Tag Archives: Junior Hockey

Freeze beat RiverWolves in lone game on the weekend

It was a short and sweet weekend for the La Crosse Freeze. Just one game on tap against the Wausau RiverWolves, a team they’ve found success against this season.

The trend continued for La Crosse who currently hold down the second spot in the Central Division standings. The first period belonged to Matthew Francois who with the help of Clayton Lackey and Toon De Schepper put the Freeze up 1-0.

Just 2:12 into the second period Keaton Caplis (Connor Losen, Lackey) made it 2-0. The rest of the middle frame continued to go La Crosse’s way; Brady Lindauer (Toon De Schepper, Max Dubovecky, Francois, Alec Seeger) added two goals to his resume and Flavien Fondadouze (Lackey, Nathan Marquardt) scored his third goal of the season to bring the Freeze goal to 4-0.

In the third period Caplis (Losen, Seeger) scored the Freeze’s second power play goal of the night. Shortly after Wausau’s Matt Irwin gave the RiverWolves their lone goal of the contest. De Schepper (Brock Zukowski, Jacob Garman) and Lindauer (Seeger) closed the game out with two more goals, finalizing the 8-1 victory.

Newcomer Devin Naidow won his first game as a Freeze in impressive fashion saving 21/22 shots for his first win on the season.

After what’s been a quiet last month for La Crosse it’s about to get a bit busier. On Thursday night the Freeze and RiverWolves meet once again before the NA3HL meets in Blaine, MN for the 2017 NA3HL Showcase. For the schedule and additional Showcase information, click here.

Go Freeze!

Freeze, NA3HL 2017 Showcase schedule announced

The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced the schedule for the 2017 Showcase, which will take place from December 17-19, 2017 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota. This season marks the eighth straight year the NA3HL will hold a league-wide Showcase, which features some of the best junior talent in the United States.

View the 2017 NAHL Showcase schedule here

The NA3HL Showcase will feature all 42 NA3HL teams playing in one regular season game per day, for a total of 21 games per day during the three-day event. The 2017 NA3HL Showcase schedule pairs up evenly matched teams against one another based on the current standings, which is designed to have cross-divisional games with balanced competition.

The NA3HL Showcase is annually one of the most well-attended and scouted events of the entire season for the league, attracting college and junior scouts alike. The NA3HL Showcase brings every NA3HL team under one roof, which allows scouts to see all the great talent the league has to offer. Not only does the showcase see a large presence of NCAA scouts but NAHL Central Scouting is also in attendance, furthering the chances for players to earn a call up to the NAHL.

The NA3HL continues its tradition of serving as the best training ground of its kind in the country by providing the best exposure and developmental vehicles available for student-athletes at the Tier III junior level. In addition to a record number of players starting the year in the NAHL, the NA3HL saw over 35 players earn call-ups to the NAHL throughout the season in 2017. The NAHL wasn’t the only place where the NA3HL saw advancement, as over 130 players made college commitments last season.

“The NA3HL Showcase is an event we circle on the calendar every year and this year is going to be another exciting three days of competition that is all about opportunity for the players,” said NA3HL Commissioner Denny Scanlon. “We were very pleased with the event last year, which featured a format of evenly matched teams paired against one another based on current standings, and we will continue that again this year. The timing of the Showcase also comes at a great time for both college and junior scouts to attend.”

Scouts will receive complimentary admission to the NA3HL Showcase. Proper identification and team/league affiliation must be presented at the admission counter in order to receive a scout pass. Scout packet includes a pass for entrance into the Schwan Super Rink for all three days of the event, access to the scout room, which will include catered food and beverage throughout the event, a tournament program and line charts for each game.

Another benefit of the NA3HL’s direct relationship with the NAHL is the presence of NAHL Central Scouting. A team of dedicated and knowledgeable scouts will be on hand at the Showcase evaluating NA3HL players in a true unbiased manner. That information on all players is then organized and provided to NAHL teams and college coaches. In a system that no other junior league in the United States has, individual player scouting profiles are then uploaded into the Rink Net database, the same service used by NCAA and NHL teams. NAHL Central Scouting is lead by Tony Zasowski, Director of Player of Personnel for the NAHL, NA3HL and NAPHL. His primary role is to coordinate the scouting at all events, and to promote player advancement and to supply information to NAHL, NCAA and other junior and collegiate coaches.

