After a long season the NA3HL playoffs are finally here.
The La Crosse Freeze (32-15, 64 points) have known who their opponent would be in the 1st round now for quite some time but didn’t know if they’d get the home-ice advantage they were looking for. It all came down to a March 6th match-up against the 3rd place Wisconsin Whalers (31-16, 62 points). A win would give the Freeze home-ice advantage in the 1st round but a loss would give the Whalers an opportunity to jump into 2nd place in the Central Division.
The Freeze ended up besting the Whalers in the Sunday afternoon game, 5-2, clinching the 2nd seed in the division. The victory also gave the teams a season split, each winning four games.
What does home ice mean to the Freeze heading into the 1st round of the playoffs? Their record at the Green Island Ice Arena throughout the 2015-16 season was 19-4 with their only losses coming against the Rochester Ice Hawks, Whalers, and North Iowa Bulls (twice). With an away record just above .500 at 13-11, the Freeze wanted the extra advantage heading into the three-game series. The Freeze also own a 3-1 record against the Whalers at home this season.
The schedule for the weekend is as follows:
Thursday, March 17th – Whalers vs. Freeze, 7pm @ Green Island Ice Arena in La Crosse, WI
Friday, March 18th – Freeze vs. Whalers, 7pm @ Oregon Ice Arena in Oregon, WI
Saturday, March 19th (If series splits) – Whalers vs. Freeze, 7pm @ Green Island Ice Arena in La Crosse, WI
The winner of this series will take on the winner of the Ice Hawks/Bulls series. The winner of that series then earns a bid to go to the NA3HL Silver Cup Tournament in Romeoville, IL. For more information on the Silver Cup tournament click here.
For tickets to Thursday nights game click here.