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Springfield – Alaska Recap

Local Hockey Team is Playoff Bound for the First Time Since 2013

SPRINGFIELD, IL, March 19, 2018– The Springfield Jr. Blues are proud to announce they have returned home from Alaska winning 4-1 and having clinched playoff position. This will be the first time the team has gone to the playoffs since 2013, and the first time they will do so under Head Coach Tyler Rennette, who is a first-year head coach.

The Springfield Jr. Blues spent the last week and a half in Alaska, first taking on the Fairbank’s Ice Dogs for a two-game series before heading to take on the Kenai River Brown Bears. Their first weekend in Alaska resulted in a split with Springfield winning the first game 5-3, breaking the Ice Dogs 33 game-point streak. Brandon Puricelli led the way with two of the five goals. Puricelli also had two assists. Patrick Smyth had two goals, and Marcus Walter scored once. Goalie Jurja Ovecka stopped 26 goals for his 10th win of the season.

Saturday the Ice Dogs game back and won with a final score of 6-1. Max Brainin scored the lone goal for Springfield.

Springfield then traveled to Soldonta, Alaska for a three-game set against the Kenai River Brown Bears.

Thursday night Springfield came out ready to win. Chase Mickelson had one goal and an assist to kick off scoring in the 1st period. Max Brainin and Nick Schultze scored in the 2nd period, but it was Dylan Rauh who scored late in the 3rd, pushing Springfield closer to the playoffs. Goalie Evan Fear made 21 saves for the win.

Friday night, Springfield was hot with Jurja Ovecka in goal, making 29 saves and the team scoring 6 goals on the opponent. Ovecka let in 2 goals to Kenai, yet still landed his 10th win of the season.

Max Brainin led scoring with three points (two goals and an assist). Brandon Puricelli netted two goals as well, while Fabio Hollenstein had one goal and one assist. Nick Schultze also found the back of the net with one goal.

Feeling confident, the teams met again for the third time over the weekend on Saturday night when Giovanni Carabelli scored a short-handed goal assisted by Ethan Stewart and Marcus Walter. Brandon Puricelli then made the score 2-0 with assists from Nikita Kozyrev and Fabio Hollenstein. The Bears went on to score one point, stopping Evan Fear from having a shutout. Springfield still held on for the win, sweeping Kenai and locking themselves into a playoff position for the Robertson Cup.

Springfield will be playing their final two regular season home games Friday March 30th and Saturday March 31st. Springfield will play the Minnesota Magicians. The Springfield Jr. Blues are currently sitting in the third-place position in the NAHL Midwest Division, over the Magicians, who have two games in hand. Springfield will travel to Janesville for a single game on March 28th before returning home for a two-game home series against the fourth-place Minnesota Magicians on March 30-31.

Tentatively, the first playoff home game is set for the 20th of April, though this could change depending on the remaining five games of the regular season.

To purchase tickets for the next two home games on the 30th and 31st of March, visit www.JrBlues.com or tickets can be purchased at the door.

Springfield Starts Hot in Alaska

After a win, then a loss against the Alaska, the Springfield Jr. Blues bounced back during their first game against Kenai, winning 4-3.

A late shorthanded goal from Dylan Rauh moved the Jr. Blues to the brink of a playoff berth thanks to a 4-3 win on Thursday night. Chase Mickelson, who had a goal and an assist in the win, started the scoring for the Jr. Blues in the 1st period. Max Brainin and Nick Schultze scored in the 2nd period and Rauh added the game-winner late in the 3rd period. Brown Bears goals came from Sutton McDonald and Filip Karlsson in the 2nd period and Lukas Millen in the 3rd period. Evan Fear made 21 saves in the win, while Gavin Enright made 27 saves in the loss.

Weekend Preview – Springfield at Kenai

This weekend the Springfield Jr Blues will be hosted by the Kenai River Brown Bears in Soldotna, Alaska. The teams will play Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening before Springfield heads back to Illinois.

With enough points, Springfield could secure a spot in the playoffs THIS WEEKEND!!!

*Please note there is no Official Watch Party at Cooper’s AlleySide for these games due to the time difference between Illinois and Alaska.*

 

Be sure to mark your calendars for Friday and Saturday, March 30th and 31st. Your Springfield Jr. Blues are home for their final homestand of the regular season. Be sure to come out on Friday for Happy Hour with $1. Coors Lite drafts from 6:05 until 6:45, with the puck drop at 7:05. This will be our Fan Appreciation Event and Billet Family Night!

Saturday the guys are back in action with the doors opening at 5:05 and a puck drop at 6:05 on Jump Rope for Heart Night. Remember to send in your forms if you participated in Jump Rope for Heart this year and raised $50 or more!

 

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Kenai River Brown Bears

 

Tale Of The Tape:

 

Record: 52-15-34-1,33 Pts. (6th in Midwest)

 

Scoring Leaders: Gil Garcia (51 GP,  20 G – 14 A – 34 Pts.) Cameron McDonald (51 GP,  1 G- 32 A – 33 Pts.) Markuss Komuls (45 GP,8 G – 32 A – 30 Pts.),

 

Player To Watch:

Gil GarciaGarcia has earned 34 points this season, 14 of which are assists. With 14 goals, Springfield will have to keep an eye on his play and limit his chances to score.

