Tag Archives: illinois

Forward Ethan Stewart Commits to Ferris State

Rockford, Illinois native, and Springfield Jr. Blues fan favorite, Ethan Stewart has committed to play D1 college hockey at Ferris State University.

“As a coach I can’t say enough about this kid,” said Head Coach Tyler Rennette. “Stewart came to the rink everyday with a smile on his face and worked his tail off. This commitment is well deserved,  Ferris State is getting a first class kid.”

Stewart has played 60 games this season, scoring 17 goals, and 30 assists for a total of 47 points. Stewart had one game winning goal this season and is looking strong in the post season.

Springfield Forward Dylan Rauh Commits

Forward Dylan Rauh, originally from Aurora, CO has committed to play NCAA hockey at Aurora University in Illinois.

Rauh joined the team right at the trade deadline, playing 23 games for Springfield in the regular season, giving the team three goals, six assists, for a total of nine points. His entire regular season gives him 61 games played, eight goals, and 13 assists for 21 points.

In the post season, with two games played, Rauh has had one assist.

In a league centered around growth and development, Head Coach Tyler Rennette gets excited when a player commits to a college and will continue to play hockey.

“Dylan has been great for our team since joining us at the deadline. He plays with a lot of energy and is a great role model for the younger players. He will be a great college hockey player and Aurora is lucky to have him next fall,” said Coach Tyler Rennette.

Springfield Game Recap: Fighting to Stay

Game Recap 4/14/18

Your Springfield Jr. Blues took on the Janesville Jets for the second game of the first round of playoffs tonight, coming away with a 3-2 loss. The best-of-three series is currently 2-0 in favor of Janesville, with your Jr. Blues coming home next weekend for game 3.

The first period started with Janesville lighting the lamp at 4:36. Janesville racked up two penalties, but Springfield couldn’t capitalize on either. Janesville found the net again at 8:56 of the second period, making the score 2-0.

At 14:59 of the second period, Spencer DenBeste found the back of the net with an assist from Muzzillo, cutting Janesville’s lead in half. The period continued with a few penalties from each team, and ended with a score of 2-1.

The third period started with a Springfield goal from Dylan Rauh, tying the game at 2-2. Janesville retaliated shortly after, bringing the score to 3-2.

Game three will be Friday, April 20th at the Neslon Center. Springfield will be fighting to push for a game four. Don’t forget that playoff tickets are only $5!

Weekend PLAYOFF Preview: Springfield at Janesville

The playoffs are finally here and your Springfield Jr. Blues are feeling confident going into the weekend with two games on the road against the Janesville Jets.

*Please note the Official Watch Party is at Cooper’s AlleySide for these both games against Janesville starting at 7pm each night*

Be sure to mark your calendars for Friday 4/20 and (possibly) Saturday, 4/21. Your Springfield Jr. Blues are home for their home game of the post season. Be sure to come out on Friday for Happy Hour with $1. Coors Lite drafts from 5:30 until 6:45, with the puck drop at 7:05. We will also have $2 Blue Moon, Give-Aways, A Live Band, and Jersey Auction!

SPRINGFIELD JR. BLUES

 Tale Of The Tape:

Record: (3rd in Midwest)

Top Scorers: Ethan Stewart (60 GP,  17 G- 30 A -47 Pts.), Nikita Kozyrev (57 GP, 15 G- 27 A -43 Pts.), Max Branin (57 GP,  17 G- 23 A -40 Pts.)

Forward To Watch:

Ethan Stewart Springfield forward Ethan Stewart has logged 47 points this season with Springfield. He has 17 goals and 30 assists, making him our highest scoring skater this year. He has six power play goals and one game winning goal.

Manning The Blue Line:

Jordan Muzzillo:  Springfield defenseman Jordan Muzzillo has logged 28 points this season, with 6 goals and 20 assists. He has one power play goal and two game winning goals. 

Between The Pipes:

Evan Fear: Goaltender Evan Fear sports a save percentage of .875 this season, with 2.39 GAA. His shootout save percentage is 0.929. He is 19-11 so far this season for the Springfield Jr. Blues, and he will look to stay hot this weekend!

