Blizzard, Tradesmen, and Bighorns round out Fraser Cup field
With wins on Saturday night, the Alexandria Blizzard (West Division), Oregon Tradesmen (Central Division), and Helena Bighorns (Frontier Division) joined the Texas Brahmas (South Division) and Northeast Generals (East Division) as teams to win their Fraser Cup Divisional Playoffs and qualify for the 2023 Fraser Cup Championship.
The five teams that advanced to the Fraser Cup Championship after winning their divisional playoff titles will now be seeded 1-5 based on their division’s performance against other divisions at the NA3HL Showcase.
The Granite City Lumberjacks, who were the team with the best regular season record not to win a playoff division title, will also qualify for the event as the Wild Card team and #6 seed.
The Fraser Cup Schedule are more details are posted here.
Central Division Finals, Game 2: Rochester 0 @ Oregon 7 (Oregon wins series, 2-0) – Seven different players scored for the Tradesmen and goalie Tyler Fromolz stopped all 36 shots that came his way as Oregon punched their ticket to the Fraser Cup thanks to a 7-0 win in Game 2 as they swept the Rochester Grizzlies to win the Central Division Playoff crown. After a scoreless 1st period, the Tradesmen jumped ahead 3-0 in the 2nd period with goals from Marcus Mack, Connor Byrne, and Christian Tavare. In the 3rd period, the Tradesmen blew the game open and ended the series with four more goals from John Ratajczyk, Sam Knight, Cooper Routheau, and Carter Walters. Grizzlies goalie Tate Cothern made 31 saves in the loss.
West Division Finals, Game 2: Granite City 2 @ Alexandria 3 (Alexandria wins series, 2-0) – Matt McIntyre had a goal and an assist and Konrad Kausch made 29 saves as the Blizzard punched their ticket to the Fraser Cup Championship thanks to a 3-2 win over the Lumberjacks in Game 2, sweeping the series and winning the West Division Playoff title. The Blizzard jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to a 1st period goal from McIntyre and 2nd period goals from Joe Gronholz and Ryan Hadland. Granite City tried to make a comeback of it with goals from Luke Delzer late in the 2nd period and Paul Hulgen late in the 3rd period, but they could not find the equalizer. Paul Cassin made 30 saves in the loss.
Frontier Division Finals, Game 3: Gillette 2 @ Helena 5 (Helena wins series, 2-1) – The Helena Bighorns jumped out a 4-0 lead and hung on in the 3rd period to defeat the Gillette Wild, 5-2 in the third and decisive game of the Frontier Division Finals as Helena claimed their second straight division playoff title. The Bighorns took a 1-0 lead in the 1st period on a goal from Darby McCarthy. In the 2nd period, the lead increased to 3-0 as Tyler Bloom and Andrew Deskin both found the back of the net. In the 3rd period, the Bighorns went ahead 4-0 on McCarthy’s second goal of the contest. Gillette tried to make a game of it with goals from Adam Severson and Cade Voge, but could not find another goal as the Bighorns killed off some penalties and got an empty-net goal from Braden Cunningham to secure the 5-2 win.