Kirby has assist, but Express fall
Austin graduate a
leader on Southern Minnesota’s blue line
KASSON — The Alexandria Blizzard traveled south this weekend and captured the first two games in a best three-out-of-five North American Hockey League first-round playoff series against the Owatonna-based Southern Minnesota Express.
The first two games of the series were played at Kasson’s Four Seasons Arena because the ice is taken out of the arena in Owatonna at the end of February.
Alexandria won Saturday’s game 6-3 and it edged the Express 3-2 in overtime Sunday.
Former Rochester Lourdes standout Brandon Bahnemann had a three-point game on Saturday, scoring twice in the first period and adding an assist on a third-period goal. Rochester Century graduate Garrett Grimstad scored the game-winning goal at 1:14 of the third period.
Former Minnesota Ice Hawk Jerry Freismuth had a big game for the Blizzard on Saturday, too, with three assists. Tim Kirby, an Austin High graduate who will play at Division I Air Force next fall, had an assist for the Express.
Kirby has been one of Southern Minnesota’s top defenseman all season. He signed with Air Force just before the holiday break. Kirby also was selected to play in the league’s all-star showcase series in Michigan last month.
Grimstad had a two-point game in the Blizzard’s victory Sunday, including scoring the game-tying goal 3:59 into the second period. He also assisted on Kyle Clement’s game-winner just 2:06 into overtime. Freismuth got Alexandria on the board 38 seconds into the second period, and Bahnemann added an assist on Grimstad’s goal.
Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday at Alexandria. Game 4, if necessary, is set for Sunday in Alexandria and Game 5, if needed, would be April 13.