Springfield, Illinois – While the Springfield Jr. Blues are in the midst of one of our best seasons in franchise history, many of our alumni are also having career seasons. From the NCAA to the ECHL to Europe, our former players are making a name for themselves in the hockey world. Here is today’s Alumni Report!
We begin our Alumni Report in familiar fashion – in Mankato, MN where Senior netminder Dryden McKay collected another CCHA Goaltender of the Week award after going 2-0-0 with 1 shutout on the weekend. The Downers Grove, IL native turned aside 16 of 17 shots on Friday in the Mavericks 7-1 victory over Ferris State and then followed that performance up by stopping all 17 shots on Saturday in their 7-0 victory. With his 8th shutout of the season he has extended his NCAA record for career shutouts to 32 as he currently leads the nation in wins with 20, is second in GAA (1.18) and fifth in SV% (.935). The award is McKay’s fourth weekly honor of the season as he continues to make his case for both the Mike Richter and Hobey Baker Awards. McKay played here in Springfield during the 2014-15 season.
From Minnesota to Amur, Russia, our next spotlight shines brightly upon blueliner Ruslan Pedan. Pedan, a native of Kaunas, Lithuania, earned KHL Best Defenseman for the 17th Week of the season. In four games played this past week he registered 3 goals and 2 assists including two multi-point games for the Tigers. Pedan is in his 6th season in the KHL and has played for HK Sochi, Spartak Moskva, Dinamo Riga, and Kunlun Red Star prior to joining Amur this season. In 214 professional games split between the KHL and the VHL, Pedan has scored 10 goals and 25 assists. He played for the Jr. Blues during the 2011-12 season before going on to play three years at Bemidji State.
Our next stop is in Atlanta, GA where veteran goaltender Tyler Parks is continuing to play at a high level for the Gladiators in the ECHL. The Imperial, MO native appeared in two games this past weekend and won both games – stopping 27 of 30 on Friday in their 4-3 shootout victory and then upping his performance and stopping 37 of 38 on Saturday in a 3-1 win. On the season Parks’ record currently sits at 13-3-3 with a 2.07 GAA, .931 SV%, and 2 shutouts. He is tied for the most wins in the league, has the 3rd best GAA, the 4th best SV%, and is tied for 2nd in shutouts. Parks played for the Jr. Blues during the 2011-12 season before going on to play at St. Lawrence and Adrian before embarking on his professional career. He has made stops in the SPHL, ECHL, AHL, and Slovakia.
And our final spotlight takes us to Tampere, Finland where defenseman Les Lancaster is having quite a season for Ilves in the Finnish Liiga. Lancaster, a native of Ypsilanti, MI, is in his first season playing for Ilves and is currently 4th in the league in scoring among defenseman. He’s had a strong start to the 2022 portion of their schedule as he registered 2 goals and 2 assists in three games this past week to push his season totals to 5 goals and 17 assists in 33 games. Les played for the Jr. Blues for two seasons from 2013-15 (Pictured Above) before playing in the NCAA for Mercyhurst and Denver. After graduation Les had a successful run for the Allen Americans of the ECHL where he earned Defenseman of the Year honors by the league after posting 26 goals and 38 assists in 72 games played during the 2020-21 season.
While these four young men stood out for their on-ice performances, they’re not the only alumni who had outstanding showings this past week!
Ross Olsson 1 A Worcester Railers ECHL
Brady Tomlak 1 G Toledo Walleye ECHL
Kevin Klima 1 G, 1 A HK Hradec Kralove Czechia
Kelly Klima 1 A HK Hradec Kralove Czechia
Ricards Bernhards 2 A Kiruna AIF HockeyEttan
Josh Lammon 3 G Cardiff Devils EIHL
Janis Voris 2-0-0 Donbass Donetsk Ukraine
Radim Matus 1 G, 2 A Orli Znojmo ICEHL
Bradley Marek 1 G Ferris State NCAA
Mike Robinson 1-0-0 New Hampshire NCAA
Daniel DiGrande 1 G Canisius NCAA
Brian Rigali 1 G, 1 A AIC NCAA
Ryan Leibold 1 G, 2 A Holy Cross NCAA
Jack Summers 1 A Michigan NCAA
Nikita Kozyrev 1 A Buffalo State NCAA DIII
Ben Schmidling 1 G St. Norbert NCAA DIII
Brendan Aird 1 A St. Norbert NCAA DIII
Dylan Rauh 1 A Aurora NCAA DIII
Sam Sterne 1 G UW-Superior NCAA DIII
Jeffrey Skinner 2 G, 2 A UMass-Boston NCAA DIII
Zach Tyson 1 G Hobart NCAA DIII
Ethan Heidepriem 1 A Skidmore NCAA DIII
Callahan Johnson 1 G Skidmore NCAA DIII
Jack Williams 1-1-0 Waterloo Black Hawks USHL