As an additional element to the program this season, an NCAA education and compliance seminar will be presented to all players, coaches and parents during the NA3HL Showcase. This will be the same presentation used in NAHL seminars and the focus will be on differences between NCAA Division I, Division III and ACHA, the breakdown of NCAA I conference landscape, NCAA Initial Eligibility information including important new rules going into effect this season and how future players will be affected, the recruiting process and how to market yourself.

The Schwan Super Rink is the largest ice arena of its kind in the world. The state-of-the-art facility, a $21 million project totaling over 300,000 square feet, features eight sheets of ice under one roof.

Freeze Showcase Schedule

The Freeze kick things off on December 17th against the Niagara Falls PowerHawks (11-9-1) of the Northeast Division in Schwan SR2 at 11am CT. On day two the Freeze face the Great Falls Americans (16-5-2) of the Frontier Division in Schwan SR 4 at 4pm CT. Finally on day three La Crosse will considered the home team against the Pittsburgh Vengeance (21-6) of the East Division in Schwan SR 7 at 12:15pm Ct.

For more details on the 2017 NA3HL Showcase, including ticket, hotel, rental car, scouting and schedule information, visit: na3hl.com/showcase. All the games at the NA3HL Showcase will be broadcast live on HockeyTV.

West division proving to be La Crosse’s achilles heel

The La Crosse Freeze are working on shaking the rust off after just three games since the 12th of November. Their first of the three came the Wednesday before Thanksgiving against the Wisconsin Whalers; this past weekend it was on to hosting the Alexandria Blizzard.

The first two periods it was all Alexandria. The Blizzard got off to three goals off of 25 shots while the Freeze managed to put just 17 shots on net in the same time frame.

It wasn’t until the 14:43 mark in the third that Ethan Bettis (Thomas Magnavite, Brandon Ratzloff) found the back of the net. It was also the only time the Freeze would convert, dropping the first game of the series 1-3. Jacob Silverstein saved 26/29 shots on the night.

Unlike the night before the Freeze cracked the scoreboard first as Toon De Schepper (Brady Lindauer, Matthew Francois) scored his third goal on the season. In the second period the Blizzard tied and took the lead in less than four minutes. Magnavite (Connor Losen) wasted no time tying the game, however, just 49 seconds later.

After no scores in the third period both teams took matters into overtime. All signs were pointing to La Crosse’s first shootout of the season but Alexandria’s Alec Skar capped the game off with just a minute left.

Will Graves dropped his first game since the third of November against the Breezy Point North Stars, saving 27/30 shots.

The Freeze hit the ice just once this upcoming weekend, taking on the Wausau Riverwolves on Saturday night in Wausau.

Freeze reclaim top spot in Central Division

The La Crosse Freeze and Wausau RiverWolves have become very familiar with one another over the course of the last month. Wausau, fresh off a relocation from Chicago, joined the Freeze this season as the third NA3HL team in the country that calls the state of Wisconsin home.

Now the two teams aren’t only fighting for Wisconsin bragging rights but also the right to call themselves Central Division champs. And the rivalry continued this past Friday and Saturday, starting out in Wausau where the Freeze have, albeit won, had very competitive games with the RiverWolves. And Friday night was no exception.

La Crosse’s John Menzies (Toon De Schepper, Brady Lindauer) and Caleb Beversdorf (Benjamin Beversdorf, Brock Zukowski) both scored in the first while Wausau scored in between. Lindauer (Clayton Lackey, Menzies) made it 3-1 before Wausau came back with three consecutive goals of their own.

Down 3-4 almost halfway through the final period, De Schepper tied the game and Menzies (Lindauer, Thomas Magnavite) scored the eventual game winning and insurance goal to complete the hat trick in his first game with the Freeze.

Both Koby Lukehart and Will Graves got time in net with Graves picking up the win.

Saturday nights tilt moved to La Crosse and like the third period from the night before the Freeze were in control the whole time.

