Jr. Blues Alumni Report – Dec. 11th, 2019

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have successfully moved over 350 players onto NCAA Division 1 and 3 hockey programs, as well as nearly 150 players onto the professional level around the world. With over 150 alumni currently playing, we have quite a few teams and leagues to get to. Here is this week’s Alumni Report!

Where do we begin? Well, as some of you might have guessed, we will begin with Dryden McKay. McKay, a native of Downers Grove, IL, earned two wins this past weekend en route to his third straight WCHA Goaltender of the Week honors. On Friday the sophomore stopped 20/21 in a 5-1 victory over Lake Superior State, before stopping all 21 shots for his 4th shutout in a 2-0 victory on Saturday. McKay is now 13-1-1 with a 1.06 GAA and .957 SV% for the No.1 ranked Mavericks. He leads the nation in goals-against average, save percentage, shutouts, and is second in wins. This is his 5th weekly WCHA award this season and 11th career weekly award. 

While McKay is dominating WCHA play, Tommy Nappier has earned Big Ten 3rd Star of the Week honors after the Ohio State University junior went 1-0-1 against the University of Minnesota this past weekend. Nappier stopped 25/27 shots on Friday in a 3-2 overtime victory, and then upped his play on Saturday as he stopped 33/34 shots in a 1-1 tie. The St. Louis, MO native now boasts a 8-4-2 record with a 1.88 GAA and .934 SV%. This is Nappier’s fourth award this season and his 8th career weekly award. 

We look East as we turn our attention to forward Ryan Leibold, a sophomore at the College of the Holy Cross. The Ashburn, VA native had two assists over the weekend: one on Friday in a 7-2 loss to Air Force, and one on the game-tying goal in a 3-3 tie on Saturday. Leibold now has 4 points this season in 16 games for the Crusaders, all four have been assists. Last season as a freshman Leibold scored 4 goals and 5 assists and finished the season as a +5. 

Jeff Skinner, a sophomore at UMASS-Boston, put up four points for the Beacons in a weekend that saw the team go 1-0-1. On Friday the Katy, TX native recorded a goal and assist in a 4-4 tie with Suffolk, before adding a goal and assist in a 10-1 victory over Johnson & Wales on Saturday. Skinner now has 4 goals and 3 assists in 6 games played this season, while as a freshman last season he put up 6 goals and 8 assists in 28 games. 

The only NCAA sanctioned program in the state of Illinois is Lake Forest College, located just about an hour north of downtown Chicago. The Division 3 program plays in the NCHA and is off to a hot start posting a 6-1-0 record in division play while they are 9-2-1 overall. Some of that success can be attributed to Red Oaks, TX native Joey Sardina, who currently has 7 points in 12 games. This past weekend the sophomore forward had 3 points in a sweep of Lawrence. On Friday Sardina had 1 goal and 1 assist in a 5-1 win, and then added an assist in Saturday’s 5-4 OT victory as well. 

Our final spotlight this week is on Janis Voris, who is currently playing for Latvia in the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships – Division 1A tournament in Belarus. In the tournament’s opening game against Denmark on Monday, Voris stopped all 19 shots sent his way to pick up the win and the shutout. In yesterday’s contest against host-Belarus, Voris stopped 18/20 in Latvia’s 3-2 OT victory. Outside of the tournament Voris is the main backstop for HK Riga in the MHL where he boasts a 16-10-0 record with a 2.46 GAA, .920 SV%, and 2 shutouts. 

Alumni Highlights: