The Blizzard Organization, comprised of two NA3HL teams, the Alexandria Blizzard, and the Willmar Warhawks and in the NAHL the newly rebranded St. Cloud Norsemen hit the ice Friday October 2nd and October 9th respectively to begin their 2020-2021 seasons.
Alexandria Blizzard Face Off
The Alexandria Blizzard will open their ’20-’21 season this weekend. Friday night Alexandria plays at North Iowa, and then will travel to New Ulm to take on the Steel Saturday night. The Blizzard begin their 9th season in the NA3HL, and will be looking to build off of last year. Alexandria finished in 4th place in the West Division with a record of 24-18-4-1 (53 pts). The Blizzard were on a tear at the end of the season going on an 8-0-2 streak which placed them 12 points clear of Willmar for the final playoff spot.
Alexandria will be coached once again by the Crouse’s. Head Coach Jeff Crouse, and his cousin Jon bring plenty of experience back to the Blizzard bench. Alexandria returns 13 players with at least 10 games played from last season. Eight of the returners are forwards including 3 of their top 5 scorers. Cole Jacobs finished 3rd on the team in scoring with 43 points, along with Austin McNeil (40 pts) and Carter Rieland (37 pts). These three will play a big role this year, as the Blizzard look to replace their top two leading scorers Brandon Connett (72 pts) and Michael Trejbal (50 pts).
On the blue line Alexandria returns 4 players from last year. Three of the four bring back at least 40 games played under their belt from last year. Jack Taylor with 46 games played, Wyatt Blahosky and Jared Sanborn each had 44 games played, and Sanborn led all defenseman with +34 rating.
Bailey Rosch returns in between the pipes for the Blizzard. In 21 games played last year, the Alexandria native went 10-5-0-1 last year with a 3.28 goals against average and posted a .887 save percentage. Rosch went 4-0-0-0 down the stretch including a 22 save shutout.
The NA3HL season is upon us. Get your Blizzard weekly previews and recaps all season long at juniorhockey.com or follow the Blizzard at Alexandriablizzard.com.
WarHawks Hit the Ice
The Willmar WarHawks open the 2020-21 campaign this weekend with two games on the road. The WarHawks will be in New Ulm on October 2nd to take on the Steel, then will head to Granite City to face the Lumberjacks.
The WarHawks begin their 5th season in Willmar. Returning as head coach is Kirk Olimb, who is in his second season. Defenseman Bridger Dekraai and goalie Luke Weberg return for the season. Dekraai played 20 games for the WarHawks last season scoring 11 points. Weberg amassed 7 wins and a 0.873 save percentage in 2019-20.
Forward Owen Thomas from Chaska joins the roster. Thomas had 13 points in 25 games for the Hawks. Nic Gustafson had 61 points for Richfield/Southwest Christian last season along with line mate Jeremiah Konkel who had 32 points for the Stars.
Tanner Hallett, Drake Raduns-Parsley, and Weburg, in their age 20 season, look to make a big impact before they head off to college.
New Look Norsemen Ready for 2020-21
The St. Cloud Norsemen are set to begin a new era in the organization’s history when they take to the ice on October 9, kicking off the 2020-21 NAHL season against the Aberdeen Wings.
The rebranded Norsemen bring more than just a cosmetic change to the upcoming season as ex-NHLer Corey Millen takes the reigns of the team as Head Coach. Millen, who won a Robertson Cup in 2015 with the Minnesota Wilderness, will be assisted by Casey Mignone, who returns to the bench as Associate Head Coach.
While the Norsemen will roster returners from last season, a plethora of youthful faces will make up a roster that will look to improve upon falling short of the postseason in the previous campaign.
The puck will drop at Dave Torrey arena, the home of the Norsemen, on October 30 against the Bismarck Bobcats.
For more information, breaking news, and to purchase tickets for any of the Blizzard Organization games head to alexandriablizzard.com, willmarwarhawks.com, or stcloudnrsemen.com or follow the teams on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
By Amy Hefti
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