3View: Alexandria Blizzard | North American Tier III Hockey League | NA3HL
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3View: Alexandria Blizzard

August 22, 2023

The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2023-24 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 2023-24 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 2022-23 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.

Alexandria Blizzard

Head Coach: Jeff Crouse (14th season)

2022-23 Record: 47 GP, 32-12-3, 67 pts. (2nd in West Division)

2022-23 Leading Scorer: Ryan Hadland (70 points)

2023 Playoffs: Lost to Granite City in the Fraser Cup Championship Game

2023-24 Division: West

Alexandria tied a team record in points last regular season after joining the NA3HL in 2012 and after falling just one win and one goal short of hoisting the Fraser Cup, head coach Jeff Crouse and the Blizzard are seeking to win one more game than last year.

Crouse heads into his 14th season behind the bench in Alexandria, 11th as head coach in the NA3HL. When asked about improving on a nearly perfect season last year he said, “We know it’s going to be super tough but also know that we have confidence and know we will have a target on our back all year. It’s going to take focus, hard work, and teamwork to pick up where we left off.”

To pick up where they left off, teamwork will be an integral component early in the season for Alexandria as they advanced six players to collegiate hockey and four tendered to an NAHL team. Crouse spoke on his and the organization’s philosophy about player development. “Obviously our goal is to win and contend for a title but at the end of the day it’s about developing young men on and off the ice and moving them on. Our run to the Fraser Cup finals obviously was very huge for our players to be seen and scouted by colleges and the NAHL.”

Despite the departures to the NAHL and College Hockey, the fans in Alexandria can still be excited about some familiar faces returning to the roster.

“Ashton Collings, Matt McIntyre, Bazl Cook and Justin Wasvick will lead the way upfront.  Karsten Senden and Aidan Prochaska are returning defensemen that played a lot of minutes for us down the stretch. I was able to trade for Goaltender Nolan Lacosse from New Ulm (now the Wisconsin Woodsmen) who was a Top Prospect.  We will have a young team again but the playoff run and experience we gained last year is going to help us out to start the season,” said Crouse.

That experience from the staff and returner players of getting to St. Louis will help some of the new faces get a taste of Blizzard hockey and make an impact early. Crouse talked about his expectations for their tenders and the six draft picks they made in the 2023 NA3HL draft.

“We are going to need some key draft picks and tenders to make a huge impact with the team right away. I have several players in the NAHL and lots of spots to fill from last year's team.  We have some very young and talented new players that we are looking forward to working with,” said Crouse.

Crouse and the Blizzard are no stranger to the powerhouse that is the West Division, not only in the regular season but also the playoffs. With the 2022 Fraser Cup Champions in the Rochester Grizzlies joining the division this upcoming season, Crouse knows they can’t have any nights off if they want to make the playoffs. 

“Adding another great team like Rochester to the West Division just makes each and every game that more important and exciting. There are no games off in the West and that’s what makes playing in this division very fun and exciting. The players and fans know that every game is going to be a barn burner,” Crouse said.

The Blizzard hope to start the season off strong on the road in their opening matchup against the Willmar WarHawks on the 23rd and 24th of September.

Next Up: Atlanta Capitals

 
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