Defenseman Jared Bromberg, Justin Edwards and Toon De Schepper have been received divisional awards from the NA3HL.
Bromberg was just awarded 2nd-team, all-NA3HL honors yesterday and today has been named to the 2015-16 All-Central Division Team. In 44 games this season he recorded 10 goals and 28 assists for a +/- of +18, all which are tied for or career bests for the 2nd-year defenseman from Rochester, MN. Bromberg will begin his college hockey and academic career at Gustavus Alolphus College, an NCAA Division III hockey program in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).
Edwards was awarded the 2015-16 Central Division Community Service Award. Throughout the season Edwards assisted with mite practices and ringing bells for the Salvation Army, amongst other activities. Edwards, who turns 21 on July 25th, will continue his hockey and academic career with St. Mary's University. Like Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Mary's University is an NCAA Division III hockey program in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
De Schepper, native of Nieuwenrod, Belgium, has been awarded the 2015-16 Central Division Academic Achievement Award after a great academic year at La Crosse Central High School. De Schepper is eligible to return to play with the Freeze next year; he appeared in 31 total games recording three assists.
Although the Silver Cup tournament wasn't reached it was a successful season for the La Crosse Freeze in just their second season. A large part of the success is due to that of the play from second-year defenseman Jared Bromberg.
Bromberg, native from Rochester, MN, was a rock in the strong defensive core of the Freeze all year. After a great rookie season in 2014/15, Bromberg came back to La Crosse in 2015/16 and improved statistically all across the board except for goals scored warranting him a spot on the all-NA3HL 2nd team.
This seasons 10 goals and 28 assists were enough to warrant him NA3HL end-of-the-season honors for the second consecutive year after he was named to the 2014-15 All Central Division Team last season.
Brombergs hard work and strong play these last two seasons have him on a fast track to success for the future. After aging out this season he'll begin his college hockey and academic career at Gustavus Adolphus College, an NCAA Division III hockey program in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).
The Freeze congratulate Jared, thank him for his two years with the Freeze and wish him the best of luck in the future!
Toon De Schepper will travel to Spain to compete with the Belgian National U18 Team in the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World U18 Championship Div. II group B. De Schepper is scheduled to compete in the following games with his home country:
La Crosse Freeze 3, Wisconsin Whalers 2
The first game of the 2016 Silver Cup Playoffs between the Freeze and Whalers was the definition of back-and-forth throughout.
Daniel Toycen (Taylor Trapp, Patrick Gazich assisted) kicked things off for the Freeze in the first five minutes to jump on top of the Whalers but Wisconsin’s Ben Ratner answered just over five minutes later to tie the game at one heading into the second.
The 2nd period was all Freeze as Ben Henderson (Mick Nisbet, JP Eykyn) put in the only goal of the period as the Freeze played smart hockey staying out of the penalty box.
Wisconsin tied it back up at two early in the 3rd period but it was determined to be La Crosse’s game to lose. After an Eykyn hooking call sent him to the box at the 8:14 mark in the period, the Freeze faced the Whalers power-play offense for only the second time all game. With the task of killing off the penalty to salvage the tie and keep Wisconsin at two, the Freeze didn’t lose their offensive mindset as Nisbet (Henderson) beat Max McConnell short handed to give the Freeze a 3-2 lead at the midway point in the final frame.
The Nibset goal would be the game winner as the Freeze took game one from the Whalers. Will Graves got the call in net and played tough throughout, saving 34/36 shots. McConnell got the loss after saving 28/31.
La Crosse Freeze 5, Wisconsin Whalers 1
Game two took place at the home rink for the Whalers in Oregon, WI as Wisconsin faced a must-win situation to extend the series to three games and a win meant an opportunity to advance the the 2nd round of the playoffs for a Freeze. The home-ice advantage looked like it may be the difference as the Whalers got on the board first in the last two minutes of the 1st period.
The 2nd, much like the night before, was all Freeze as Reid Brown (Matt Wolter, Toycen) finally put the Freeze on the board 5:01 into the period. Things were quiet the rest of the middle frame as the two teams were knotted at one heading into the 3rd.
Thursday nights’ here Nisbet (Henderson, Alex Rickoff) broke the tie 3:12 into the 3rd in what would eventually be his second consecutive game-winning goal of the series. Brady Thiering (Noah Hallbeck, Jared Bromberg), Brown (Ben Johnson, Hallbeck), and Johnson (Trapp, Same Wenner) would all add to what would be a flurry of goals in the final period. Graves was given the nod in net for the 2nd consecutive night and got the win saving 25/26 shots.
