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Hockey: Alexandria Blizzard fall at New Ulm, beat Minnesota Loons

Blizzard sit at 8-4-1 following a loss to the New Ulm Steel and a win over the Minnesota Loons.

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Ryan Hadland weaves his way through Willmar defenders during a game on Oct. 15, 2022. Hadland had an assist in Alexandria's win and is tied with teammate Cole Klingbeil for the most on the team with five. Hadland leads the Blizzard in points scored this season (also of Nov. 13, 2022) with 19.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press
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The Alexandria Blizzard split a pair of road games over the weekend as it lost to the New Ulm Steel on Friday but bounced back to earn a win over the Minnesota Loons on Saturday.

New Ulm won 6-4 on Friday and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period of the game with goals by Cooper Kantola, Hunter Nelson and Zach Dalzell.

Ryan Hadland scored his first goal of the game, to cut the Blizzard’s deficit to two goals early in the second period, but with goals by Dalzell, Charlie Kielty and Griffin Lennes, New Ulm led 6-1 after the second frame.

Alexandria did find the back of the net often in the third frame as Hadland scored again, Josiah Gronholz scored and so did Cole Klingbeil.

The Blizzard lost Friday’s game to the Steel (5-10-3) despite having a 50-22 edge in shots on goal.

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Gronholz had an assist in the game along with, Hudson Blue (2), Karsten Senden, Jackson Ekblad, Charlie Larsen (2) and Ethan Moerke.

In Saturday’s game, it was Larsen, a Minot, North Dakota native, who scored the first two goals of the game, and that put the Blizzard up 2-0 after the first frame.

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Charlie Larsen

Those two goals would prove to be the difference maker as the Blizzard and Loons each had a power play goal in the second and third frames, which led to a 4-2 win for the Blizzard.

Gronholz, an Alexandria native, scored the power play goal for the Blizzard early in the second frame while Senden scored a power play goal midway through the third period.

Gronzholz, Hadland, Larsen, Ekblad, Klingbeil and Justin Wasvick had assists for the Blizzard in the win.

Alexandria put shots on the goal frequently throughout the night, especially in the first two frames as it had a 36-14 edge in shots on goal through the first two frames. Alexandria finished with a 44-26 edge in shots on goal.

Hunter Chubb, a Glenolden, Pennsylvania, native played in his first game for the Blizzard and earned the win in net with 24 saves.

The Blizzard (8-4-1) are back at home on Saturday, Nov. 19 for a contest with the Granite City Lumberjacks (17-0-1) at 7:10 p.m. at the Runestone Community Center.

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Granite City and Alexandria are currently the top two teams in the NA3HL Western Division (Granite City is No. 1 and Alexandria is No. 2).

The Lumberjacks' lone loss this season was a 4-3 overtime loss to the Mason City Toros on Oct. 14.

Alexandria met faced Granite City on the road for its season-opener on Sept. 23, which Granite City won 5-3.

The Blizzard met the Lumberjacks in the first round of the 2022 Fraser Cup Playoffs and were swept 2-0.

Through 13 games, Klingbeil leads the Blizzard in points scored with 19 (12 goals and seven assists). Gronholz leads the team in points per game with 1.5.

Larsen, Wasvick, Hadland and Moerke are tied for the team-high in assists with eight.

Saturday’s game will be the first of a three game homestand for the Blizzard as they also have home game on Nov. 23 against the Willmar WarHawks and on Nov. 26 against New Ulm.

Alexandria is 3-1 at home so far this season, with its lone home loss coming on Oct. 28 against Mason City.

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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