It was an up and down week for the teams within the Blizzard organization. The NAHL’s St. Cloud Norsemen shutout the Minnesota Wilderness last Tuesday, but then were swept by the 1st place Aberdeen Wings over the weekend. The Norsemen didn’t lose any ground on the Wilderness though as they were swept by Janesville. St. Cloud (12-20-0-1 – 25 pts) sits one point out of a playoff spot in the Central. The NA3HL’s Willmar Warhawks went 1-1 during a couple road games over the weekend. With their OT victory at New Ulm on Sunday, Willmar has a 6 point lead over Alexandria for the 3rd spot in the West. NA3HL’s Alexandria got one point out of three losses to Granite City this past week. But with a couple losses from New Ulm, the Blizzard secured their 9th consecutive playoff berth.
Tough Weekend for Norsemen after Big Win on Tuesday
St. Cloud, MN – Josh Langford’s 30 save shutout powered the St. Cloud Norsemen to a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wilderness, their third straight victory on home ice.
With seven minutes gone by in the first period, Blake Mesenburg scored his eighth of the season for the 1-0 lead.
After a hard-fought second period produced nothing on the score sheet, the Norsemen would add a third period, empty-net goal from Nik Hong to the score line for the 2-0 win
Goaltender Josh Langford earned his fourth victory of the season and stopped all 30 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season.
With the win, the Norsemen improve to 12-18-1 and will take on the Aberdeen on Friday, March 12th at 7:10PM in St. Cloud. Mark Shelley will provide the Play-By-Play on the Lyon Sheet Metal & Heating Norsemen Network beginning at 7:05PM on HockeyTV.
St. Cloud, MN – A two-goal second period was too much for the St. Cloud Norsemen to overcome as they fell to the Aberdeen Wings 5-1 on Friday.
In the first period, Aberdeen scored the opening goal Spencer Schneider found the back of the net. Shortly after, the Norsemen answered after Jonny Meiers fed Ryan O’Neill for his eighth of the season to level the game at 1-1.
Aberdeen retook the lead in the second with a powerplay goal from Thomas Manty. The Wings would grow the lead to two with a late period goal from Jake Goldowski.
An empty-net goal from Schneider and a late powerplay goal from Manty would grow the Aberdeen lead to the eventual final of 5-1.
St. Cloud, MN – A late goal for the St. Cloud Norsemen was not enough to overcome the deficit, as the team fell to the Aberdeen Wings 4-1 on Saturday night.
Mid-way through the opening period, Nathan Mann gave Aberdeen the 1-0 lead as the Norsemen generated a number of chances to tie the game but just couldn’t beat the Aberdeen netminder.
Spencer Schneider scored mid-way through the second period to grow the Aberdeen lead to 2-0.
In the third Will Arquiett scored to make the Aberdeen lead 3-0 before an empty-net goal from the Natan Vertes would add a fourth. With less than a second left in the game, Brendan Kim scored a power-play goal for St. Cloud to break up the shutout.
With the loss, the Norsemen fall to 12-20-1 and will take on the Austin Bruins on Wednesday, March 17th at 7:10PM in St. Cloud. Mark Shelley will provide the Play-By-Play on the Lyon Sheet Metal & Heating Norsemen Network beginning at 7:05PM on HockeyTV.
For tickets and information on news and upcoming events go to st.cloudnorsemen.com and follow the Norsemen on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Willmar End Weekend with OT Winner
The Warhawks were on the road this weekend splitting their two games with Granite City and New Ulm.
Saturday night they traveled to Granite City to take on the red hot Lumberjacks, and came up short in a 5-1 loss. They outshot Granite City 16-8 in the 1st period but had nothing to show for it. Elbridge DeKraai scored his 3rd of the year, with assists from Jeremiah Konkel and Kaleb Miller, late in the 2nd period to tie the game at 1-1, but Granite City rattled off 4 unanswered goals and cruised to the victory.
Sunday night they were in New Ulm and capped off the weekend with a come from behind 4-3 victory in overtime. Willmar took a 1-0 lead late in the 1st period when Dylan Gajewski scored on the power play. Gavin Uckele and Lewis Rowan assisted on Gajewski’s 11th of the season. Trailing 3-1 to open the 3rd period, Lewis Rowan scored a half minute in to jump start the comeback. That was Rowan’s 13th of the year with assists from Hunter Bjorge and Uckele. Then a minute and a half later, Tanner Hallett tied it up at 3-3 with his 1st of the season. Jayden Jangula and Cayden Sunde picked up the assists. The game stayed 3-3 the rest of the 3rd and into overtime, when at the 2:31 mark, Gajewski ended it with his 2nd of the game and 12th of the year. Konkel and Ben Johnson assisted on the OT winner. Will Pinney stopped 22 of 25 for the victory in net.
Willmar (18-17 – 36 pts) is in 3rd place in the West. They will host New Ulm and Alexandria this weekend for their final two home games of the regular season. New Ulm visits on Friday March 19th and Alexandria on Sunday March 21st. Both games start at 7:10 pm. Tickets are available at tickets.willmarwarhawks.com. You can also catch all the action on hockeytv.com
Blizzard clinch 9th Consecutive Playoff Spot
Alexandria played Granite City three straight times this week going 0-2-0-1, but with the New Ulm losses this weekend, they are heading to the playoffs once again.
Wednesday night they hosted the Lumberjacks, but came up just short losing 3-2 in a shootout. Sean Kenny scored on the first shift of the game with assists from Caleb Strong and Trent Sylvester. Colin Tushie scored his 11th of the year in the 2nd period for a 2-1 lead after two periods. Granite scored the lone 3rd period goal to force overtime and eventually a shootout. Nikolai Rajala scored to extend the shootout to an extra round but the Lumberjacks prevailed for the extra point. Atticus Kelly made 35 saves in the shootout loss.
Friday night the Blizzard were at Granite City and lost another close one 3-1. Wyatt Johnson score his 1st of the year in the 3rd period to pull within a goal at 2-1. With the score still 2-1 heading down the stretch, Granite City got an insurance goal with just under five minutes to play. Joey Greilich stopped 26 of 29 shots, but suffered the loss in net.
Sunday night Granite City came back to Alexandria riding a 7 game winning streak, and won another close battle. Trailing 2-0 Sean Kenny scored his 9th of the season halfway through the game with Caleb Strong and Kaden Peterson picking up the assists. Then Dallas Duckson pulled the Blizzard to within a goal at 3-2 midway through the 3rd period. Nikolai Rajala got the assist on Duckson’s 12th of the year. The Lumberjacks scored another late insurance goal for the 4-2 victory. Atticus Kelly made 38 saves in the loss.
The Blizzard (14-18-1-1 – 30pts) remain in 4th place in the West. They’ll travel to New Ulm on Saturday and Willmar on Sunday night. Both games start at 7:10 pm. They’ll be back home March 24th, 26th and 27th to close out their regular season home schedule. Tickets are available online at tickets.alexandriablizzard.com. Games are always available online as well at hockeytv.com