Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have a long list of alumni who have moved on to the NCAA and professional hockey in our 27 seasons representing the capital city. Currently, we have nearly 175 active alumni who are competing at some of the highest levels of competition around the world. Here is this week’s Alumni Report!
We start this week by discussing the brick wall that was Mike Robinson this past weekend for the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. Entering the weekend series, #7 UMass was ranked ninth nationally in offense scoring nearly 3.5 goals per game. Apparently no one told Robinson this as the junior from Bedford, New Hampshire made 57 of 58 saves as the Wildcats picked up three of four possible points. In Friday night’s 1-0 shutout, his second this season, he stopped all 31 shots before stopping 26 of 27 on Saturday in a 1-1 tie. In 17 games this season Robinson has a 7-8-2 record with a .910 SV% and 2.34 GAA.
Sticking out east, we turn our attention to Buffalo State freshman Nikita Kozyrev who earned SUNYAC Player & Rookie of the Week honors after a 7-point performance in a sweep against Morrisville State. On Friday night, the Tallinn, Estonia native recorded four assists in a 7-1 victory before adding one goal and two assists in Saturday’s 6-2 victory. Kozyrev currently leads the Bengals in points with 23 on 7 goals and 16 assists, which is third best among freshman in all of Division 3 hockey. The honors are Nikita’s third of the season, his two previous were both Rookie of the Week.
Continuing our coverage of Division 3 hockey we transition to the NCHA as forward Ben Schmidling helped lead St. Norbert College to a sweep of Finlandia over the weekend by recording four points. The freshman from Hockessin, DE recorded two goals in Friday night’s 6-1 victory, he then turned around and scored one goal and one assist in Saturday’s 10-1 rout to seal the sweep. Schmidling has now appeared in 17 games this season for the Green Knights and has scored 9 goals and added 3 assists, including a hat trick earlier this season.
We depart from Division 3 hockey to make a stop overseas in France as forward Max Kalter is having a tremendous season for Cergy-Pontoise in the France2 league. In Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Mont-Blanc, the Highland Park, IL native recorded his 18th goal as he now has points in 17 of 20 games. With his 16 assists he has 34 points and is a +25 for the Jokers, who pace the France2 league with a 13-3-2-2 record for 47 points. Kalter finished up his collegiate career at UCONN last season before briefly playing in the ECHL for the Kansas City Mavericks. He is joined in France by fellow alum Michael Crowley who plays for Valenciennes (France3).
NCAA players get the majority of attention among our alumni playing collegiate hockey, but today we want to make sure to give some love to goaltender Jeremy Wik who is currently playing for Drexel University in the ACHA. Wik, a native of Naperville, IL, helped lead his team to two wins over the weekend against West Chester University and the United States Naval Academy. On Friday the senior netminder stopped 17/21 in a 6-4 victory before stopping 25/26 on Saturday in a 4-1 win. Overall this season Wik has appeared in 23 games and sports a stat line of 16-5-2 with a 2.43 GAA, .912 SV%, and 2 shutouts.
Our final spotlight this week is on Greg Rallo, currently an Assistant Coach for the Milwaukee Admirals in the AHL. Rallo, a native of Gurnee, IL, played two seasons for the Jr. Blues in the early 2000’s and has his number 27 retired after putting up 137 points (83 goals, 54 assists) in 105 NAHL games. After four years at Ferris State University and a 12 year professional career that spanned the ECHL, AHL and DEL, Rallo retired and joined the coaching staff in Milwaukee. This season he has contributed to the Admirals posting a 31-8-4-2 record as they sit atop the Central Division and the AHL.
- Kelly Klima – 1 G (Tucson Roadrunners, AHL)
- Alex Jaeckle – 1 A (Adirondack Thunder, ECHL)
- Matteson Iacopelli – 2 G (Kalamazoo Wings, ECHL)
- Ross Olsson – 1 G (Worcester Railers, ECHL)
- Tim Santopaolo – 1 A (Columbus RiverDragons, FPHL)
- Russell Jordan – 1 A (Birmingham Bulls, SPHL)
- Michael Davies – 1 A (Sheffield Steelers, EIHL)
- Kevin Loppatto – 2 G (Halmstad Hammers, Sweden)
- Martin Liljekvist – 1 G (Visby IK, Sweden)
- Ricards Bernhards – 1 A (Zemgale, Latvia)
- Viktor Ekk – 1 A (Humo Tashkent, Kazahkstan)
- Kevin Klima – 1 G, 1 A (Hradec Kralove, Czech)
- Michael Crowley – 2 G, 1 A (Valenciennes, France3)
- Ruslan Pedan – 2 A (Khimik Voskresensk, VHL)
- Janis Voris – 2 W, 4 GA (HK Riga, MHL)
- Dryden McKay – 1-1-0, 32/37 (Minnesota State-Mankato, NCAA)
- Devin Cooley – 1 W, 19/21 (Denver, NCAA)
- Patrick Curry – 1 G, 1 A (Boston University, NCAA)
- Ryan Leibold – 1 G (Holy Cross, NCAA)
- Trevor Stone – 1 A (Air Force, NCAA)
- Matt Long – 1 G (Canisius, NCAA)
- Todd Goehring – 1 G, 1 A (Sacred Heart, NCAA)
- Kyle Meeh – 1 G (Saint Mary’s, NCAA D3)
- Jack Nickels – 1 G, 1 A (MSOE, NCAA D3)
- Nigel Nelson – 1 A (MSOE, NCAA D3)
- Blake Robertson – 1 A (Trine, NCAA D3)
- Max Brainin – 2 A (St. Norbert, NCAA D3)
- Brendan Aird – 1 A (St. Norbert, NCAA D3)
- Joey Sardina – 2 A (Lake Forest, NCAA D3)
- Patrick Flynn – 3 A (Babson, NCAA D3)
- Jeffrey Skinner – 2 A (UMass-Boston, NCAA D3)
- Callahan Johnson – 1 G, 1 A (Skidmore, NCAA D3)
- Joey Lupo – 1 G, 1 A (Amherst, NCAA D3)
- Zach Shapiro – 2 A (Middlebury, NCAA D3)
- Justin Brandt – 2 A (Tufts, NCAA D3)
- Brendan Schultz – 1 A (Utica, NCAA D3)
- Andrew McGlynn – 2 G, 1 A (UW-Eau Claire, NCAA D3)
- Thomas Kolaz – 1 A (Illinois, ACHA)
- Braden Stewart – 1 G (Illinois, ACHA)
- Nick Belger – 1 A (Stony Brook, ACHA)
- Matthew Cassidy – 3 G, 1 A (Youngstown Phantoms, USHL)