Schedule for Round 1 of the Robertson Cup Playoffs

Game 1 | Friday, April 13 | Janesville Ice Arena | 7:00 p.m. CST
Game 2 | Saturday, April 14 | Janesville Ice Arena | 7:00 p.m. CST
Game 3 | Friday, April 20 | Nelson Center | 7:05 p.m. CST
*Game 4 | Saturday, April 21 | Nelson Center | 6:05 p.m. CST
*Game 5 | Monday, April 23 | Janesville Ice Arena | 6:00 p.m. CST
*if necessary

Season Series (Springfield 4-8-1-1)

Sat 9/16 | Jets 5 @ Jr. Blues 3
Fri 11/10 | Jr. Blues 3 @ Jets 1
Sat 11/11 | Jr. Blues 4 @ Jets 5
Sat 12/9 | Jr. Blues 4 @ Jets 1
Fri 1/5 | Jets 2 @ Jr. Blues 0
Sat 1/6 | Jets 3 @ Jr. Blues 2
Fri 1/12 | Jr. Blues 1 @ Jets 2
Sat 1/13 | Jr. Blues 4 @ Jets 5 (OT)
Sat 1/27 | Jets 3 @ Jr. Blues 0
Fri 3/2 | Jets 0 @ Jr. Blues 1 (OT)
Sat 3/3 | Jets 6 @ Jr. Blues 3
Wed 3/28 | Jr. Blues 2 @ Jets 1 (SO)

Fear factor: Jr. Blues going into playoffs with seasoned goalkeeper

By Dave Kane – Sports Writer / Taken from The State Journal Register

After spending most of last season as a backup with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the Tier I United States Hockey League, goaltender Evan Fear headed back to Tier II with the North American Hockey League’s Springfield Jr. Blues.

Instead of sulking over what could be considered a demotion, Fear took everything he learned at Dubuque and applied it to his second tour of duty with the Jr. Blues.

It’s been a memorable return to Springfield, with another chapter beginning Friday night in Janesville, Wisconsin.

“I think Evan’s oozing with confidence right now,” said first-year Jr. Blues coach Tyler Renette, who’ll guide the team into a first-round NAHL Robertson Cup playoff series against the Janesville Jets.

“To him, the puck looks like a beach ball coming at him. To me, he’s been the hottest goalie in the league the past month. He’s earned everything he’s gotten. He’s been unbelievable for us down the stretch, and he’ll be starting Friday night.”

The 18-year-old Fear, a Winnetka native, has played a big role as the last line of defense for a Jr. Blues team making its first playoff apperance since 2013.

For the season, Fear has two shutouts and a 2.39 goals-against average. That ranks him in the middle of the NAHL pack.

But Fear was in goal for six of Springfield’s eight straight wins to close the regular season, including two shootout victories in which he stopped all five penalty shots he faced against Janesville on March 28 and the Minnesota Magicians on March 30.

Fear’s backup is rookie Jurja Ovecka, a native of Slovakia who owns the other two victories in the eight-game streak.

“The goaltending position is an interesting one,” Fear said. “There can only be one guy in the net at a time.

“I think I’m playing pretty well at the moment, and I’ll be getting the first chance in the playoffs. But it’s what you do with it, right? If I lay an egg, it’ll be Juri’s chance. It’s our job to compete with each other.”

Fear joined the Jr. Blues late in the 2015-16 season. His best memory from that year was getting to play one game with older brother Erich Fear, a defenseman who spent that one season in Springfield before enrolling at the University of Denver.

Erich was a member of Denver’s NCAA Frozen Four national champions in 2017, although Evan had another commitment that kept him from joining his family to watch Erich and Denver win the Frozen Four at the United Center.

“That was a little bit of a bummer,” Evan said. “We were still in-season, so I wasn’t able to go to Chicago. It was perfect for them. They got to celebrate.”

Fear was still with the USHL Dubuque team at that point. He was the backup goalie, but he still got to play in 16 games. Practice time was equally important in his development.

“The biggest takeaway from that was Matt Millar, the goaltending coach,” Evan said. “He helped me a ton. With four or five practices a week, I got to be on the ice with (Millar) and really work on my game.”

Fear started the next preseason — for the 2017-18 campaign — with Dubuque. But he said a coaching change and his own sub-par play led to him being released.

But the Jr. Blues welcomed back Fear with open arms. Rennette, who was a Jr. Blues assistant to Tony Zasowski last year, knew Fear’s potential.

’“When Dubuque called me and wanted to know if we wanted (Evan) back, I said sure,” Rennette said. “But I told him, ‘I’m not going to just hand you the No. 1 spot. You have to earn it.’

“He came in and really battled for the job.”

Experience on the roster was a priority for Rennette this season as he added older players in hopes of making a push to the playoffs.

“I think there were two points in the regular season where (more experience) was pretty relevant,” said the 18-year-old Fear. “At the start of the year when I came here, there were a lot of teams with young guys and not much experience. That helped us early.

