3View: Alexandria Blizzard
The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2022-23 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 2022-23 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 2021-22 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.
2021-22 Record: 25-20-2, 52 pts. (4th in West Division)
2022 Playoffs: Lost to Granite City in the West Division Semi-Final, 2-0
Head Coach: Jeff Crouse
2022-23 Division: West
After finishing 4th in the West Division, the Alexandria Blizzard are preparing to continue on the campaign they started last season. Falling in the West Division Semi-Final round of the Fraser Cup to the Granite City Lumberjacks, who would end up making it to the finals, Head Coach Jeff Crouse is looking forward to a core group of returning players.
“Last year we had a very young team with lots of new faces,” Crouse said. “With about half of the team coming back and the hood core or tenders and draft picks that made the team, we are looking to climb the standings this year and be a contender to win the division.”
Being close to taking the title as West Division Champions, Crouse is focused on making that one of his goals for the upcoming season. But, the West Division is no joke in the NA3HL.
“Our number one goal this year is to win the West Division,” Crouse said. “The big thing about playing in the West is you know every game is going to be tough. There are no cupcakes in our Division, and you have to prepare for battle every game. The West Division is by far the toughest division to win, and I know we can do it”
With that goal set in mind and a heavy group of returning players, from forwards to defenseman, Crouse is certain they’re team will make a good run in the postseason.
“We have a veteran group and it’s going to take tons of hard work and dedication to get it done with Justin Wasvick, Ethan Moerke, Matt McIntyre, Cole and Tyler Klingbeil, Colby Nickel, Kyle Mischke and Gavin Carlson are all returning forwards that I am going to lean on heavily to carry the load early on and throughout the season,” Crouse said. Coke Klingbeil is my returning goal scorer and I am looking forward to watching him keep improving. Charlie Larsen, Eric Scribner, Logan Lukasezck, Erick Sanborn, Karsten Senden and Wyatt Johnson are all veterans on the blueline that are going to be a very solid Defensive core.”
Alexandria’s 2021-22 roster had one NAHL Tender and four college commitments. Crouse understands the importance of player development and advancement that is the staple of the NA3HL.
“We had one player tender, Debrito, and two drafted into the NA last year,” Course said. “Larsen and Gronholz. Ryan Hadland will start the season with the MN Wilderness as well. Our number one focus has always been to develop and move guys to the next level. It also helps that I have been coaching in the NAHL for 19 years and have developed many great relationships at the college level.”
The Blizzard’s campaign in the 2022-23 season starts with a 2022-21 rematch against the Granite City Lumberjacks on September 23rd. Course and his staff are more than excited to get the season going.
“I am very excited about our young core of players and new bodies we brought in,” Course said. “Every single one of them can play and are going to be given a legit chance to produce and help our team win and compete in the West.”