The first period all saw goals from Lackey (Lindauer, Laudon Poellinger), Matthew Francois (2) (Magnavite, Jacob Garman), and Ethan Bettis (Lackey, Lindauer) all scored prior to the first intermission. Poellinger (Brandon Ratzloff, Bettis) and Lackey (De Schepper, Nathan Marquardt) both scored in the second with Marcus Tilmon (Ratzloff) finishing it off in the third.

The Freeze would go on to win 7-0 behind not only the offensive sticks but also the pads of goalie Jacob Silverstein as he picked up his sixth win on the season by stopping all 18 shots on the night.

Freeze fans had some deja vu Sunday afternoon with the Rochester Ice Hawks in town. What may have been more impressive than the seven goals La Crosse scored were the 31 total penalties between both teams.

Magnavite (Francois, Garman) and Tilmon (2) (Garman, Magnavite, Alec Seeger, Ratzloff) got things started in the first period with Tilmon’s goal at the 8:23 mark being the first-of-four Freeze power play goals. Tilmon (De Schepper, Menzies) completed the hat trick halfway through the second period while Francois (Poellinger, Lindauer) made it 5-0 going into the third. Lackey (Lindauer, Poellinger) finished the scoring out in the third with two more goals of his own, finishing the weekend tied for first in the NA3HL in goals with 20.

With the three-game sweep this past weekend the Freeze now find themselves back on top of the Central Division in the middle of November, three points above the North Iowa Bulls. They take the lead into an off weekend, hitting the ice the Wednesday before Thanksgiving against the Wisconsin Whalers in Oregon, WI.

Go Freeze!

Freeze split hard-fought weekend with North Stars

For the second time on the season the Freeze took on an opponent from the West Division. It was a two-game series with the Breezy Point North Stars in Breezy Point, a team they struggled against last year losing three of the four games the two teams faced.

Friday night may have been the 2016-17 season. Although a hard-fought game the Freeze struggled for the first time in over a month. But the real story from Friday night may have been the amount of penalties accrued between both teams: 17 times either team was sent to the box including nine for the Freeze. That proved to be the difference in the 2-4 loss as the North Stars converted two of their power plays into goals.

Clayton Lackey (Thomas Magnavite, Jake Ziegelbein) and Laudon Poellinger (Toon De Schepper, Matthew Francois) were the two that put La Crosse in the box score. Otherwise it was Will Graves fighting off an unusual amount of penalty kills on the night en route to saving 32 of 36 shots.

Saturday was much of the same story, different ending as 19 penalties were enforced between both teams. It’d be the Freeze, however, that would take advantage of the power play opportunities, scoring two off the stick of Poellinger (Lackey, Francois) in the first and Magnavite (De Schepper, Jacob Garman) to tie the game 2-2 in the third. A Breezy Point goal soon after gave them the 3-2 lead but Poellinger (Caleb Beversdorf) tied the game with 5:59 left to play.

No penalties in overtime but there was a hat trick; Poellinger (Magnavite, Francois) scored his third goal of the night to give the Freeze the 4-3 win. Jacob Silverstein got the call in net and saved 26/29 shots to extend his record to 5-1 on the season.

The Freeze will see a familiar opponent on Friday and Saturday night before hosting the Rochester Ice Hawks on Sunday afternoon. La Crosse faces the Wausau RiverWolves for the fifth and sixth time over the course of the last few weeks. Friday night’s game will take place in Wausau before the series comes back for a showdown on Saturday night at the Green Island Ice Arena.

Go Freeze!

Keaton Caplis named NA3HL Defenseman of the month for October; Lackey Forward runner-up

La Crosse defenseman Keaton Caplis was the key piece to the Freeze blue line in October. The Gilbert, Arizona native was a plus-16 in this month while also contributing on the offensive side of the puck. One of Caplis’ best games came on October 20th as he registered 3 assists while having a plus-3 rating in a win over the Wausau RiverWolves. The 18-year old notched a pair of power play goals in the month of October and had four multi-point games. The play of Caplis has certainly been a major reason why the Freeze currently sit in first place of the Central Division. “Keaton has great hockey IQ and is an extremely driven player. Our programs model of player development has been very beneficial for him, and I am really proud in the strides he is making as an offensive defenseman. I am very proud to see his hard work and dedication be recognized as we move forward in his development,” said Freeze Head Coach Jon Vaillancourt.

