Hockey: Alexandria Blizzard finish runner-up in the 2022-23 NA3HL season

Four late unanswered goals gave the Granite City Lumberjacks a 6-5 in the NA3HL Championship Game over the Alexandria Blizzard on Sunday. This was the first time the Blizzard ever made the championship game, and this season featured a lot of firsts in the team’s history.

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Alexandria's Matt McIntyre (middle) works his work through some Mason City Toros during an NA3HL playoff game on March 12, 2023.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The 2022-23 season was a historic one for the Alexandria Blizzard as they reached the NA3HL Fraser Cup Championship Game for the first time ever.

Things didn’t go the Blizzard’s way in the championship game as the Granite City Lumberjacks edged out a close win over the Blizzard in the championship game on Sunday in St. Peters, Missouri, although the Blizzard came close to winning the championship game.

The Lumberjacks won 6-5 thanks to a late push and earned their fourth title at the NA3HL level since the start of the 2011-12 season.

The Blizzard led 5-2 late in the second period, but a goal by Lyncoln Bielenberg-Howarth with 29 seconds left in the second (power play) and goals by Tanner Brouwer, Zak Kennett, Carson Van Zulien in the third period gave the Lumberjacks the 6-5 win. Van Zulien scored the game-winning goal with nine seconds left.

Alexandria jumped on Granite City early as forward Michael DeBrito, forward Matt McIntyre, and defensemen Karsten Senden scored goals that put Alexandria up 3-0 midway through the first frame.


McIntyre scored his second goal of the game 33 seconds into the second period, which put the Blizzard up 4-1. Forward Hayden DeMars scored later in the period to put the Blizzard up 5-2.

Defenseman Jameson O’Flynn, along with forwards Jack Whitmore, Justin Kingery, Bazl Cook, Sean Kenny, and Joe Gronholz, had assists in the game for the Blizzard.

Shots on goal were even in the game, as both teams had 33.

To get to the championship game, Alexandria defeated the Texas Brahmas, 4-1, on Wednesday and Granite City, 3-1, on Thursday in pool play. Alexandria defeated the Oregon Tradesmen, 3-2, on Saturday in the semifinals.

Alexandria qualified for the championship tournament by winning the western division finals in a 2-0 sweep over Granite City, who was the wild card team in the national tournament.

Granite City reached the championship game by beating Texas 6-1 on Friday and the Helena Bighorns 4-2 in Saturday’s semifinals.

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Sean Kenny

In the championship tournament, Kenny led the Blizzard in points with five (all assists), while Ryan Hadland and McIntyre had four points (three goals and one assist for Hadland and two goals and two assists for McIntyre). Kenny’s five points were the second-highest individual total in the tournament.

Kingery was third on the team in points in the tournament, as he had three (two goals and one assist).


DeMars, Cook, O’Flynn, Whitmore, defenseman Wyatt Johnson, and forward Calvin Knight each had two points in the championship tournament. Justin Wasvick had an assist in the tournament, while Cole Klingbeil had a goal.

Goaltender Konrad Kausch was solid in the net for the Blizzard as he had a .904 save percentage in the tournament and 2.50 goals allowed average.

Prior to this postseason, the Blizzard had only won one playoff series (in 2019) and had never made it to the NA3HL Fraser Cup Championship Tournament since the team was rebooted prior to the start of the 2012-13 season.

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Logan Lukasezck (21) fists pumps after teammate Gavin Carlson scores the Alexandria Blizzard's first goal in its 10-1 win over the Willmar WarHawks on Oct. 15, 2022. Lukaseczk had an assist on the goal.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The furthest that the previous Alexandria Blizzard team (NA2HL, now the St. Cloud Norsemen) had ever made it into the playoffs was in the 2007-08 season, where they made it to the Robertson Cup round-robin tournament and were eliminated in three games.

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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