Alexandria Blizzard wraps up a playoff spot with a game to go

Alexandria Blizzard wraps up a playoff spot with a game to go

Jack Powell

 

After weeks of knowing a spot in the postseason could come down to the final weekend of the season, the Alexandria Blizzard has assured itself of a playoff berth with one game to spare.

The Blizzard (28-17-0-1, 57 points) beat Willmar on the road on Friday night, 4-1, wrapping up the fourth and final spot in the West Division playoffs. The win leaves New Ulm (25-18-0-3, 53 points) on the outside looking in after pushing for that fourth spot much of the season.

The Blizzard led 1-0 after the first period in Willmar, thanks to a Carter Rieland goal at 13:10. Alexandria then blew things open in the second, scoring three goals from Dylan Giorgio, Alexandria junior Caleb Strong and Connor Busse. Giorgio, Ike Taraszewski, Busse, Riley Scanlon, Sam Prisbe and Alexandria native Jack Powell had assists in the game.

Willmar scored its only goal from Marquez Ginger at 6:32 of the third, but it was too little, too late. Ville Hyttinen stood tall in net all night on his way to the win. He stopped 28 shots, while Jake Sumner took the loss with the four goals allowed and 32 saves.

The Blizzard has one more game in the regular season tonight, Saturday, and it will be a playoff preview with Alexandria at Granite City. The Lumberjacks ran away with the top spot in the division with a 37-7-2-0 record. They currently have 76 points. North Iowa is a distant second with 65 points, while Rochester (63 points) is the third team.

Alexandria and Granite City will drop the puck at 7:30 on Saturday night at the Armadillo Deck Sports Arena.

Vaughn NA3HL Goaltender of the Month: Kyle Hayden, Alexandria Blizzard

NA3HL announces monthly player awards for January

FEBRUARY 6, 2019

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced its monthly player awards for the month of January. The Bauer Hockey NA3HL Forward of the Month is Mike Padgeon of the Binghamton Jr. Senators. The Bauer Hockey NA3HL Defenseman of the Month is Toon De Schepper of the Coulee Region Chill. The Vaughn NA3HL Goaltender of the Month is Kyle Hayden of the Alexandria Blizzard. Only players who are nominated by their respective teams are considered for the NA3HL monthly awards.

Bauer Hockey NA3HL Forward of the Month: Mike Padgeon, Binghamton Jr. Senators

Padgeon may have seen his league scoring lead vanish in January, but still boasted a stout 24 points in just seven games during the month. Averaging over a goal per game, Padgeon found the scoresheet in each of his seven outings, posting a stout five points in four of those and hat-tricks in two. Padgeon’s shining moments came at the end of the month in a pair of tense tilts against Northeast, during which the forward bagged back-to-back game-winning goals as part of a six-point outburst across the weekend. Including an assist in his first matchup of February, Padgeon has now logged 41-54—95 in 38 games this season, good for second among NA3HL skaters, with his seven GWGs sliding up into second place as well.

Runner-Up: Brandon Ratzloff, Coulee Region Chill

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Misha Akatnov, Missoula Jr. Bruins – Carson Asper, Northeast Generals – Zach Burkhart, Skylands Kings – Dylan Gulick, Oswego Stampede – Andrei Rusakov, Atlanta Capitals – Justin Schwartzmiller, Wisconsin Whalers – Grant Troumbly, Granite City Lumberjacks – Peter Verstegen, North Iowa Bulls – Jacob Wiethaupt, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Drew Wotta, Louisiana Drillers

Bauer Hockey NA3HL Defenseman of the Month: Toon De Schepper, Coulee Region Chill

No team was hotter than Coulee Region during the month of January, with 14 Chill skaters featuring in the top-25 NA3HL scorers last month. De Schepper led all blueliners in that span, posting an 11-game total of 3-25—28 with eight multi-point efforts. De Schepper logged back-to-back three-point outings to kick off the month, before recording his first six-point night of the season to cap off that weekend. The Belgian blueliner closed out his month in style as well, bagging two or more points in each contest during a five-game point streak leading into February. De Schepper has now potted 6-54—60 on the year, good for third in the NA3HL.