Overall it was a great month for the Freeze including forward Clayton Lackey who played a large role in La Crosse’s undefeated month of October. In eight games played he scored 14 goals and eight assists (22 points) while ending the month with a +/- of +18. Lackey scored three or more points in five of the eight games he played in throughout October.


Freeze continue to lead Central Division after 5th straight weekend sweep

As we enter the month of November the La Crosse Freeze find themselves in a great spot: leading the Central Division. Now with 24 points on the season (just two out of the NA3HL lead), the Freeze have confidence heading into the middle frame of the season.

Heading into this last weekend the Freeze already had momentum. They came into their second consecutive weekend against Wausau, fresh off their fourth consecutive weekend sweep.

This past weekend turned into their fifth. At home last Friday night it was all Freeze aside from one goal the RiverWolves scored in the second. Before that, however, it was La Crosse scoring five times from five different players. Keaton Caplis (Alec Seeger, Brandon Ratzloff), Thomas Magnavite (Laudon Poellinger, Ratzloff), Seeger (Toon De Schepper, Clayton Lackey), Lackey (Jacob Garman, Brock Zukowski), and Will Bryant (Ryan Gargaro, Connor Duncan) all scored before the RiverWolves could convert.

Seeger, Brock Zukowski (Caplis, Seeger), and Lackey (Caplis, Will Graves) finished the scoring out for La Crosse in the second and third periods.

The Freeze put up a total of 54 shots on the night. On the other side it was Graves picking up the victory for La Crosse with 23/24 saves.

Scoring looked a bit different on Saturday night, and Wausau was the first ones to get on the board. Actually, the RiverWolves put the first two goals on the board as the Freeze struggled to get anything going early.

With an 0-2 deficit midway through the second, Seeger (Garman, Ethan Bettis) notched the first goal for La Crosse on the night on a power play. Bettis (Thomas Magnavite, Ratzloff) and Magnavite (Seeger, Ratzloff) finished the second frame off with three consecutive Freeze goals.

Ratzloff and Magnavite continued their strong game at the start of the third to as Magnavite assisted on La Crosse’s fourth goal of the night, giving the Freeze a 4-2 lead. Wausau made it 4-3 there shortly after but that’s as close as they’d get. Marcus Tilmon and Magnavite (Bettis) both scored in the waning moments of the third to give La Crosse the 6-3 victory.

In net was second year goalie Jacob Silverstein, saving 18/21 shots on the night.

This weekend La Crosse head North for a weekend series against the Breezy Point North Stars for a Central vs. West Division matchup. Both games are set to begin at 7:30pm.

Go Freeze!

Freeze pull off their fourth consecutive weekend sweep

The new season has continued to get off to a great start for the La Crosse Freeze and first-year head coach Jon Vaillancourt. Coming into this past weekend they sat at 8-3 and on top of the Central Division. And after the weekend they didn’t move an inch, holding a two-point division lead with an 10-3 record.

Last weekends matchup came against a new team to the NA3HL; the Wausau River Wolves, now four games into the season, are a relocated team from Chicago under new ownership.

Friday night’s contest was the first contest between the two Wisconsin teams and it was Wausau that got on the board first at the Green Island Ice Arena just 2:47 into the first period. After that, however, it was all Freeze. La Crosse rallied off five goals in the first from five different players: Clayton Lackey (Keaton Caplis, Brady Lindauer), Lindauer (Lackey, Caplis), Brandon Ratzloff (Lackey, Lindauer), Benjamin Beversdorf (Toon De Schepper, Jake Ziegelbein), and Jacob Garman (Ethan Bettis) all found the back of the net before the end of the first.

From there La Crosse scored three in the second including two from Lackey (Ratzloff, Caplis, Will Bryant, Lindauer) and one from Marcus Tilmon (Brock Zukowski) and two more in the third compliments of Alec Seeger (Ziegelbein) and Lackey (Connor Duncan, Lindauer).

The man in net for the Freeze was Gunner Snyder, a local goalie from La Crosse. He saved 15/16 shots on the night.

Saturday night’s matchup moved Northeast to Wausau. The first was a complete 360 of what happened the previous night; La Crosse jumped on the board first thanks to Tilmon (Lindauer, Laudon Poellinger) but the River Wolves took advantage of jumping on the Freeze quick with three consecutive goals between the 10:18 and 12:34 mark.