“Then down the stretch, when games got pretty tight with overtimes or shootouts, we’ve been able to control play with our experience — guys who’ve been there before.”

Fear has been there, in both the USHL and the NAHL. Now comes playoff pressure.

“I always get nervous before a game,” Fear said. “There are some butterflies there.

“You have to be excited for the playoffs, but you don’t change your routine too much. We’ve had a lot of success lately. We have to keep playing like we’ve been playing. If we stay confident in ourselves, I think we’ll do pretty well.”

Contact Dave Kane: 788-1544, dave.kane@sj-r.com, twitter.com/davekaneSJR.

Springfield Donates $556 to ATI Klimb4Kids

Springfield Jr. Blues athletic trainer Devin Spears of ATI Physical Therapy teamed up with Springfield to raise $556 for the ATI Foundation. The ATI Foundation supports children with physical disabilities. In 2017 the Foundation raised more than 1 million dollars, reaching more than 700 beneficiaries. Children received equipment not covered by insurance and financial assistance for medical services. Other expenses covered by the ATI Foundation include funding therapeutic horseback riding, and funding for travel and lodging for families traveling from out-of-state for care.

So why is the Foundation calling their quest the “Klimb4Kids”? From the ATI Foundation website “On March 18, ATI CEO Dylan Bates and longtime friend Matt Smith, will embark on a 6-day, 40-mile mountaineer’s journey to the 19,341 ft. summit of Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro. Adding to the stakes, Dylan and Matt are pledging to raise $1 million for children with physical impairments through the ATI Foundation. The journey will not be without its challenges, but with your support, hundreds of children across the nation will be given the building blocks to offer a better quality of life.”

In 2018, ATI Foundation set a goal to raise 2 million dollars to erase their waiting list of 100 children in need, while also allowing them to build a foundation for future children in need with their organization. Each employee was tasked with raising $100 or more toward the foundation.

When athletic trainer Devin Spears, who works for ATI Physical Therapy in Springfield, asked the Springfield Jr. Blues for help in raising money for the cause, team owner Dan Ferguson stepped up to the plate and offered to give 100% of the profit from the sale of the team throwback vintage logo t-shirts to the ATI Foundation on behalf of Spears for any shirt sold in March. In the end, Ferguson wrote a check to ATI Foundation for $556 dollars, surpassing the $100 goal set by ATI for their employees.

To make a donation or nominate a beneficiary, visit the ATI Foundation website.

Forward Max Brainin makes NAHL Bauer Star of the Week

Springfield forward Max Brainin has a lot to be excited about this week! After finishing strong with three points over the weekend against the Coulee Region Chill, Brainin is headed to the playoffs with Springfield, and then was named the Bauer Hockey Midwest Division Star of the Week.

From the NAHL website:

Midwest Division Star of the Week: Max Brainin, forward, Springfield Jr. Blues

Winners of their last eight straight, one of the hottest teams entering the 2018 NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs is the Springfield Jr. Blues. That hot play continued this past weekend as the Jr. Blues picked up a weekend road sweep of the Coulee Region Chill. Forward Max Brainin, 19, had three points in the two wins for the Jr. Blues and was also a +3. On Friday, the 6’0/190 lbs. native of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, had a goal in a 4-3 win over the Chill, and then on Saturday he had the game-winning goal and an assist in a 3-2 win. For the season, Brainin finished 3rd in team scoring with 40 points in 57 regular season games. “Max has really elevated his game the last few weeks. He is committed to the team game and with that he has had a ton of individual success. We will be counting on him to continue his strong play in the playoffs,” said Jr. Blues head coach Tyler Renette.

Springfield Finishes Regular Season on Win Streak

The Springfield Jr. Blues came away with another win on Saturday night, making their win streak 8-0-0.

With Evan Fear in net, Coulee Region Chill scored in the first at 13:04 (B. Koch) and the remainder of the period was quiet, as was the second period. It was not until the third period when Dylan Rauh scored at the 1:22 mark with assists from Chase Mickelson and Ethan Stewart on the power play. Coulee scored next at the 10:00 mark, but Springfield didn’t wait long to score back-to-back goals within four seconds of each other at 12:45 and 12:49.

Nikita Kozyrev scored at 12:45 with assists from Max Brainin and Ethan Stewart. The trio quickly scored again at 12:49 with Max Brainin making the goal with assists from Ethan Stewart and Nikita Kozyrev just four seconds later to break the tie and win the game.

