Hockey: Blizzard lock up home ice for first round of the playoffs with final week of the regular season ahead
The Blizzard went 1-1 against New Ulm and shut out the Minnesota Loons over the weekend.
The Alexandria Blizzard went 2-1 in its games over the weekend and has locked up home playoff advantage for the first round of the 2023 Fraser Cup Playoffs.
Alexandria defeated the New Ulm Steel at home on Friday, 6-3, and the Minnesota Loons on Saturday, 4-0, but lost to New Ulm, 6-3, on Sunday.
In Friday’s win, Justin Kingery recorded a hat trick, while Ryan Hadland had two goals, Joe Gronholz had one, and Ashton Collings had another.
Michael DeBrito had three assists in the game, while Charlie Larsen and Matt McIntyre each had two. Collings, Kingery, Matt Scribner, Logan Lukasezck, Jack Whitemore and Justin Wasvick each had an assist in the game.
Alexandria had a 47-39 shot on goal advantage in the game.
Konrad Kausch earned the win in net for Alexandria with 37 saves and had an assist as well.
In the win over the Loons, the Blizzard took a 2-0 lead after the first frame with a power play goal by Gronholz and an even-strength goal by Kingery. Hadland scored a power play goal in the second, while Gronholz scored an empty net goal in the third to seal the win.
The Blizzard had a 44-33 shot on goal edge in Saturday’s win.
DeBrito and Wyatt Johnson had two assists in the win, while Collings, McIntyre, Sean Kenny, and Hayden DeMars had an assist.
In Sunday’s game, the Blizzard and Steel traded blows early as the score was tied at two early in the second. The Steel broke the game open in the second with two goals to end the period and two goals in the third.
The Steel outscored the Blizzard 4-1 down the stretch.
Bazl Cook, Aidan Prochaska, and Calvin Knight scored goals for the Blizzard.
McIntyre had two assists for the Blizzard, while Cook, Lukasezck, Larsen, and Jameson O’Flynn had one.
The Blizzard lost to the Steel despite having a 54-33 shot on goal edge.
Alexandria is second in the NA3HL Western Division standings (31-11-2, 64 points) and only trail the Granite City Lumberjacks (37-6-2, 76 points).
These two and the Mason City Toros (29-15-1, 59 points) have secured three of the divisions’ four playoff spots.
New Ulm (15-25-6, 36 points) and the Willmar WarHawks (17-25-2, 36 points) are currently tied for the fourth spot.
Alexandria ends the regular season with a home game against Granite City at 7:10 p.m. on Friday, March 2, and road games on Saturday, March 3, and Sunday, March 4, at Mason City (both games start at 7:10 p.m.).