Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues are preparing diligently this week as they return to action this weekend against longtime divisional rival Fairbanks Ice Dogs for our first home games of the 2022-23 regular season! The games are Friday at 7:05 pm and Saturday at 6:05 pm, doors open each night one hour prior to puck drop!
The Jr. Blues kicked off our 30th Anniversary Season two weeks at the North American Hockey League (NAHL) Showcase up in Blaine, MN, finishing the week with a respectable 2-2-0-0 record. Things got off to a rocky start with an opening night 2-1 loss to El Paso and then falling 4-1 to Austin the following evening. The boys were able to rebound, however, to come-from-behind on Shreveport for a 4-2 win and then rounded out the Showcase with a 4-0 shutout over reigning Robertson Cup Champions New Jersey.
Rookie forward Tyler Borgula finished up with 2 goals and 1 assist to lead the team offensively while veteran netminder Aksel Reid posted a 1-1-0-0 record with a 1.02 GAA, .967 SV%, and 1 SO to solidify the backend. For the second consecutive season, the Jr. Blues received an off weekend following the Showcase and head into this weekend with only four games played, tied for fewest in the league.
Fairbanks (6-2-0-0, 12 pts) is sitting in 2nd place in the Midwest Division following their second weekend sweep of the season already. Led by returning goaltender Kayden Hargraves (5-1-0-0, 2.00, .939) and forward Brady Welsch (2 G, 5 A), the Ice Dogs are proving early why they have been a perennial favorite in the NAHL.
Behind the Shield:
- The Jr. Blues are in our 30th year in operation and we are the longest tenured franchise in the NAHL. We have successfully moved over 400 players onto NCAA hockey and have had nearly 175 alumni play professional hockey around the world.
- At the Showcase, we played fellow Robertson Cup Champions in Shreveport (2018, 2021) and New Jersey (2022). We are one of only three current franchises with multiple Robertson Cups alongside Shreveport and Fairbanks (2011, 2014, 2016).
- Owner Dan Ferguson is entering his 10th season at the helm of the Jr. Blues organization. In his tenure, the Jr. Blues have been named the NAHL’s Midwest Division Organization of the Year (2018-19), the Illinois Times’ Best Local Sports Team (2020), and were the overall top fundraiser during the 2021 Real Men Wear Pink Campaign.
By the Numbers:
- 4 – Four rookies scored their first junior hockey goals at the Showcase: Tyler Borgula and Jake Peterson each had two, while Jagur McClelland and Justin Kingery both had one.
- 8 – Eight players recorded their first overall junior hockey point (goal or assist). Borgula, Peterson, McClelland, and Kingery were also joined by Nikita Nikora (2 A), Aksel Reid (1 A), Tyler Bishop (1 A), and Alex Fendler (1 A).
- 12 – Head Coach Tyler Rennette needs 12 more wins to move into 3rd In Team History in Regular Season Wins. He currently has an overall regular season record of 120-99-19, trailing only Tony Zasowski (131), Nick Pollos (138), and Tony Curtale (143).
Tickets for this weekend’s games can be purchased in advance by visiting tickets.jrblues.com – Adults are $10 and Children 12 & Under are $6. Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the game for $12 for Adults and $8 for Children 12 & Under. Cash and card are accepted.
Be sure to arrive early on Friday night for our first Pregame Happy Hour of the season! Cash in on grab drink specials from 6-7 pm! And don’t forget to check out our new selection at both Concessions and Merchandise!