With the sweep over the Whalers the Freeze advanced to the 2nd round of the Silver Cup Playoffs. After knowing their fate last Friday night the Freeze awaited the winner of the North Iowa Bulls/Rochester Ice Hawks series; with a sweep over the Ice Hawks it’ll be a 1 vs. 2 matchup with the Freeze taking on the Bulls.
The schedule for round two is as follows:
Game 1: Friday (3/25) @ North Iowa, 7:30pm
Game 2: Saturday (3/26) @ La Crosse, 7pm
Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday (3/27) @ North Iowa, 7:30pm
Tickets for Saturdays game in La Crosse will not be available for pre-sale. Doors to the arena will open at 5:30pm Saturday afternoon, tickets only $5 at arrival.
Ben Henderson has been named an honorable mention for his play last weekend against the Alexandria Blizzard.
Henderson, native of North Branch, MN, scored two goals over the course of the weekend. The first came on the power play Friday night just over six minutes in the game to give the Freeze a 1-0 lead over the Blizzard. The second came on Saturday night when he scored the only goal for the Freeze in the contest. Henderson now has 21 goals on the season – tied for a team high – as well as 18 assists.
Henderson and the Freeze begin their run for the Silver Cup Tournament this Thursday when they take on the Wisconsin Whalers in the 1st round of the NA3HL Playoffs.
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.
La Crosse Freeze 13, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs 1 (Thursday Night)
La Crosse Freeze 12, Chicago Jr. Bulldogs 1 (Friday)
It was a long weekend of action for the Freeze as they kicked it off Thursday night in La Crosse with a series against Divisional foe the Chicago Jr. Bulldogs. La Crosse handled the Jr. Bulldogs in each contest combining for 25 total goals in both games.
15 different players scored goals in the series and they were:
Ben Henderson (2), Sam Wenner (2), Noah Hallenbeck (1), Dan Toycen (3), Ben Johnson (1), JP Eykyn (1), Brady Thiering (2), Hunter Dolan (1), Hunter Breza (1), Kadin Machusak (1), Mick Nisbet (1), Dylan Goggin (3), Jerame Schuetzle (2), Alexander Rickoff (2), and Patrick Gazich (2).
Andrew Wagner was in net for both games and saved 43/45 shots throughout the series.
La Crosse Freeze 6, Rochester Ice Hawks 3
The Freeze continued their scoring ways into Saturday night’s contest in Rochester against the Ice Hawks. Johnson, Gazich (2), and Goggin all scored in the 1st period to give the Freeze a 4-0 lead. Rochester added three in the second, and Wenner scored once for the Freeze to make the lead 5-3 heading into the final frame. Taylor Trapp scored on an empty netter with :23 second remaining to make the final score 6-3.
Will Graves gave Wagner a rest and saved 33/36 shots in the victory.
La Crosse Freeze 5, Wisconsin Whalers 2
With three wins so far on the weekend the Freeze headed back to La Crosse in what would be their biggest game in the regular season facing off against the Wisconsin Whalers. What was on the line between the two teams? Home-ice advantage in the 1st round of the 2016 NA3HL Playoffs.
As expected it was a back-and-forth contest throughout but the Whalers jumped on the board first with a goal from Connor Boscaccy and carried the lead into the 2nd period. That’s when Reid Brown – formerly of the USPHL – scored his first goal in a Freeze uniform since coming on board right before rosters were locked in at the February deadline. Nisbet went on to give the Freeze the 2-1 lead with :40 seconds left in the 2nd.
Matthew Carr tied the game up just over three minutes into the 3rd but Matt Wolter gave the Freeze the advantage once again at the 12:21 mark. It wasn’t until a minute-and-a-half left that Toycen sealed the game and Johnson added an empty netter for good measure with just five seconds left.
Graves took the ice once again and proved he can be counted on in the big game, saving 29/31 shots in the contest.
Now with the 2nd seed locked in the division the Freeze have one more weekend remaining in the regular season. They’ll travel to take on West Division opponent, the Alexandria Blizzard on Friday and Saturday night. Both games are slated to start at 7:10pm.
Forward Taylor Trapp was named 2nd Star of the Week and forward Ben Henderson was named honorable mention after the La Crosse Freeze swept the Breezy Point North Stars.
Trapp, native of West Salem, WI, had another great weekend as he was a major contributor to the Freeze's success in sweeping the North Stars. He scored two goals in the first game Saturday night, the second being the game-winning goal in the 5-1 victory. Trapp also added another goal in Sunday afternoons 6-4 win. In 24 games Trapp has 15 goals and 17 assists.
Henderson, native of North Branch, MN, added one goal and three assists to his 2015-2016 resume. His lone goal came Saturday night and three assists all came in Sunday afternoons victory. With 38 games played Henderson now has 17 goals and 15 assists on the season.