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Comeback Kids! Lumberjacks win 4th Fraser Cup Championship

March 26, 2023

2023 NA3HL Fraser Cup National Champions: Granite City Lumberjacks

Fraser Cup National Championship Game: Granite City 6 vs. Alexandria 5 - Down 5-2 late in the 2nd period, the Granite City Lumberjacks scored the final four goals of the game, including the game-winner with 9.2 seconds remaining in regulation, to come from behind and defeat their West Division rivals, the Alexandria Blizzard, 6-5, to capture their fourth Fraser Cup National Championship in the last 11 years.

After some early pressure from Granite City, the Blizzard seized control in the middle of the opening frame. Michael DeBrito got the scoring started as he tipped home a shot from the point to put Alexandria ahead, 1-0. Just :32 seconds after that goal, the Blizzard scored again as Matt McIntyre fired home a snapshot from the right circle to make it 2-0. The Blizzard kept the pressure on and then less than two minutes after their second goal, they made it 3-0 on a shot from the high slot from Karsten Senden. Later in the period, the Lumberjacks got on the board with a rebound tally from Hayden Johnson to make it a 3-1 contest after 20 minutes.

In the 2nd period, each team scored twice as the offenses continued to flex their muscles. Just :33 seconds into the period, the Blizzard scored on the power play as Matt McIntyre put home a rebound chance to make it 4-1. Granite City came back to make it 4-2 as Tucker Skime collected a rebound after Blizzard goalie Konrad Kausch could not control the loose puck. The Blizzard went back up by three as a shot from Hayden DeMars went over the shoulder of Lumberjacks goalie Ryan Lehet for a 5-2 lead. That would be the end of the night for Lumberjacks goalie Ryan Lehet, who departed after giving up five goals on 22 shots. Paul Cassin came in to replace Lehet, which in hindsight would start the Granite City comeback.With :29 seconds remaining in the period the Lumberjacks pulled to within two goals at 5-3 thanks to a power play goal from Lyncoln Bielenberg-Howarth.

In the 3rd period, the Lumberjacks would complete the improbable four-goal comeback. Fraser Cup Most Valuable Player Tanner Brouwer scored midway through the period to make it a 5-4 contest. With just under three minutes to play, Zak Kennett tipped home a shot from the point to tie the game at 5-5. With just 9.2 seconds remaining in regulation a rush up the ice saw Carson Van Zuilen collect a loose puck and put it past sliding Blizzard goalie Konrad Kausch for the game and Championship-winning goal.

Cassin stopped all 11 shots he saw in his only Fraser Cup action. Kausch made 27 saves on 33 shots in the losing effort for the Blizzard.

Boxscore

NA3HL Fraser Cup All-Tournament Team

Forward: Tanner Brouwer, Granite City Lumberjacks (Most Valuable Player)

Forward: Ryan Hadland, Alexandria Blizzard

Forward: Paul Huglen, Granite City Lumberjacks

Defense: Wyatt Johnson, Alexandria Blizzard

Defense: Kyle Mortenson, Granite City Lumberjacks

Goaltender: Keaton French, Helena Bighorns

All-Time Fraser Cup Champions

2023     Granite City Lumberjacks

2022     Rochester Grizzlies

2021     North Iowa Bulls

2020     Event Canceled

2019     Texas Brahmas

2018     Metro Jets

2017     Granite City Lumberjacks

2016     North Iowa Bulls

2015     Granite City Lumberjacks

2014     North Iowa Bulls

2013     North Iowa Bulls

2012     Granite City Lumberjacks

2011     Chicago Hitmen

2010     St. Louis Jr. Blues

2009     Dubuque Thunderbirds

2008     Dubuque Thunderbirds

2007     Dubuque Thunderbirds

2006     St. Louis Jr. Blues

2005     St. Louis Jr. Blues

2004     St. Louis Jr. Blues

2003     St. Louis Jr. Blues

2002     Metro Jets

2001     Metro Jets

2000     St. Louis Jr. Blues

1999     Toledo Cherokee

1998     Motor City Chiefs

1997     Toledo Cherokee

1996     Motor City Chiefs

1995     Toledo Cherokee

1994     St. Louis Jr. Blues

1993     Wayne Chiefs

1992     Downriver Blades

1991     Wayne Chiefs

1990     Metro Jets

1989     Lytes Rustlers

1988     St. Louis Jr. Blues

 
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