 

Between The Pipes:

Gavin EnRight:  The Kenai goalie is 7-18 so far this season. He sports a save percentage of 0.893 and a GAA of 3.88.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD JR. BLUES


Tale Of The Tape:

 

Record: 52-25-21-5-1, 56 Pts. (3rd in Midwest)

 

Top Scorers: Ethan Stewart (52 GP,  17 G- 21 A -38 Pts.), Nikita Kozyrev (49 GP, 14 G- 22 A -36 Pts.), Max Branin (49 GP,  12 G- 20 A -32 Pts.)

 

Forward To Watch:

Ethan Stewart Springfield forward Ethan Stewart has logged 17 points this season with Springfield. He has 17 goals and 21 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 52 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 2.66 GAA. His shootout save percentage is 0.875. He is 13-11 so far this season for the Springfield Jr. Blues, and he will look to stay hot this weekend!

Weekend Preview – Springfield at Jets January 12-13

This weekend the Springfield Jr Blues will be hosted by the Janesville Jets in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Last weekend, the Springfield Jr Blues hosted the Jets and took two losses in two days. This weekend, team owner Dan Ferguson says he’s hoping to turn those numbers around.

Springfield Jr Blues fans can meet at Cooper’s AlleySide located inside KingPin Lanes to watch the game. Cooper’s AlleySide is at 3115 East Sangamon Avenue, Springfield, IL 62702. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @SpringfieldJr.Blues to see pictures of the team bowling outing Thursday!

Be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, January 27, 2018. It’s Military Appreciation Night! All military gets in for just $5.00 with proper ID. We will have games, giveaways, and more!

 

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Janesville Jets

Tale Of The Tape:

Record: 21-8-2-0, 44 Pts. (2nd in Midwest) 7-2-1-0

Goals Against Average: 2.49/Game (22nd in NAHL)

Scoring Leaders: Jakov Novak (28 GP,  15 G – 24 A – 39 Pts.), Kip Hoffmann (31 GP,  12 G- 23 A – 35 Pts.), Erik Palmqvist (27 GP, 6 G – 13 A – 19 Pts.), 

Player To Watch:

Jakov NovakThis D1 player has earned 39 points this season, 24 of which are assists. With 17 goals, Springfield will have to keep an eye on his play, and limit his chances to set up assists.

Between The Pipes:

Garrett Nieto:  The former Springfield goalie is 11-3 so far this season. He sports a save percentage of 0.928 and a GAA of 2.12, making him 6th in the league.

 

SPRINGFIELD JR. BLUES


Tale Of The Tape:

Record: 18-13-1-1, 38 Pts. (3rd in Midwest)

Goals Against Average: 2.49/Game (14th in NAHL)

Top Scorers: Jeff Skinner (21 GP,  15 G- 15 A -30 Pts.), Ethan Stewart (33 GP,  12 G- 15 A -27 Pts.),  Nikita Kozyrev (33 GP, 12 G- 14 A -26 Pts.)

Forward To Watch:

Jeff Skinner Springfield forward Jeff Skinner has logged 30 points this season with Springfield, putting him on track to score more points than his 17 points earned last season with the Wichita Falls Wildcats.

Manning The Blue Line:

Jordan Muzzillo Springfield defenseman Jordan Muzzillo has logged 21 points this season, with 5 goals and 16 assists. He has one power play goal and one game winning goal.

Between The Pipes:

Evan Fear: Goaltender Evan Fear sports a save percentage of .924 this season, with 2.44 GAA. He is currently fourth in the league for shootout save %. He is 8-5 so far this season for the Springfield Jr. Blues, and he will look to stay hot this weekend!

Walter makes NCAA DI commitment

The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that defenseman Marcus Walter has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for Bentley University in Atlantic Hockey.

Walter, 18, is in his first season playing in the NAHL. The 6’3/209 lbs. native of St. Albert, Alberta, has been a solid edition to the Jr. Blues blueline this season. In 27 regular season games, Walter has recorded 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists). Walter has picked up an assist in three of his last four games.

“I am very proud to announce my commitment to play D1 hockey at Bentley University. Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way. #GoFalcons,” said Walter on Twitter.

“We are very proud of Marcus on his commitment to further his hockey and academics at Bentley. He comes to work everyday with the intent to get better and the hard work has paid off,” said Jr. Blues head coach Tyler Rennette.

Prior to playing in the NAHL, Walter spent two seasons playing in Canada for the Drayton Valley Thunder.

Walter is the 4th Jr. Blues player on this year’s roster who has made an NCAA Division I commitment.

 

Preseason Schedule Announced

The Springfield Jr. Blues have announced the 2016-2017 preseason schedule. Fans will get their first chance to see the Springfield Jr. Blues in action the weekend of September 9th, 10th, and 11th.

