Mason City, Iowa – The Springfield Jr. Blues headed into the Mason City Arena riding high off a weekend sweep of the Jets, but the North Iowa Bulls proved to be a worthy opponent as Springfield fell in Overtime Friday before rebounding to win on Saturday. All in all the Jr. Blues picked up 3 out of 4 possible points on the weekend and sit in 2nd place in the Midwest Division with a 18-8-1-1 record for 38 points.
Friday: SPR 3 – 4 NIA (OT)
The Jr. Blues weekend trip started off rocky, and not just on the ice. As we arrived in Mason City a winter storm blew in and covered the area in several inches of snow, making the final hour and a half a bit sketchy on the roads. By the time we got to the arena and the puck dropped, the Bulls were ready to go while it took the Jr. Blues an entire period to get in the game.
The Bulls scored twice in the 1st period and held a commanding 2-0 advantage heading into the middle frame, but the boys would finally answer the bell as Isaac Novak picked up his first goal since joining the team to cut the deficit to 2-1. After an early 3rd period goal by North Iowa, Hagen Moe made his appearance on the score sheet scoring twice in three minutes to tie the game up 3-3.
In overtime only one shot was recorded by either team and it just happened to be the game-winning goal 95 seconds into the extra period. Aksel Reid, who made his first start & appearance for the Jr. Blues, stopped 27 of 31 shots in the loss. Tristan Shewchuk had two assists in the game while Jack Boxer, Fisher Scott, Zach Bade, and Connor Smith each had one.
Saturday: SPR 6 – 3 NIA
Our weekend conclusion didn’t start the way we wanted it to, but it ended the way we needed it to. North Iowa scored first and had the only offense in the opening period despite Springfield outshooting the home team 11-7. Heading into the 1st intermission the Jr. Blues trailed 1-0, the first time this season that we have trailed both games in a weekend series after 20 minutes of play.
The 2nd period was exactly what the doctor ordered as we scored four times to completely steal the momentum away from the Bulls. It started with Zach Bade burying a loose puck in the slot and then was followed up by Isaac Keller’s first goal with the Jr. Blues to give us a 2-1 advantage and our first lead of the weekend. North Iowa was able to tie things up after a weird series of events that saw Ethan Roberts lose his steel and left a wide open net for the Bulls. Hagen Moe would answer the bell once more to give us a 3-2 lead that held until North Iowa scored another Power Play strike to tie the game 3-3. Jack Boxer picked up his first goal with the Jr. Blues on a tip in late in the 2nd period to give us a 4-3 lead heading into the intermission.
The 3rd period was all Springfield as we increased our lead to 5-3 on Fisher Scott’s first junior hockey goal on a seemingly innocent shot from the point. Isaac Novak would score on the empty net late in the game to make it 6-3 and that’s how we finished the weekend. Ethan Roberts picked up his 14th win of the season by stopping 24 of 27 in the game. Connor Smith had two assists in the game while Will Magnuson, Carter Bradley, Noah Marino, Tristan Shewchuk, Moe, Bade, and Novak all had one assist.
By the Numbers:
- Ethan Roberts improved his record to 14-5-0-1 with a 2.45 GAA, .924 SV%, and 2 shutouts in 23 appearances. He has now won five consecutive decisions and seven of his last 10 overall. He ranks T-3rd in wins, T-7th in SV%, T-4th in shutouts, 2nd in appearances, 3rd in shots against (685), and 2nd in minutes played (1272).
- Hagen Moe had another multi-point weekend for the Jr. Blues as he tallied 3 goals and 1 assist against the Bulls. He now has 10 goals, 7 assists, and is a +5 in 20 games since joining the Jr. Blues in September. Moe has scored 6 goals and 4 assists in his last 6 games and has recorded multi-point efforts in three straight games.
- Zach Bade has started to heat up as of late too. He had 1 goal and 2 assists over the weekend and now has 6 goals and 5 assists in 27 games this season. Bade has 2 goals and 3 assists in his current 4 game point streak. He is 3rd on the team in rookie scoring behind Hagen Moe and Connor Smith and is 8th on the team in scoring overall.
- The Jr. Blues have had a few new faces join the team in the last couple weeks including a player that changed locker rooms over the weekend – Jack Boxer. Boxer was acquired from North Iowa and had an immediate impact registering a goal and an assist in the two games. He joins Aksel Reid, Isaac Novak, Isaac Keller, and Brayden Cook who have all joined since our return from Alaska. And we can’t forget about Carter Bradley, who picked up an assist on Saturday in his return to the lineup.
We are BACK in Springfield for three games against the Kenai River Brown Bears this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Both Thursday and Friday’s games will begin at 7:05 pm with doors opening at 6 and Saturday’s game will start at 6:05 pm with doors opening at 5. We will be bringing in the Holiday season with our annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Night on Saturday December 18th – wear your Christmas best and watch some of the best action in town! Grab your tickets in advance at tickets.jrblues.com TODAY – save some time (and money) and skip the line on game night!