Friday night Alexandria traveled to Willmar and struggled through a 7-1 loss. Trailing 5-0 entering the 3rd period, Austin McNeil scored his 8th of the season on an assist from Cole Lehmann for the lone goal.
Saturday the Blizzard welcomed Granite City to the RCC looking for their first win against the Lumberjacks. Trailing 2-0 midway through the 2nd period the Blizzard started to build some momentum. Colin Tushie scored a shorthanded goal with an assist from Austin McNeil to pull within one. McNeil cut in from the face off dot and handcuffed Brandon Shantz with a shot. Tushie was there to pounce on the rebound scoring on his second attempt. Five minutes later Dallas Duckson scored. Wesley Johnson entered the zone dropping the puck for Duckson while taking out two Lumberjack defenders clearing a path for Duckson to skate in all alone where he buried his own rebound to tie the game at 2-2. Granite City took a 3-2 lead early in the 3rd period, but the Blizzard responded on the power play. Tushie fired a shot from the top of the circles that glanced off Sean Kenny in front to the tie game at 3-3. Granite City slammed the door after that though and scored three of their own for a 6-3 victory.
On Sunday the Blizzard traveled to Granite City and got redemption with a 6-4 victory. The Blizzard had a much better opening period on Sunday staking themselves to a 2-0 lead in the first seven and a half minutes. Carter Rieland scored his 5th of the year off assists from Dallas Duckson and Ben Tschida. Nikolai Rajala then scored his 3rd of the year with assists from Tushie and Caleb Strong. With the game tied midway through the second, Dallas Duckson put the Blizzard back on top with his 6th of the season. Carter Rieland and Cole Klingbeil picked up the assists. The Lumberjacks tied the game at 3-3 before Colin Tushie scored his 6th of the year with an assist from Cole Lehmann, to give the Blizzard the lead entering the 3rd period. Half way through the third period Granite City tied the game again, but then Caleb Strong took over scoring the final two goals to seal the 6-4 victory. Nikolai Rajala and Sean Kenny assisted on both of Strong’s goals. Strong and Rajala each had 3 point nights, and Joey Greilich made 34 saves for the victory in net. Tushie, Rieland, Duckson, and Kenny each had multi-point games.
Alexandria capped off a wild couple of weeks, which saw them play 9 games in 16 days. The Blizzard went 3-6 in the 9 games with wins against North Iowa, New Ulm, and Granite City. The Blizzard (8-11-1 – 17 pts) are in 4th place in the West one point behind Granite City and three points behind Willmar. They host New Ulm (3-13-2 – 8 pts) on Friday Feb. 5th and travel to Willmar (10-10 – 20pts) on Saturday Feb. 6th. Both games start at 7:10 and you can catch all the action on hockeytv.com. Tickets for Friday night February 5th are available at tickets.alexandriablizzard.com