9-14-4) on Dec. 30 at 7:10 p.m. and a game in Alexandria at the Runestone Community Center on New Year’s Eve against the Minnesota Loons (9-18-1) at 7:10 p.m.

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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