It was an up and down week for the teams within the Blizzard organization. The NAHL’s St. Cloud Norsemen lost two close games this week. St. Cloud sits six points out of a playoff spot in the Central. The NA3HL’s Willmar Warhawks had a perfect week winning all three games to close out their regular season and set up a 1st round playoff series with Granite City. NA3HL’s Alexandria had a tough final weekend finishing in 4th and will take on North Iowa in the 1st round of playoffs.
Norsemen Come up Just Short
St. Cloud, MN – A late push from the St. Cloud Norsemen was not enough to overcome the deficit, as the team fell to the Austin Bruins 4-2 on Monday night.
The Norsemen took the lead in the first period with an early goal from Logan Kittleson.
In the second, the Bruins would take the lead from an Alex Trombley tally before Walter Zacher and Barrett Brooks would grow the Austin lead to 3-1.
The third period saw the Bruins grow the score to 4-1 with a Reggie Millette goal before Cooper Gay would score for St. Cloud to bring the Norsemen within two.
With the loss, the Norsemen fall to 13-21-1 and will take on the Bismarck Bobcats on Thursday, March 25 at 7:00PM in St. Cloud. Mark Shelley will provide the Play-By-Play on the Lyon Sheet Metal & Heating Norsemen Network beginning at 6:50PM 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 Finishes Season on 3 Game Win Streak
The Warhawks won all three games this past week gaining momentum for their 1st round matchup against Granite City.
On Wednesday they went to Sauk Rapids and beat Granite City 3-1. Lukas Haugen was the story with 45 saves on 46 shots. Cole Wigestrand, Ethan Mock, and Isaiah Thomas scored for Willmar. Nine different Warhawks tallied points.
Saturday they traveled to Alexandria and shut out the Blizzard 2-0. Lukas Haugen again played incredible stopping all 39 shots while Alexa Kupka and and Isaiah Thomas supplied the scoring. Gavin Uckele had a multi-point game with 2 assists.
Sunday they hit the road again and beat New Ulm 4-2 to close out the regular season. Jonah Jangula had a huge night with 2 goals and 2 assists. Willmar led 2-0 midway through the game, when New Ulm pulled within a goal. Ben Johnson then scored on the power play late in the 2nd for a 3-1 lead after two. Isaiah Thomas and Jangula assisted on Johnson’s 5th of the season. Thomas added an empty netter to cap off the perfect week. Thomas had a 3 point night with a goal and 2 assists.
Willmar (22-18 – 44 pts) finished in 3rd place and will play Granite City in a best of three 1st round playoff series. Game 1 will be at Granite City on Thursday April 1st at 7:30. Game 2 will be home on Friday April 2nd at 6:10 pm. Game 3 (If Necessary) will be in at Granite City on Saturday April 3rd at 7:30 pm. Tickets for Game 2 are available online at tickets.willmarwarhawks.com. Catch the action online as well at hockeytv.com
Blizzard Finish 4th Will Play North Iowa
Alexandria finished off the regular season with 1 point over the weekend setting up a playoff match up with the 1st place North Iowa Bulls.
Friday night they hosted New Ulm and lost in a shootout 2-1. New Ulm jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Nikolai Rajala got the Blizzard on the board with his 7th of the season. Wesley Johnson and Sean Kenny picked up the assists. Dallas Duckson scored late in the 2nd period to tie the game 2-2 with assists from Jared Sanborn and Colin Tushie. Despite putting up 58 shots the Blizzard could not solve Zach Foster the rest of the way, and New Ulm prevailed in the shootout.
Saturday night Willmar came to town for the final home game of the regular season and shut out the Blizzard 2-0. This time the Blizzard put up 39 shots but couldn’t get one past Lukas Haugen, which sealed their 4th place finish in the West.
Sunday they traveled to Granite City and lost 6-3 in the regular season finale. Austin McNeil gave the Blizzard an early lead two minutes into the game with his 11th of the year off an assist from Cole Jacobs, but the Lumberjacks countered with three unanswered for a 3-1 lead after one. Alex Illies scored his first Blizzard goal pulling the Blizzard to within one at 3-2 heading into the 3rd period. Cole Lehmann got the assist on Illies’s shorthanded goal. Granite City scored a shorthanded goal of their own early in the 3rd before Austin McNeil’s 12th of the year, on the power play, pulled the Blizzard back to within a goal at 4-3 but Granite City scored the final two goals to cap the victory.
The Blizzard (17-20-1-2 – 37pts) will play North Iowa in a best of three 1st round playoff series this weekend. Game 1 will be at North Iowa on Friday April 2nd at 7:30 pm. Game 2 will be home on Saturday April 3rd at 7:10 pm. Game 3 ( If Necessary )will be Easter Sunday in North Iowa at 5:30 pm. Tickets for Game 2 are available online at tickets.alexandriablizzard.com. Catch the action online as well at hockeytv.com