This week in the NA3HL
This past week in the NA3HL was one to remember, particularly for the Battle Creek Revolution. The Revolution, who had gone winless the past two and half seasons in the NA3HL regular season, picked up their first win over the weekend. The weekend also saw the North Iowa Bulls move into 1st place in the West Division. Some teams have already hit the holiday break, however, this weekend in the NA3HL is filled with some good match-ups. Here is a look at each team’s progress as 2012 is drawing to a close:
Alexandria Blizzard: The Blizzard split their game last weekend, which included a heart-breaking loss at home to North Iowa on Friday as the Bulls scored in the final :15 seconds to win. They rebounded on Saturday with a 9-3 win over Breezy Point as Chayce Coenen and Ian Ecklund each had three points. This weekend the Blizzard host Granite City on Friday and travel to Minnesota on Saturday.
Battle Creek Revolution: The aforementioned Revolution fell 5-3 on Saturday at Queen City, but rebounded on Sunday with their first-ever win, a 4-3 shootout win over the Steam. Defenseman Kyle Ware, who was the NA3HL’s #2 star of the week, had four points over the weekend and the shootout-clinching goal. This weekend, the Revolution host the Three Rivers Vengeance.
Breezy Point North Stars: The North Stars dropped both their games this past weekend as they fell 9-3 to Alexandria on Saturday and 6-3 to Granite City on Sunday. Jonathon Plaszcz recorded a goal and an assist in the losses and Timothy Taylor had a three-point weekend. This weekend, the North Stars travel to North Iowa on Friday and return home Saturday to face Twin City before a two week holiday break.
Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks: The Lumberjacks got back on track with two, one-goal wins this past weekend over the visiting Metro Jets. Nick Balavich scored in both games and Ryan Wandzel had the overtime-winner on Sunday as Cleveland picked up a 6-5 OT win over the Jets. The Lumberjacks now have a 19-day break between games before they return to action on Jan. 5-6.
Flint Jr. Generals: Flint was swept over the weekend on the road by the Toledo Cherokee. On Friday, Flint did pick up a point in a 4-3 shootout loss. On Sunday, the Jr. Generals fell 5-2 to Toledo. Forward Jacob Howie recorded a point in each of the losses. The Generals are now off on an extended holiday break until they return to action on Jan. 5-6 against Cleveland.
Granite City Lumberjacks: In their lone game last weekend, the Lumberjacks picked up a 6-3 road win at Breezy Point. Eric Miller scored twice and Mattheu Raiola had two assists in the win. In their final game of 2012, the Lumberjacks take the short roadtrip to Alexandria to face the Blizzard on Friday before an extended holiday break.
Metro Jets: The Jets suffered a pair of close, one-goal losses over the weekend in a road series in Cleveland. On Saturday, Andrew Palushaj scored the lone goal in a 2-1 loss. On Sunday, the Jets got two goals from Mike Gambino and a point in a 6-5 OT loss. This weekend, the Jets host Toledo on Saturday before heading into their holiday break.
Michigan Mountain Cats: The Mountain Cats split a weekend home series with the Three Rivers Vengeance last weekend. After a 6-3 loss on Friday, the Cats rebounded for a 3-1 win on Saturday. Defenseman Ben Mack registered a point in both games including a two-point effort in the win on Saturday. This weekend, the Cats face a tough challenge as they host the 1st place St. Louis Jr. Blues.
Minnesota Flying Aces: It was a tough weekend for the Flying Aces as they dropped games to Twin City and North Iowa. Minnesota gave up eight goals in each of the losses. Defenseman Alec Brandup had a solid weekend as he registered four points in the two losses. The Flying Aces look to get back on track this weekend with a pair of home games against Twin City on Friday and Alexandria on Saturday.
North Iowa Bulls: The Bulls moved into 1st place in the West Division and extended their winning streak to nine games with wins over Alexandria and Minnesota last weekend. Forward Tim Santopoalo had six points over the weekend and as a result was named the NA3HL’s #1 star this past week. The Bulls gear up for their lone game this weekend, a home contest against Breezy Point on Friday.
Peoria Mustangs: The Mustangs posted a weekend home sweep of the Quad City Jr. Flames by scores of 4-0 and 3-1. Goalie Michael Parda picked up his second shutout of the season with 28 saves on Saturday and goalie Alex Reichle made 30 saves in Sunday’s 3-1 win. The Mustangs are now off on holiday break until Jan. 4-5 when they return to action in a home-and-home series with Quad City.
Quad City Jr. Flames: The Jr. Flames were swept in a road series in Peoria. Offense was hard to come by as the Flames scored just a single goal over the weekend, which came from Jason Hoehn. Goaltenders Jake Leon and Brandon Perillo both played well in the losses as they made over 30 saves respectively. This weekend, the Flames look to get back on track with a weekend home series against Queen City.
Queen City Steam: The Steam split their weekend home series with Battle Creek and did take away three of a possible four points for their efforts. Forward Nick Brusa had two goals and two assists over the weekend. This weekend, the Steam head to Quad City for a divisional series against the Jr. Flames.
St. Louis Jr. Blues: The Jr. Blues, who continue to hold onto the top record in the NA3HL with an 26-2-0 mark, had the past weekend off from action. This weekend, the Jr. Blues put their current 18-game winning streak on the line as they take to the road for a weekend series against the Michigan Mountain Cats. The Jr. Blues feature the league’s top statistical defenseman and goaltender.
Three Rivers Vengeance: The Vengeance split a weekend series with the Michigan Mountain Cats last weekend. Nico Vecchio had four points on Friday, but saw his 10-game point streak come to an end on Saturday. Stephen Budkey had the lone goal for the Vengeance in Saturday’s loss. This weekend, the Vengeance stay on the road for a weekend series in Battle Creek against the Revolution.
Toledo Cherokee: Toledo picked up a big weekend home sweep of the Flint Jr. Generals last weekend. Forward Jordan Prewitt was named the league’s #3 star thanks to his two goals in both games. On Friday, Ben Torchia had the shootout-winning goal. This weekend, the Cherokee travel to Metro for their lone game on Saturday before their holiday break.
Twin City Steel: The Steel picked up an 8-4 win over Minnesota in their lone game last weekend. Forward Trey Hughes picked up a hat-trick in the win. It was his first hat-trick, but 11th multi-point game of the season. Chase Myers-Beck picked up three assists in the win. Next up for the Steel is a pair of road games at Minnesota on Friday and at Breezy Point on Saturday.