Hockey: Alexandria Blizzard win home opener over Willmar with a 10-goal effort – Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA – With a win on Saturday, the Alexandria Blizzard hockey staff has gained its home opener over the Willmar WarHawks in again-to-again seasons. Alexandria gained 10-1 on Saturday and feature a 3-1 file underneath head trainer Jeff Crouse to start the 2022-23 NA3HL season.

“Our guys were just clicking well,” Alexandria Blizzard assistant trainer Jon Crouse stated about Saturday’s win. “They were getting pucks in deep and going to work. It was the home opener, so our guys had a little extra energy, and their shots were going in.”

The Blizzard additionally beat the WarHawks of their 2021-22 common season home-opener, however by means of a a lot nearer rating of five-4.

Willmar (1-4) misplaced its 2022-23 common season home opener to Alexandria by means of a 2-0 rating on Oct. 1.

The Blizzard’s 10-goal effort on Saturday was once led by means of 3rd yr participant Cole Klingbeil, who completed with a hat trick.

“We were moving the puck so well, it could’ve been any of our guys on the ice who could’ve finished with the hat trick,” Klingbeil stated. “We took a win in Willmar’s home opener, and beating them in our home opener also feels amazing.”

The ahead from Mahtomedi leads the staff thru 4 video games in objectives with 5 and issues with 5.

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Cole Klingbeil appears to create on offense throughout the Alexandria Blizzard’s 10-1 win over the Willmar WarHawks on Oct. 15, 2022. Klingbeil scored 3 objectives within the staff’s 10-1 win.

Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Alexandria began issues off sizzling within the first length with 4 objectives. It then scored 3 in every of the general two frames.

Roseville local Gavin Carlson, a ahead, additionally scored a couple of objectives for the Blizzard, together with the primary some of the objective, a little while after puck drop. Carlson is one in all a few avid gamers that Jon Crouse hopes may give a deep lineup this season.

“We’re pretty deep upfront,” he stated. “We’ve got a lot of kids here that can make the lineup every night, so it’s hard making the lineup every night. You’ve got to leave out some pretty good players sometimes. The guys that are in there are doing a great job working hard, and they’re playing well together. It’s nice because we have guys that can play on the first line or fourth line or anywhere in between. They don’t get bothered by who they’re playing with. They seem to have some good chemistry right now.”

Kyle Abrahamson, a Cloquet local, earned the win in web for the Blizzard with 26 saves. Abrahamson is two-0 in web this season, whilst teammate Alex Lamont, a Minneapolis local, has a 1-1 file.

“Our goaltending has been good so far this year,” Jon Crouse stated. “They’ve all been working hard, and they seem pretty calm right now in net. They’re seeing the puck pretty well right now and even when our defense does break down, they’re there to help them keep it out of the net. It’s nice to see, especially when you have a nice defensive effort.”

The Blizzard completed Saturday’s tilt with a 41-27 shot-on-objective benefit.

Willmar’s lone objective on Saturday got here in the second one body (Michael Sweetland), which lower its deficit to 3 prior to Alexandria scored six unanswered.

Alexandria got here into the evening with the aforementioned win in opposition to Willmar on Oct. 1, a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Loons on Sept. 24, 2022, and a 5-3 loss to the Granite City Lumberjacks on Sept. 23, 2022.

Defender Wyatt Johnson, alongside with forwards Josiah Gronzholz, Matt MacIntyre, Ashton Collings and Ethan Moerke, every scored the Blizzard within the win on Saturday.

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The Alexandria Blizzard mob Gavin Carlson after he scored the staff’s first objective in a 10-1 win over the Willmar WarHawks on Oct. 15, 2022.

Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Johnson is the staff captain this yr, whilst defenders Karsten Senden, Charlie Larsen and ahead Ryan Hadland, who’s tied (with Klingbeil) for essentially the most assists at the staff with 5, are assistant captains.

“The leaders on this year’s team are doing a great job of including everyone,” Jon Crouse stated. “Everyone seems to be having fun. Our captains have stepped for us and led us that way.”

Gronzholz is 2nd at the staff in objectives up to now this season with 3. As a senior, Gronholz helped anchor the 2021-22 Alexandria Area High School boys hockey staff that gained the Section 6A identify and gained a sport within the

2022 MSHSL Class A State Tournament.

Gronholz led the Cardinals in issues throughout his senior season with 61 (36 assists and 25 objectives).


Josiah Gronholz

“Josiah only played with us for part of last season, so we’re obviously looking for him to have a big year,” Jon Crouse stated.

Gronholz performed in 10 of the Blizzard’s 49 video games within the 2021-22 season. He scored 5 objectives and had 12 assists.

The Blizzard also are thinking about some beginners from North Dakota, amongst others.

“We have three kids from North Dakota, Caleb Moore, Jayden Luck and Ashton Collings, that were all-state players last year,” Jon Crouse stated. “Once they get their feet under them, I think they’ll be pretty good. I’m really looking for all of our new guys to pull their own weight because I expect it to be a battle to get in the lineup each night. And I expect them to be locked in.”

Alexandria is coming off a 2021-22 season the place it went 25-20-2 and completed fourth within the western department, in the back of Willmar, the Mason City Toros and Granite City.

Granite City was once the highest seed within the western department and eradicated Alexandria within the western department semifinals of the Fraser Cup Playoffs with a 2-0 sweep en path to profitable the department finals and making it to the Fraser Cup Championship Tournament (gained by means of the Rochester Grizzlies).

This season, the Blizzard are aiming to make a deeper run within the postseason.

The Blizzard are hoping robust verbal exchange can lend a hand them do exactly that.

“I think we communicate very well on the ice. We move the puck and everyone’s just in the right spot,” Klingbeil stated.

The Blizzard head all the way down to Mason City, Iowa, for a two-sport collection on Oct. 21 and 22 in opposition to the Toros. The Toros then trip as much as Alexandria for a two-sport collection on Oct. 28 and 29.

Willmar – 0 1 0 – 1 

Alexandria – 4 3 3 – 10 


G – Gavin Carlson (2), Josiah Gronholz, Ethan Moerke, Ashton Collings, Wyatt Johnson, Cole Klingbeil (3), Matt MacIntyre

A – Logan Lukaseczk, Ashton Collings (2), Ryan Hadland, Charlie Larsen (2), Cole Klingbeil, Justin Wasvick (2), Matt MacIntyre, Jayden Luck (2), Bazl Cook (2), Josiah Gronzholz, Caleb Moore, Matt Scribner (3),

SAVES – Kyle Abrahamson (W), 26


G – Michael Sweetland

A – Kevin Odlaug, Chandler Dennis

SAVES – Wyatt Olsanowski (L), 22; Payton Mancuso, 9

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