Saturday marked the end of the regular season for the NAHL, and Springfield is now in what head coach Tyler Rennette refers to as the “Second Season” meaning the playoff season.

Springfield will take on the Janesville Jets in Janesville on Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th. Springfield will play at home on Friday April 20th, and if necessary, Saturday April 21st.

Here is the schedule for this round of playoffs between Janesville and Springfield:

#2 Janesville Jets vs. #3 Springfield Jr. Blues

Game 1: Friday, April 13 @ Janesville, 7:00pm

Game 2: Saturday, April 14 @ Janesville, 7:00pm

Game 3: Friday, April 20 @ Springfield, 7:05pm

Game 4: Saturday, April 21 @ Springfield, 6:05pm*

Game 5: Monday, April 23 @ Janesville, 6:00pm*

*if necessary

Springfield Hangs On for a 4-3 Win

The Jr. Blues jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held on for a 4-3 win against the Chill on Friday. The loss was the 7th in a row for Coulee Region. The Jr. Blues got goals from Brandon Puricelli, Max Brainin, and Patrick Smyth to take a 3-0 lead early in the 3rd period. The Chill mounted a comeback with goals from Sam Dabrowski and Andrew McGlynn, but a goal from Springfield’s Sam Swanson secured the win. Connor Zilisch had the other goal for the Chill. Jurja Ovecka made 31 saves in the win, while Mitchell James made 31 saves in the loss.

Weekend Preview – Springfield at Chill

This weekend the Springfield Jr Blues will be hosted by the Coulee Region Chill in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The teams will play, Friday and Saturday evening before Springfield practices at home and then heads out to Janesville next weekend to start the playoffs.

*Please note the Official Road Game Watch Party at Cooper’s AlleySide for all away games.*

Be sure to mark your calendars for Friday and Saturday, April 20th and 21st  (April 21st will only be played if necessary). Your Springfield Jr. Blues are home for their first home-stand of the post season. Be sure to come out on Friday for Happy Hour with $1. Coors Lite drafts from 5:45 until 6:45, $2 Blue Moon, a live band, and the puck drop at 7:05.

Saturday (if necessary) the guys are back in action with the doors opening at 5:05 and a puck drop at 6:05.

Coulee Region Chill

Tale Of The Tape:

Record: 58-17-34-4,43 Pts. (5th in Midwest)

Scoring Leaders: Nick Bowman (52 GP,  24 G – 24 A – 48 Pts.) Andrew McGlynn (55 GP,  13 G- 27 A – 40 Pts.) Brandon Koch (57 GP, 6 G – 24 A – 40 Pts.),

Player To Watch:

Brandon Koch: Koch has earned 40 points this season, 34 of which are assists. With six goals, Springfield will have to keep an eye on his play and limit his chances to set up scoring.

Between The Pipes:

Emil Zetterquist:  The Coulee goalie is 14-19 so far this season. He sports a save percentage of 0.916 and a GAA of 3.08.

 

SPRINGFIELD JR. BLUES

Tale Of The Tape:

Record: 58-31-21-5-1, 56 Pts. (3rd in Midwest)

Top Scorers: Ethan Stewart (58 GP, 17 G- 25 A -42 Pts.), Nikita Kozyrev (55 GP, 14 G- 24 A -38 Pts.), Max Branin (55 GP,  15 G- 22 A -38 Pts.)

Forward To Watch:

Marcus Walter Springfield forward Marcus Walter has logged 21 points this season with Springfield. He has 5 goals and 16 assists. He has one power play goal, nine power play assists, and one game winning goal.

Manning The Blue Line:
Nikita Kozyrev
 Springfield defenseman Nikita Kozyrev has logged 38 points this season, with 14 goals and 24 assists. He has two power play goals, 10 power play assists, one game winning goal, and FIVE shoot out goals, more than anyone else on the team.

Between The Pipes:
Evan Fear: Goaltender Evan Fear sports a save percentage of .929 this season, with 2.41 GAA. His shootout save percentage is 0.923. He is 18-11 so far this season for the Springfield Jr. Blues, and he will look to stay hot this weekend!

 

 

Here is the schedule for this round of playoffs between Janesville and Springfield:

#2 Janesville Jets vs. #3 Springfield Jr. Blues

Game 1: Friday, April 13 @ Janesville, 7:00pm

Game 2: Saturday, April 14 @ Janesville, 7:00pm

Game 3: Friday, April 20 @ Springfield, 7:05pm

Game 4: Saturday, April 21 @ Springfield, 6:05pm*

Game 5: Monday, April 23 @ Janesville, 6:00pm*

*if necessary