Runner-Up: Dinmukhamed Dzhangarashev, Binghamton Jr. Senators

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Vito Carlo, Atlanta Capitals – Trevor Christopher, Skylands Kings – Mitch Dolese, Louisiana Drillers – Jake Faulkner, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Connor Frye, Missoula Jr. Bruins – Rich Hart, Oswego Stampede – Evan Junker, North Iowa Bulls – Jordan Olson, Granite City Lumberjacks – Jack Royer, Wisconsin Whalers

 

Vaughn NA3HL Goaltender of the Month: Kyle Hayden, Alexandria Blizzard

The Blizzard skyrocketed into playoff position in the West Division thanks to an 8-1 record in the month of January, riding an incredible run of five wins in five starts from Kyle Hayden. Four of those five wins came against opponents ranked higher than Alexandria at the time – including a key overtime win over top-ranked Granite City. In total, Hayden logged 130 saves on 135 shots, allowed no more than two goals in any game and posted two shutouts last month. He finished January with a .963 save percentage and 0.99 GAA, both of which rank third among goaltenders with three or more starts in that frame.

Runner-Up: Jeff Zero, Binghamton Jr. Senators­­­­­­

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Samuli Aarinen, Louisiana Drillers – Mikael Foucher, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Kavan Johnson, Skylands Kings – David Mulligan, Granite City Lumberjacks – Caleb Sauer, Wisconsin Whalers – Dysen Skinner, North Iowa Bulls – Gunner Snyder, Coulee Region Chill – Ben White, Oswego StampedeEvan Williams, Missoula Jr. Bruins – Quinn Yeager, Atlanta Capitals

Blizzard’s Powell signs NAHL tender

Alexandria defenseman Powell signs NAHL tender

JANUARY 29, 2019
The Alexandria Blizzard of the NA3HL are pleased to announce that defenseman Jack Powell has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL) tender agreement with the Aberdeen Wings of the NAHL’s Central Division.
Powell, 19, is in his second stint playing for the Blizzard in the NA3HL. So far this season, the 5’11/181 lbs. native of Alexandria, Minnesota, had two points in four games played after joining the Blizzard earlier in January.
Powell spent the first half of the season with the Wings in the NAHL, recording three points in 11 games played.
Powell played in six NA3HL games with the Blizzard during the 2016-17 prior to his high school season. Powell played three years for the Alexandria Area High School program where he had 52 points in 70 career games.
He is the first player from this year’s Blizzard roster to sign an NAHL tender.
A tender is a contract, of sorts, a player signs announcing his intentions to play for that particular NAHL team and that NAHL team only. Once a player signs a tender with an NAHL team, his playing rights belong to that team within the NAHL and he may not be recruited by any other NAHL team. Each team is granted ten (10) tenders, which include one tender exclusively used on players from the NA3HL – plus or minus any trades – which became active on Nov. 1. Tendered players are not eligible for the NAHL draft, which will be held on June 4, 2019.

Alexandria takes down another top team

Blizzard hockey: Alexandria takes down another top team

Kyle Hayden

At a point in the season when Alexandria needed to step up its game in an attempt to wrap up a playoff spot, the Blizzard is doing just that.

Alexandria won its fourth straight game on Saturday night by beating North Iowa 4-1. All four of those wins have come against teams in front of the Blizzard in the West Division standings.

Now 21-15-0-1 with 43 points, Alexandria is within six points of North Iowa (24-9-1, 49 points) for the third spot in the division. Granite City (56 points) and Rochester (50) remain in the top two spots.

The Bulls outshot the Blizzard 37-31 on Saturday, but Alexandria took advantage of its opportunities. A three-goal second period erased what had been a 1-0 North Iowa lead after a Jordan Roo goal at 6:41 of the first.

The Blizzard answered with the equalizer from Cole Lehmann at 5:07 of the second. Less than two minutes later, Sam Prisbe scored a goal that gave Alexandria a 2-1 lead it never relinquished. Tucker Kruse added another second-period goal before Ike Taraszewski put the finishing touches on the win at 12:37 of the third.

Brett Meister did not score but had two assists. Kruse, Wesley Johnson, Riley Scanlon, Dylan Giorgio and Taraszewski all added helpers, as well.

Kyle Hayden stepped up in net with 36 saves and just the one goal allowed to get the win. He was named the first star of the night. Evan Babekuhl took the loss with four goals allowed and 27 saves for North Iowa.

The Blizzard will try to win its fifth straight game when Willmar comes to the RCC at 7:10 p.m. on Feb. 2.

West Division Star of the Week: Dylan Mattson, F, Alexandria Blizzard

NA3HL announces Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey

JANUARY 9, 2019

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) today announced the Divisional Stars of the Week presented by Bauer Hockey for the week ending January 6, 2019. The divisional stars of the week are awards given each week of the regular season to the top-performing players in each of the six divisions of the NA3HL as nominated by their head coaches.

