The Springfield Jr. Blues are traveling North today in preparation for the 2018 NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN. All 24 NAHL teams will be in attendance and each team will play four regular-season games. The NAHL Showcase, or ‘Greatest Show on Ice’ as it has come to be known, is a testament to the league’s ultimate goal of moving players on to the NCAA. Over 350 scouts will be in attendance to watch and dozens of players each year earn an opportunity to play in the NCAA during and after the event.
All 48 games will be broadcasted live and in HD on HockeyTV, the official broadcast provider of the NAHL.
Springfield Jr. Blues vs Maryland Black Bears – Sep. 19 7:30 p.m. (CST)
The Jr. Blues will kick off their regular season and the showcase by playing the expansion Maryland Black Bears on Wednesday evening. Maryland is entering their first season in the NAHL with head coach Clint Mylymok manning the reigns. The Black Bears enter the showcase with an 0-1-1 record to start the 2018-19 campaign and are led by Matteo Menotti who currently has 2 points. Springfield will look to returning veterans to lead the way including Nikita Kozyrev and Max Brainin, who both have experience playing in the showcase from last year.
Springfield Jr. Blues vs Northeast Generals – Sep. 20 8:00 p.m. (CST)
The second matchup for the Jr. Blues will be against the Northeast Generals, who finished 4th in the East Division last season. Joe Lovell is heading into his third season at the helm for the Generals who had a remarkable turnaround last season, going from just four wins in 2016-17 to 29 wins in 2017-18 and a playoff berth. Heading into the showcase the Generals have not played a regular season game yet. Thursday night’s game will be the first meeting between the Jr. Blues and the Generals.
Springfield Jr. Blues vs Odessa Jackalopes – Sep. 21 1:30 p.m. (CST)
Friday will feature an afternoon tilt against the Odessa Jackalopes out of the South Division. Last season Greg Gatto’ club finished 3rd in the division on their way to the playoffs. They start the 2018-19 season with a 1-1-0-1 record, and are led offensively by Jared Christy, Kyle Herbster, and Rex Moe who all have 5 points. The Jr. Blues and the Jackalopes have not played each other since the 2015-16 season where Odessa won the only meeting that year.
Springfield Jr. Blues vs Johnstown Tomahawks – Sep. 22 1:00 p.m. (CST)
To finish out the showcase, the Jr. Blues will play the Johnstown Tomahawks on Saturday afternoon. Johnstown is looking to rebound from a 5th place finish in the East Division last season which saw them miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season when they were in the Jr. Blues division. Head Coach Mike Letizia is entering his 5th season with the Tomahawks and they enter the showcase with a 2-0-0 record. Forward Samuel Solensky paces the Tomahawks with 4 points. The two teams last played during the 2016 showcase, Johnstown won that matchup.