It has only been three weeks of the 3HL regular season and the competition has ramped up. Some familiar faces are sitting atop of their respective divisions, some of which have a new look to them. Other teams are surprising people and grabbing some of the headlines. Here is a look, team by team, of what is happening in the 3HL this week:
Alexandria Blizzard: The Blizzard are off to a 3-0-0 stars and keeping pace with Granite City atop the West Division. In their lone game this past weekend, they beat the Breezy Point North Stars 3-1 on Friday in Breezy Point. They have allowed just 3 goals in 3 games. This weekend they face Granite City in a 1st place showdown and Minnesota.
Battle Creek Revolution: The Revolution are still looking for their first win after being swept this weekend at Toledo. The Revolution are being led by Joey Lioy, who leads the 3HL in goals with 6. This weekend, the Revolution play their first home games of the season as they host Quad City for a pair of games on Saturday and Sunday.
Breezy Point North Stars: The expansion North Stars are off to a 0-2-1 start, but were very competitive this past weekend, dropping a 3-1 decision to Alexandria and a 6-5 shootout loss to North Iowa. They face their first road test of the year as they travel to Peoria for a pair of games on Saturday and Sunday.
Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks: The Jacks are at a familiar place, at the top of the East Division, thanks to a convincing weekend home sweep of the Metro Jets, in which they outscored their opponent, 10-2. Cameron Dimmitt, Fred West and Scott Cuthrell all have nine points respectively and are all tied for 2nd in 3HL scoring. Cleveland is off until October 6-7.
Flint Jr. Generals: Flint split a home-and-home series with the Michigan Mountain Cats last weekend. They fell in Michigan, 4-3 on Saturday, but rebounded for a 7-2 win on Sunday. Flint sits at 2-1-1 and in a tie for 2nd place in the East Division with Toledo. Flint will host Toledo this weekend as they look to break the 2nd place deadlock.
Granite City Lumberjacks: The 3HL Silver Cup Champions are picking up right where they left off last year as they have started the season with a perfect 4-0 record, thanks to two more wins this past weekend over North Iowa and Minnesota. In each of the Granite City’s four wins, they have scored four goals. They have just one game this weekend as they face Alexandria at home on Friday.
Metro Jets: The Jets suffered their first two losses of the season this past weekend, as they were swept on the road by the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks. The Jets managed just two goals over the weekend after scoring 16 the weekend before. Doug Andrews is tied for 2nd in 3HL scoring with nine points. The Jets are at home this weekend for two games against the Three Rivers Vengeance.
Michigan Mountain Cats: The Mountain Cats split a weekend home-and-home series with Flint last weekend in their first games of the 2012-13 season. Guy Soulliere led the way with a three-point weekend. The Mountain Cats have this upcoming weekend off and will face Battle Creek on October 5th and 6th.
Minnesota Flying Aces: The Aces are off to a 0-2 start, but to their defense, both games have been on the road in Granite City. This past weekend, the Aces were blanked by the Lumberjacks, 4-0. This upcoming weekend, Minnesota will play at Twin City on Friday night and they return Saturday in their home opener against Alexandria.
North Iowa Bulls: The Bulls are off to a 2-1-1 start. This past weekend, the Bulls split their two games. On Friday, the Bulls lost 4-1 in Granite City, but they rebounded on Saturday with a 6-5 shootout win as Taylor Brown led the way with four points. This weekend, the Bulls travel to Twin City for their lone game of the weekend on Saturday.
Peoria Mustangs: The Mustangs picked up their first win of the season as they won the second game on their series in Queen City this past weekend. On Saturday, the Mustangs fell to the Steam, 5-3, but turned it around on Sunday with a 4-2 win. Brennan Anderson and Cory Kettler each led the way with six points. Peoria hosts Breezy Point for two games this weekend.
Quad City Jr. Flames: The Flames are still looking for their first win after being swept in St. Louis by the Jr. Blues this past weekend. The Flames struggled offensively, as they were outscored 12-1 in the weekend series. The Flames have scored just three goals in their first four games. They look to get back on track this weekend as they travel to Battle Creek to face the Revolution.
Queen City Steam: If there is a ‘surprise’ team in the 3HL so far this season, it may be the Steam, who are off to a 4-2-0 start and in 2nd place in the Central Division. The Steam split a home series with Peoria this past weekend. Forward Damien Lona leads the 3HL in scoring with 10 points. Queen City’s 12-game homestand continues this weekend against the 1st place Jr. Blues.
St Louis Jr. Blues: The 3HL Silver Cup finalist from a season ago moved their record to 6-0-0 with two more wins over the weekend at Quad City. The Jr. Blues offense is #1 in the league, having scored 37 goals in six games. This weekend should provide a good test for the Jr. Blues as they travel East to face the 2nd place Queen City Steam.
Three Rivers Vengeance: The Vengeance had the weekend off and are off to an 0-4 start. This upcoming weekend, the Vengeance go on the road for the first time this season as they face the Metro Jets in the pair of games. Veteran forward Alex Berardinelli leads the team in scoring with five points.
Toledo Cherokee: The Cherokee, one of four teams in the 3HL’s Silver Cup Tournament last season, picked up a weekend home sweep of Battle Creek this past weekend. Toledo scored 13 goals in the two games and are led offensively by Alec Gerred, who has six points in four games. Things could get tougher for the Cherokee this weekend as they travel to Flint for a pair of games.
Twin City Steel: The Steel were off last weekend after opening up the season with two losses in St. Louis on September 15-16. The battle in the West heats up for the Steel this weekend as they have their home opener against Minnesota on Friday and host the North Iowa Bulls on Saturday. Twin City will play 13 of their next 14 games at home.