The Springfield Jr. Blues traveled to Flint, Michigan to play the Michigan Warriors and came home with 4 points this past weekend. The Jr. Blues had to use 65 minutes and a shootout Friday to win and played a strong defensive game Saturday to earn the sweep. Affiliate goaltender Stefanos Lekkas was strong in net all weekend for the Jr. Blues. Lekkas, who is from Kaneland, Illinois, plays for the Chicago Mission U18 team. The Mission begin the Illinois State tournament this week in Chicago.
Friday night the Jr. Blues fell behind 2-0 after giving up a goal in the first and another early in the second. Despite being down 2-0, the Jr. Blues battled back to make it 2-2. Mike Severson picked up his second goal of the season on a nice pass from Terry Leabo. 3 minutes later, Jack Sloan would pick up his seventh goal of the season on a 3 on 2 rush. Davis DeKorte found Sloan high in the slot and Sloan burried a shot five hole, it was DeKorte's second assist of the evening.
Late in the second, the Michigan Warriors got a lucky bounce on the power play that ended up on a Warrior's stick with a wide open net to make it 3-2 going into the intermission.
The score would remain 3-2 until 4 minutes left in the third period when Ryan Atkinson was able to find a Jeff McFarland rebound and put it home to tie the game 3-3. The game would remain tied and go to overtime. Despite having a powerplay in overtime the Jr. Blues were unable to score. Lekkas made a huge save with 1 second remaining in the overtime period on a Warrior player who was wide open on the back side of the net to force a shootout.
In the shootout, Lekkas would stop all 4 Warrior shooters, while Brett Skibba and Mitch Rogge scored to give the Jr. Blues the win.
Saturday night's game was a defensive battle that the Jr. Blues were able to come out on top of. Tom Cooney got the Jr. Blues on the board first in the second period after Jon Carkeek made a nice rush on the penalty kill. Carkeek threw the puck at the net and Cooney crashed the net and took the puck off of a Warrior's stick and put it past the Warriors goalie.
The Warriors would tie it up at 1 on the same powerplay after the Jr. Blues were caught in a change and a Warrior player sprung for a breakaway. The Warrior player beat Lekkas five hole on a nice move.
With 4 minutes remaining in the period, Severson found himself on a 1-on-1 with the Warrior defender. Severson fired a nice shot threw the defensemen's legs which beat the goalie over the glove. The goal gave the Jr. Blues a 2-1 lead they wouldn't give up.
Lekkas stopped all 7 shots he faced in the third period for a total of 24 saves in the 2-1 win. Lekkas will now return back to his midget team for their run at the midget major National Championship.
The Jr. Blues return home the next 2 weekends. This weekend the red hot Soo travel to Springfield for 2 games. The puck drops at 7:05 Friday and Saturday night! Friday night is sponsored by the Springfield Airport, a lucky fan in attendance will win 2 round trip tickets to Fort Myers/Punta Gorda, FL on Allegiant Airlines. Saturday night is sponsored by Iron Workers Local, college students get in for only $5 with a student ID and following the game is skate with the Jr. Blues! Get your tickets today by visiting your local County Market and save $1 on adult tickets.