Weekend Recap: Freeze Clinch 2nd Seed in Central Division With Four Weekend Wins

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.

Go Freeze!