3View: Alexandria Blizzard
August 20, 2018
The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2018-19 season, with two teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 3View goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all the head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2018-19 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2017-18 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 3View will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
2017-18 Record: 31-14-2, 64 pts. (3rd in the West Division)
2018 Playoffs: Lost to the New Ulm Steel in the West Division Semi-Finals, 2-1
Head Coach: Jeff Crouse
2018-19 Division: West
The Alexandria Blizzard played their first season in the NA3HL back in 2012-13. Coached by Jeff Crouse, the Blizzard are owned by the same owner as the Brookings Blizzard, who play in the NAHL. Alexandria was replaced from the NAHL, as they were the smallest market team in the league.
The Blizzard have been very consistent over the past couple years, making the playoffs in each of the past six seasons. However, getting over the hump in the very tough West division has been challenge.
Even after coming up short in the West Division Semi-Finals, Crouse was proud of the way his team fared last season.
“Overall, we had a great season,” Crouse said. “When you go down to the last weekend of the year and you don’t know who is going to win the division, but that is what you play for.”
This season, Crouse and his Blizzard plan to keep that momentum going and continue to build off the successes of the last few seasons.
A big part of getting over that hump in the West Division could be the strides the team has taken to get better during the offseason. Fortunately, Crouse is very confident in the players he recruited over the summer. “
“Our main focus this off season was to make sure we recruited quality hockey players on and off the ice,” Crouse said. “We will have a lot of new bodies and faces, so finding quality, coachable kids was very key for us.”
Crouse has been coaching Junior hockey for 16 years at the NAHL and NA3HL level and said his experience and connections have been extremely vital for helping his players make it to the next level.
With the development of the players being crucial, league wide events such as the Showcase, Top Prospects, and Fraser Cup are the best way for these players to shine.
“My network of college coaches is very broad, and I have multiple connections with the NCAA coaches, as well as the NAHL coaches,” Crouse said. “Our league wide events are absolutely awesome. I’ve had the chance to coach at the Top Prospects and that event is awesome for my players. Also, the showcase in Blaine is very beneficial for the players as they try to advance their careers.”
Crouse also emphasized that importance of keeping his players proactive with their own recruiting efforts.
In addition to building and improving as a team, the Blizzard have made a great effort to participate in a lot of services to support the community.
“Our network of community organization and events is huge,” Crouse said. “From Special Olympic Bowling, to working with our youth hockey program – we are very instrumental in our local school system as well. We make sure our players are giving back to the community that supports them.”
As the Blizzard look to finally get on top of the West, Crouse emphasized the importance of every game in a division that may not be decided until late in the year.
“We have to show up for every game, every weekend,” Crouse said. Every point is huge in this division.”
Next up in the 3View series: Atlanta Capitals