Jr. Blues Alumni Report – Nov. 14th, 2019

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues are currently in our 27th season in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) and have moved over 350 players onto the NCAA and nearly 150 players onto professional hockey. Just over 100 alumni are still actively playing so we have quite a bit to get into. 

Here is this week’s Alumni Report.

The Springfield Jr. Blues have several alumni who are playing professional hockey in either the AHL or the ECHL this season, and we start this week by looking at some of the high points from their play this past week. In Allen, Texas defenseman Les Lancaster picked up his first professional goal for the Americans on Friday night. The rookie from Ypsilanti, MI now has 1 goal and 12 assists in 12 games played this season. His 12 assists rank first in the ECHL for defenseman and is tied for third in the league overall. 

From the ECHL to the AHL, we shift our focus to forward Kelly Klima who is currently playing for the Tucson Roadrunners. Klima, who began the season with the Rapid City Rush (ECHL), scored his first career AHL goal on Saturday night. The Tampa, FL native is currently in his second professional season after he put up 14 goals and 15 assists split between the ECHL and AHL last season. 

In our weekly segment of “What’s Dryden McKay up to?”, we congratulate the Downers Grove, IL native on his second WCHA Goaltender of the Week award this season. McKay, a sophomore at Minnesota State-Mankato, stopped 48/49 shots in the Mavericks’ weekend sweep of Michigan tech. On Friday he stopped all 31 shots as he picked up his 6th career shutout – and second of the season – before turning aside 17/18 in Saturday’s victory. McKay has now earned eight career WCHA weekly awards (2 – Rookie, 6 – Goaltender) and has a 7-1-1 record with a 1.32 GAA and .946 SV% this season. He is 2nd in the nation in GAA, 4th in SV%, and is tied for 1st in wins and shutouts. 

Sticking in the NCAA, we take a look at Division III hockey as more teams have finally begun their seasons. The University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire had quite a weekend with their sweep over St. Olaf (7-2) and Saint Mary’s (5-2). Andy McGlynn, a sophomore from St. Louis, MO, had 1 goal and 3 assists over the weekend. His teammate and fellow alumni forward Nick Techel tallied his first NCAA point with an assist in Friday night’s game. The Wausau, WI native had 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) for the Jr. Blues last season including the overtime game winning goal in the playoffs against the Magicians. 

As we continue to recognize a few firsts, we turn to forward Nigel Nelson who picked up his first career NCAA goal and assist for the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) this past weekend. The freshman from Chicago, IL assisted on the GWG in Friday night’s 3-1 victory over Northland and then scored the insurance goal for MSOE in Saturday night’s 3-1 victory. Nelson played for the Jr. Blues last season but also saw time with the Austin Bruins, Topeka Roadrunners, and Fairbanks Ice Dogs in his NAHL career. 

Defenseman Ryan Murray, a freshman at Hamline University, picked up his first NCAA point, an assist, this past Saturday against Augsburg. And our final first from this past weekend comes from defenseman Sam Sterne who picked up his first career NCAA assist for the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Friday in a rout of Saint Mary’s. 

We wrap up our spotlight section by heading to Aurora University, who currently have five Jr. Blues alumni on their roster. Although the season is still young, the Spartans have been led primarily by the offensive touch of forward Riley Doyon. In a weekend sweep over Finlandia University, the Carmel, IN native posted 2 goals and 3 assists to bring his season stat line up to 4 goals and 3 assists in 4 games played. His 4 goals are tied for 7th nationally, although he is just 2 goals behind the leader. Doyon put up a respectable 7 goals and 5 assists in his freshman campaign last season.  

Jr. Blues Highlights: