Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have maintained a strong presence in junior hockey in North America for the last 27 seasons, moving over 350 players onto collegiate hockey and more than 150 players onto professional hockey. With playoffs looming just around the corner for many players, we have a lot to get to in this week’s Alumni Report!
We begin this week by discussing the impact that two alumni are having on the Allen Americans of the ECHL – Joshua Lammon and Les Lancaster. Lammon, who played for the Florida Everblades after graduating from Mercyhurst last season, had four points in three games this past weekend. Lammon scored a goal in Thursday night’s 4-3 victory before adding a goal and two assists in Saturday’s dramatic 7-6 victory. On the season the Jackson, MI native has 6 goals and 14 assists in 41 games played.
Lancaster, who finished up his collegiate career at the University of Denver last season, has played above expectations this season. After collecting 13 points in his first 12 professional games, Lancaster has seen action with both the Iowa Wild and the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL this season. Lancaster had a goal in both Friday and Saturday night’s games to give him 24 points (4 goals, 20 assists) in 29 games for the Americans. The Americans are currently in first place in the ECHL’s Mountain Division with 74 points, 15 more than second place Utah.
From professional hockey to NCAA Division 1, we shift our outlook from skaters to goaltenders as we spotlight Minnesota State-Mankato sophomore Dryden McKay. McKay, a native of Downers Grove, IL, went 1-0-1 this past weekend against Alaska-Anchorage. On Friday night McKay turned aside 20/21 in the Mavericks 7-1 victory for his NCAA leading 23rd win of the season. He then followed up that performance by stopping 18/20 in Saturday’s 2-2 tie, which eventually was won by MSU in overtime. The Hobey Baker Award nominee is currently leading the nation in: wins (23), win % (.828), GAA (1.36), and shutouts (7). He is second in the nation in minutes played (1677.31) and save % (.940). McKay has 11 career WCHA weekly awards (2 – Rookie, 9 – Goaltender) and five this season – including three straight Goaltender of the Week honors.
From Division 1 to Division 3, we take a peak at St. Norbert College and forward Max Brainin. Brainin, a native of Buffalo Grove, IL, wrapped up a rebound month for the Green Knights by scoring three goals in a weekend sweep of College of Scholastica. In Friday night’s 5-4 victory, Brainin contributed one goal in St. Norbert’s come-from-behind victory. On Saturday he improved his performance by scoring twice in a 5-1 victory that now puts the Green Knights in third place in the NCHA behind Lake Forest and Adrian. In 21 games Brainin has 4 goals and 8 assists for 12 points, which leaves him tied with fellow alum Ben Schmidling for 7th most on the team.
In the WIAC, the Eau Claire BluGolds are continuing to put pressure on Stevens Point and Superior after sweeping Stout this past weekend. Contributing to the success of Eau Claire is forward Andy McGlynn. McGlynn, a native of St. Louis, MO, registered a four point weekend on two goals and two assists. In Friday’s 5-4 OT thriller he had one goal and one assist, before tallying the game winning goal and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 victory. In 17 games this season McGlynn has 8 goals and 13 assists, third best on the team.
In ACHA Division 1 action, the University of Illinois men’s hockey team swept the University of Alabama in convincing fashion this past weekend in Alabama. In Friday night’s 10-2 victory Freshman forward Braden Stewart scored two goals and added two assists, and then found the back of the net on Saturday in a 8-2 rout to complete a five point weekend. Stewart has appeared in 28 games for the Illini this season and has 14 goals and 14 assists, third most on the team.
Our final spotlight this week is on Youngstown Phantoms forward Matthew Cassidy. Cassidy, a Ohio State University commit, is wrapping up his final year of junior eligibility in the USHL. This past weekend the Medford, NJ native recorded two goals and an assist as the Phantoms split with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. After not registering a point in 15 games with Quinnipiac University last season, Cassidy has appeared in 38 games this season with the Phantoms and has registered 13 goals and 16 assists. After this season concludes, Cassidy will continue his NCAA career for the Buckeyes in the fall.
Jr. Blues Highlights:
- Matteson Iacopelli – 3 G, 1 A (Kalamazoo Wings, ECHL)
- Tim Santopaolo – 1 A (Columbus RiverDragons, FPHL)
- Brad Denney – 3 A (Danville Dashers, FPHL)
- Kevin Loppatto – 1 A (Halmstad, Sweden)
- Michael Davies – 2 A (Sheffield Steelers, EIHL)
- Max Kalter – 2 A (Cergy-Pontoise, France2)
- Ricards Bernhards – 1 G (Zemgale, Latvia)
- Coale Norris – 1 G (Ferris State, NCAA)
- Tommy Nappier – 1-1-0, 74/78 (Ohio State, NCAA)
- Patrick Curry – 2 G, 1 A (Boston University, NCAA)
- Brian Rigali – 1 A (UCONN, NCAA)
- Daniel DiGrande – 1 A (RPI, NCAA)
- TJ Friedmann – 1 G (Quinnipiac, NCAA)
- Todd Goehring – 2 A (Sacred Heart, NCAA)
- Trevor Stone – 1 G (Air Force, NCAA)
- Matt Long – 1 G (Canisius, NCAA)
- Marcus Walter – 1 A (Bentley, NCAA)
- Kyle Meeh – 1 G (Saint Mary’s, NCAA D3)
- Joey Sardina – 1 A (Lake Forest, NCAA D3)
- Chase Mickelson – 1 A (St. Norbert, NCAA D3)
- Nigel Nelson – 1 G, 1 A (MSOE, NCAA D3)
- Blake Robertson – 1 A (Trine, NCAA D3)
- Patrick Flynn – 2 A (Babson, NCAA D3)
- Zachary Tyson – 2 A (Hobart, NCAA D3)
- Justin Brandt – 1 A (Tufts, NCAA D3)
- Joey Lupo – 1 G (Amherst, NCAA D3)
- Mark Leach – 1 A (Saint Anselm, NCAA D3)
- Nikita Kozyrev – 2 A (Buffalo State, NCAA D3)
- Zach Balodis – 1 G, 1 A (Lebanon Valley, NCAA D3)
- Nick Techel – 1 G, 1 A (UW-Eau Claire, NCAA D3)
- Nick Belger – 1 G, 2 A (Stony Brook, ACHA)
- Thomas Kolaz – 1 A (Illinois, ACHA)
- Joe Nolan – 2 G, 3 A (Illinois, ACHA)
- Josh Bell – 1 G, 1 A (Missouri State, ACHA)
- Chris Brown – 1 A (Missouri State, ACHA)
- Jeremy Wik – 1 W, 37/39 (Drexel, ACHA)
- Darren Johnson – 2 G (Aquinas, ACHA)
- Bradley Marek – 1 G (Youngstown Phantoms, USHL)