The Springfield Jr. Blues opened up the 2018-19 campaign against the expansion Maryland Black Bears last night in a losing effort 4-3.
The Jr. Blues started off hot in the first period with two goals within 12 seconds to take an early 2-0 lead. Ben Schmidling (St. Joseph, MO) scored on the power play with 3:31 left in the first period. Assisting on the goal were David Schmidling (St. Joseph, MO) and Ryan Reid (Phoenix, AZ). Just moments later, Giovanni Carabelli (Shelby Township, MI) scored an even strength goal to increase the lead to two. The goal was assisted by Cade Groton (Ashburn, VA) and Braden Stewart (East Peoria, IL).
But the Black Bears weren’t down for the count, and stormed back in the second period with three goals in eight minutes to take a 3-2 lead. Maryland had goals from Connor Pooley (2) and Luc Salem. The Jr. Blues would answer with an unassisted tally after the halfway mark of the second frame from defensemen Ryan Reid to tie the game up 3-3. Late in the period, however, Maryland forward Luke Posner beat rookie Jr. Blues goalie Jack Williams (St. Louis, MO) to take the lead back heading into the third.
The third period was scoreless despite six shots on goal by the Jr. Blues and the game ended 4-3 in favor of Maryland. Both teams finished the evening going 1-4 on the power play. Maryland had 20 shots on goal, and the Jr. Blues had 18. The victory was the first NAHL victory for the Black Bears organization, and raised their record to 1-1-1. The loss starts the Jr. Blues off in the loss column as their record is 0-1-0.
The Jr. Blues will battle it out with the Northeast Generals tonight at 8:00 p.m. You can catch the action live on HockeyTV and make sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for live in-game updates and player news.