 

Fans will recognize familiar preseason opponents, as Lindenwood University Lions and the University of Illinois will both be back this year to take on the Springfield Jr. Blues. Springfield will take on Lindenwood Friday, September 9. Last year the Jr. Blues split the two games they played against the Lions with a 2-0 loss and a 2-1 win. The Lions went on to win the ACHA Division I National Championship.  University of Illinois will be in town on Saturday, September 10th and Sunday, September 11th. Springfield swept the series against the Fighting Illini last year.

 

Game times:

 

Friday September 9th vs. Lindenwood – 7:00 P.M.

Saturday September 10th vs. U of I – 6:05 P.M.

Sunday September 11th vs. U of I – 4:05 P.M.

 

Tickets are $5 at the door or FREE if you get them in advance either at the Nelson Center, through the Springfield Jr. Blues mobile app, or one of our partners. Tickets will come available in August. 

Coach Tony Zasowski Named to "40 Under 40"

Springfield Jr. Blues Head Coach Tony Zasowski was named to the Springfield Business Journal's 2016 “40 under 40”. The “40 under 40 “ is a list comprised of 40 influential people within the Springfield community under the age of 40. Coach Tony has been in the Springfield community since starting with the Springfield Jr. Blues 4 years ago, mentoring, developing, and advancing hockey players to the next level. 

 

“It’s great having Tony as a part of our team.” says Springfield Jr. Blues owner, Dan Ferguson “He’s a great asset to our organization and Springfield is much better off having young professionals like him in our community.”

 

Tony's involvement in the community goes beyond the work he does here with the Springfield Jr. Blues. He is also involved with different community groups and charities, such as the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, and has served as a guest instructor for Sangamon CEO.

Della Maggiore Commits to Alaska- Fairbanks

Jr. Blues goalie Niko Della Maggiore has committed to play college hockey at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

 

Della Maggiore has spent the last two seasons with the Jr. Blues. This past season he earned an 11-8-2 record with a 91.3% save percentage and a 2.82 GAA average. He was named the Midwest Division Player of the Week for the week of October 26 and was named the NAHL Goalie of the Month for the month of October.

 

The University of Alaska-Fairbanks is a member of the NCAA Div-I and is member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

 

Niko Della Maggiore is the 12th Jr. Blues player to make a college commitment this season including: Joey Lupo – Amherst; Erich Fear – Denver; Kyle Meeh – Saint Mary’s University; Tommy Nappier – Ohio State; Trevor Stone – Air Force;  Anthony Scarsella – Michigan State; Michael Houle – Bowling Green; Brady Tomlak – Air Force;  Sam Craggs – Bowling Green; Hunter Schneider – Wisconsin-River Falls; Teddy Rotenberger – Alabama – Huntsville. 

Jr. Blues Alumni Making News

A couple of Jr. Blues alumni are making their mark in the USHL.

 

Former Jr. Blues goalie Stefanos Lekkas was named the USHL goalie of the week this past weekend after leading his team to two big wins. This past weekend he had 74 saves, a 1.00 GAA, and a save percentage of 97.4% in the 2 wins including one shutout. His 93.2% save percentage for the season currently ranks 3rd in the USHL.

 

Former Jr. Blues forward Patrick Curry has committed to play college hockey at Boston University. Curry, who is currently playing for the Bloomington Thunder, is in his third season in the USHL and currently has 33 points on the season including 17 goals.

 

“Growing up and watching college hockey I always knew Boston University was one of the top teams; consistently making the tournament, winning national championships, and playing in the highly toughed Hockey East Conference,” said Curry on his future program’s history, which was one of his deciding factors in the commitment.

 

Boston University has won five national championships and was in the Frozen Four last year.

 

Lekkas and Curry were teammates for the 2013-2014 season. Curry played 25 games for the Jr. Blues, racking up 26 points including 12 goals. Lekkas played in 46 games accumulating a 2.32 GAA and a save percentage of 92.7%.

 

http://www.ushl.com/news_article/show/632934?referrer_id=1348814

http://pointstreaksites.com/view/bloomingtonthunder/thunder-news/news_444729

Joey Lupo Commits to Amherst

Joey Lupo has committed to play college hockey at Amherst College.

 

Lupo, a St. Louis, MO native, is currently in his third year with the team and has played in 125 games for the Jr. Blues. He has been an all around skilled player, playing center, wing, and has even spent time on defense. Lupo currently has 21 points on the season including 5 goals.

 

“I’m really excited about it.” Said Lupo “It’s a great school. It’s got great academics, a great coaching staff, and a great history. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”

 

Amherst College is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference in NCAA Div-III.

 

Joey Lupo is the 11th Jr. Blues player to make a commitment this season, joining: Anthony Sacrsella – Michigan State; Kyle Meeh – Saint Mary’s; Erich Fear – Denver; Trevor Stone – Air Force; Hunter Schnieder – Wisconsin River Falls; Sam Craggs – Bowling Green; Brady Tomlak – Air Force; Ted Rotenbeger – Alabama Huntsville; Michael Houle – Bowling Green; and Tommy Nappier – Ohio State.