Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues welcomed the Minnesota Wilderness to town in our final series before the Holiday Break. The boys fought hard and came away with a weekend split capped by a five goal performance on Saturday. The Jr. Blues now have a 13-15-0-0 record for 26 points heading into the new year.
Friday: SPR 1 – 3 MNW
With the winter weather rolling into town, the Wilderness arrived just in time for a weekend series with the Jr. Blues at The Nelson Center. The away team opened the scoring in the 1st period and were leading 1-0 to begin the 2nd frame.
That’s when forward Cole Lonsdale buried a beautiful pass from Tyler Borgula past the Wilderness goaltender to tie the game up 1-1. The goal lifted the spirits of the large crowd on hand, however, the momentum shift proved to be temporary.
The Wilderness regained the lead thanks to a Power Play goal halfway through the 2nd period and added another strike in the 3rd period to seal a 3-1 victory. Aksel Reid got the loss in net despite stopping 28 of 31 shots. Tyler Borgula picked up his 10th assist on the Lonsdale goal.
Saturday: SPR 5 – 2 MNW
The fans packed the stands wearing their Christmas worst and the boys responded with a much more spirited effort on Saturday evening. Beginning with a bit of luck at the end of a Power Play, Brayden Cook poked home a loose puck in front of Konrad Kausch to give us a 1-0 advantage early in the 1st period.
The Wilderness would find their own bit of good fortune just a few minutes later and heading into the middle frame we were tied 1-1.
In the 2nd period, Noah Marino took a feed from Aydn Merrick and found the back of the net from just outside the top of the circles to give us a 2-1 lead. After the Wilderness tied things up on a long distance shot of their own, Isaac Keller grabbed his 4th goal of the year late in the period on the Power Play to regain our lead, 3-2.
It was the Carson Dorfman Show in the 3rd period as the youngster from Tennessee turned aside all Wilderness shots en route to his fourth win in five games. Nikita Nikora grabbed his 7th goal on another bit of puck luck on the Power Play to make it 4-2 late before Tyler Borgula found the empty net to ensure a 5-2 victory.
Dorfman stopped 20 of 22 for the win and Grant Ellings had two assists in the game. Keller, Cook, Borgula, Lonsdale, Nikora, and Scott Miner each had one assist.
By the Numbers:
- With the win on Saturday, Head Coach Tyler Rennette improved his record with the Jr. Blues to 131-112-19 and is now tied with Tony Zasowski for 3rd All-Time! He is 7 behind Nick Pollos and 12 behind Tony Curtale.
- Tyler Borgula now has a 5 game point streak after registering a goal and two assists on the weekend. Overall in 28 games the Livonia, MI and Quinnipiac University commit has 12 goals and 11 assists and leads the team with 23 points.
- The Power Play unit was on fire on Saturday night going three-for-four while the Penalty Kill was a perfect two-for-two. What had been a rough start has now started to turn around as the PP unit now sits at 18.6%, which is good for 16th in the league.
We are off the next two weeks for our Holiday Break and return to the ice on January 6th and 7th as we host the Fairbanks Ice Dogs! Tickets are available online at tickets.jrblues.com!