 

Central Division Star of the Week: Justin Schwartzmiller, F, Wisconsin Whalers

The Whalers bolstered their playoff hopes last weekend with a pair of wins over third-ranked Peoria to move within six points of the fourth spot in the Central Division. Schwartzmiller was at the center of Wisconsin’s refocused attack, posting four goals across the two contests, including a hat-trick in Saturday’s 5-3 win. Two of his three tallies in that game came while shorthanded – his first markers of that kind this season. Schwartzmiller now boasts goals in four of his last five games, and his 17 goals and 30 points are both second only to teammate Sam Hanson among Whalers skaters.

2nd Star: Brandon Ratzloff, F, Coulee Region Chill

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Aslan Akervik, F, Coulee Region Chill – Mikael Foucher, G, St. Louis Jr. Blues – Caleb Sauer, G, Wisconsin Whalers – Jacob Wiethaupt, F, St. Louis Jr. Blues

Coastal Division Star of the Week: Zack Mullen, F, L/A Nordiques

Mullen took the ice twice last weekend in a pair of L/A victories over Long Beach. The Parkside, PA native was in fine form after going pointless in the prior contest, logging a total of 1-6—7 on the weekend to lead all Coastal Division Star of the Week nominees. Friday saw him take up the playermaker mantle with four helpers, while Saturday featured a balanced approach from Mullen with a goal and two assists. Mullen’s marker was just his second PPG of the season.

2nd Star: Cade Lambdin, F, Long Beach Sharks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Valeri Rykov, F, L/A Nordiques

 

Frontier Division Star of the Week: Mikael Levokari, G, Bozeman Icedogs

Levokari’s remarkable season went full steam ahead in last week’s play, as the Finnish netminder took a pair of wins over Missoula, 3-2 and 5-2 on Friday and Saturday. Levokari turned aside 62 of 66 total shots across the two games – good for a .939 save percentage – and allowed just two goals in each contest to stretch his current 2.00 GAA or lower streak to four games. Subsequently, his personal winning streak also hit four games with his two wins last week.

2nd Star: Darren Donovan, F, Helena Bighorns

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Daniel Davis, D, Bozeman Icedogs – Cody Dearing, F, Great Falls Americans – Jack Harris, F, Yellowstone Quake – Luke Hartge, F, Yellowstone Quake – Garrett Peters, F, Great Falls Americans – Justin Sullivan, D, Helena Bighorns

 

Northeast Division Star of the Week: Markus Cook, F, Binghamton Jr. Senators

Cook led all Northeast Division Star of the Week nominees with seven points in just two games last week, breaking him out of a four-game funk that saw him put up a single assist, which came back on December 17th at the Showcase. Cook logged two goals and an assist on Friday in a win over Skylands, finding twine on a power-play in the contest. He then switched to setup duties on Saturday with four assists. Cook now boasts 59 points in 31 outings this season, good for 19th in the NA3HL.

2nd Star: Adam Morgan, F, Niagara Falls Powerhawks

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Jake Cicalese, F, Skylands Kings – Tanner Coleman, D, Oswego Stampede – Manny Legace, G, Oswego Stampede – Jacob Robertson, D, Niagara Falls Powerhawks – Josh Sears, G, Skylands Kings

 

South Division Star of the Week: Mitch Dolese, D, Louisiana Drillers

Looking to keep pace with Texas atop the South Division, Dolese and the Drillers topped a scrappy Spirit side twice over the weekend in a back-to-back that featured five total points from the blueliner. Dolese posted a pair of assists in Friday’s win before scoring twice and assisting another on Saturday. The second win marked Dolese’s fourth multi-goal game of the season, and featured his second PPG of the campaign. Dolese currently ranks fourth among all NA3HL defensemen with 15-19—44 on the year.

2nd Star: Quinn Yeager, G, Atlanta Capitals

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Alejandro Apud, F, Louisiana Drillers – Blake Forystek, G, College Station Spirit – Jason Ladzinksi, F, Atlanta Capitals

 

West Division Star of the Week: Dylan Mattson, F, Alexandria Blizzard

Entering the weekend on a two-game pointless skid, Mattson set a few season firsts as he broke out in a big way with two goals and a helper on Friday to help the Blizzard to a 4-1 win over Breezy Point. The occasion marked Mattson’s first multi-goal game and first with three or more points in a single game this season. Saturday saw him post two assists, signaling his first back-to-back set of games with multiple points in 2018-19 as well.

2nd Star: Peter Verstegen, F, North Iowa Bulls

Honorable Mention (alphabetical): Evan Junker, D, North Iowa Bulls – Blake Spetz, F, Granite City Lumberjacks Lumberjacks – Grant Troumbly, F, Granite City Lumberjacks