The first intermission was a learning point for the Freeze. As they faced their biggest deficit since the October 8th contest against the Willmar WarHawks, La Crosse came out firing in the second scoring four goals from four different skaters. De Schepper, Lindauer (Seeger, Ryan Gargaro), Seeger (Ratzloff) and Duncan (Caleb Beversdorf) gave the Freeze a 5-3 lead into the 2nd intermission. Lindauer (Poellinger, De Schepper) and Lackey (Seeger, Lindauer) finished the scoring off for La Crosse as they won their eighth straight game.

Koby Lukehart got the call in net for La Crosse on Saturday night and saved 10/13 shots for his second win of the season.

This weekend will look similar to last as the River Wolves come to La Crosse Friday night before the two teams switch places Saturday night. Puck drops at 7pm and 7:10pm on Friday and Saturday night, respectively.

Go Freeze!

Another weekend sweep for the Freeze

So far, so good. That’s what the La Crosse Freeze are thinking after their second consecutive weekend sweep. Now winners of their past five games they sit at the top of the Central Division standing with 16 points.

How’d they get there? It was a tale of two different games against the Whalers Friday and Saturday night. Friday night was the second Whalers/Freeze matchup in La Crosse already on the young season; the Freeze came out victorious by a narrow margin of 6-5 back on Sept. 29.

It was much of the same this past Friday. La Crosse came out with two goals in the first from Matthew Francois (Clayton Lackey) and Marcus Tilmon (Brandon Ratzloff, Toon De Schepper) to Wisconsin’s one. The result in the second was much of the same: two goals for the Freeze off the sticks of Tilmon (Brock Zukowski) and Laudon Poellinger (Jacob Garman, Brady Lindauer) with the Whalers scoring just once.

The score remained 4-2 before the Whalers scored with 51 seconds left. Goalie Will Graves held Wisconsin in check the rest of the way while picking up his third consecutive win and his fourth on the season.

The home-and-home series concluded Saturday night in Oregon in impressive fashion. Strong second and third periods for the Freeze resulted in a 12-1 victory. Here’s how the scoring went down:

1st period:

Garman (Alec Seeger)

Lackey (Keation Caplis)

2nd period:

Lackey (Ethan Bettis)

Garman (Will Bryant)

Caleb Beversdorf (unassisted)

Beversdorf (Jake Ziegelbein)

Lackey (Lindauer, De Schepper)

Lindauer (Caplis, Lackey)

3rd period:

Beversdorf (Bettis)

Ziegelbein (C. Beversdorf, Benjamin Beversdorf)

Bryant (unassisted)

Ziegelbein (B. Beversdorf, C. Beversdorf)

With the weekend sweep the Freeze improved their record to 8-3. This weekend the Freeze have another home-and-home series but it’s against a brand new opponent – new to the NA3HL in 2017-18 – the Wausau RiverWolves. The Freeze host Friday night (7pm puck drop) at the Green Island Ice Arena and hit the road for Wausau Saturday night (7:10pm puck drop).

Go Freeze!

Wagner makes college commitment

The La Crosse Freeze, proud members of the NA3HL, are excited to announce that goalie Andrew Wagner has committed to play collegiate hockey for the Adrian College hockey team in the ACHA Division I.
Wagner (5’11/175) spent his junior hockey career competing at the tier-3 level in the North American 3 Hockey League. He spent his first season in the league with the Flint Jr. Generals before the team was brought to La Crosse. He then spent the next three seasons with the Freeze, helping lead the team to the playoffs each season.
Adrian College head coach Gary Astalos said, “Andrew is a strong goaltender and an even better person. We are excited to have him on the ice and in the classroom at Adrian College.”
Wagner, a native of East Lansing, Michigan, finished his final regular season with the Freeze with a 6-5 record including a 3.20 GAA and a .904 save percentage. He followed it up with a strong performance in the NA3HL playoffs going 2-1 with a 2.02 GAA and .938 save percentage.
Wagner also played in the 2016 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament for Team Central.
The Freeze would like to thank Andrew for his hard work and dedication with the organization over the last three seasons and wish him the best of luck as he continues his academic and athletic careers at Adrian College.