Topeka, Kansas – The Springfield Jr. Blues split their weekend series against the Topeka Pilots over the weekend, they remain tied with Kenai River for 4th place in the Midwest Division with a 10-12-2-1 record.
For the third time this season the Jr. Blues and the Pilots squared off, and for the third time this season the two teams split their weekend series. In each series the road team has won the Friday night matchup, and the home team has come back on Saturday to win big.
On Friday the Jr. Blues looked to snap their losing streak and built a 3-1 lead five minutes into the 2nd period, thanks to goals by Ben Schmidling (St. Joseph, MO), Nigel Nelson (Crystal Lake, IL), and Brandon Puricelli (St. Louis, MO). But Topeka would not be blown out on their home ice, tying the game up early in the 3rd period. To overtime we went looking to salvage the night when Nick Techel (Wausau, WI) put home a pass from Caden Villegas (Plano, TX) in front of Emil Gransoe to secure the 4-3 overtime victory. Jack Williams made 16 saves in the win, his 7th this season.
With confidence from the previous night’s victory, Saturday night’s game started off strong. Just past the halfway mark of the 1st period, Techel would score his 2nd of the weekend and 7th of the season to put the Jr. Blues up 1-0. But the wheels fell off after that as Topeka would score four unanswered goals to lead 4-1 halfway through the contest. Ben Schmidling would add his 9th of the season late in the 2nd period but it wouldn’t be enough as Topeka won 6-2. Williams made 12 stops, and Hannon made 17 stops in relief. It was Williams’ 7th loss of the season.
The Jr. Blues are off this upcoming weekend, but will be home next weekend to square off against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs for our Holiday Games. Friday December 14th will be our Ugly Sweater Night and Saturday December 15th will be our Teddy Bear Toss with a post-game skate!
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