The NAHL this morning announced the schedule for the 2023 North American Hockey League Showcase which will be held from Wednesday, September 13th through Saturday, September 16th. The St. Cloud Norsemen will face four opponents at the Showcase representing the other three divisions in the NAHL taking on two opponents from the Midwest Division while facing one from the South Division and one from the East Division.
The Norsemen will kick off the 2023-24 NAHL Regular Season with the Shreveport Mudbugs at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, September 13th on Rink 2 at the Super Rink. The Mudbugs are a team that finished 3rd in the South last season with a record of 37-16-2-5 and 81 points. After a first-round victory over Lone Star Brahmas in five games they were swept by the eventual 2023 Robertson Cup Champion Oklahoma Warriors. Shreveport, playing in Shreveport, LA, was an expansion team to the NAHL that joined the league in 2016 and has won the Robertson Cup Championship twice, in 2018 and 2021. St. Cloud is looking for their first victory against the Mudbugs in the organization’s history losing their only two previous meetings, once at the 2021 NAHL Showcase and then while still the Brookings Blizzard losing to Shreveport in the 2017 NAHL Showcase.
The next afternoon at 1:45 pm on Thursday, September 14th on Rink 1 the Norsemen will take on the Northeast Generals, a team they’ve never faced in the two organizations’ histories. Northeast with a record of 30-25-4-1 and 65 points finished as the #4 seed in the East Division standings last season and were swept by the Maryland Black Bears who would go on to represent the East in the Robertson Cup. The Generals call Attleboro, Massachusetts home and they, like Shreveport, joined the NAHL in 2016 and have qualified for the playoffs four out of their six opportunities but have yet to make it out of the first round of the NAHL playoffs.
St. Cloud will kick things off bright and early again on Rink 1 on Friday, September 15th at 11:00 am with the first game of the day against the Chippewa Steel. Chippewa is the third straight opponent the Norsemen will face that made the playoffs in 2023, finishing 4th in the Midwest Division with a record of 31-25-1-3 and 66 points before getting swept by the Wisconsin Windigo. St. Cloud and Chippewa have not played one another in a regular season matchup while in their current locations, although they did play a home-and-home in the preseason last season. The Steel have been in Chippewa Falls, WI since 2018, competing as the Coulee Region Chill from 2010-2018 and the North Iowa Outlaws prior to that beginning in 2005. The last time the two organizations met in the regular season was March 31, 2018 as the Brookings Blizzard and the Coulee Region Chill.
The last game for the Norsemen at the 2023 North American Hockey Showcase is against the Springfield Jr. Blues. Springfield in 2022-23 finished 7th of 8 teams in the Midwest Division with a record of 26-31-1-2 for 55 points. Springfield is the longest tenured NAHL team having played in the league since 1993. They have two Robertson Cups in their history, winning the title in back-to-back years in 1996 and 1997. St. Cloud has not faced Springfield since the 2016-17 season when the franchise was still in Brookings. The Norsemen organization is looking to get above .500 against the Jr. Blues as they have an 8-8 record in 16 regular season matchups with Springfield with a 2-1 record as the Brookings Blizzard and a 6-7 record as the Alexandria Blizzard.
You can view the entire 2023 North American Hockey Showcase schedule below or view at NAHL.COM