Janesville, Wisconsin – The Springfield Jr. Blues battled hard with the Janesville Jets and in the process split their weekend series and snapped the Jets winning streak. Leo Bacallao and Cole Dubicki each had two goals on the weekend while Tristan Shewchuk, James Callahan, and Hayden Riva each had multiple points as well. With the win the Jr. Blues improved their record to 31-16-1-2 for 65 points and we sit alone in 2nd place in the Midwest Division.
Friday: SPR 2 – 5 JAN
We opened up our weekend series on the right foot as just 1:48 into the opening period Zach Bade banged home a loose puck in front of the Jets goal to make it 1-0 good guys. But the lead wouldn’t last for long as Janesville would strike twice in the 1st period to make it 2-1 Jets heading into the intermission.
Springfield would tie the game up on a redirect in front of Jets netminder Owen Millward to make it 2-2 five minutes into the 2nd period. The goal was originally given to Hagen Moe and assists given to Fisher Scott, however, the scorebook was updated after the game and the goal was awarded to Cole Dubicki with assist from James Callahan.
The Jets would regain the lead late in the 2nd period to make it 3-2 and would score two more goals in the 3rd period for good measure to take game one 5-2. Tristan Shewchuk, Will Magnuson, Leo Bacallao, and Callahan each had one assist in the game. Aksel Reid stopped 29 of 33 shots.
Saturday: SPR 5 – 2 JAN
With news that Fairbanks had lost to Kenai River on Friday, the Jr. Blues looked to turn things around on Janesville and tighten the race at the top of the Division. Janesville would open the scoring early to take a 1-0 lead, but Leo Bacallao found an answer late in the period on the Power Play to send us into the intermission tied 1-1.
A late penalty in the 1st gave the Jets a man advantage heading into the 2nd period and they capitalized early to regain the lead 2-1. But from there, it was all Jr. Blues as we scored the next four goals of the game to snap the Jets winning streak.
It all started at the 9:47 mark when Hayden Riva banked in a shot off the Jets goaltenders pads to make it 2-2, and then less than a minute later Bacallao rifled in his second of the game to make it 3-2 and gave us our first lead of the contest.
In the 3rd period, Hagen Moe picked up his 25th of the season on a bouncing puck off a faceoff in the Jets defensive end to make it 4-2. Cole Dubicki then sealed the game by scoring an empty net goal while shorthanded to make it 5-2. Mac Gadowsky, James Callahan, Isaac Keller, Tristan Shewchuk, Zach Bade, Will Magnuson, and Riva all had one assist in the contest.
Ethan Roberts stood tall in net for the win by stopping 31 of 33 shots, including several point blank opportunities down the stretch.
With both Fairbanks and ourselves splitting our respective weekend series, we begin this week still two points back of 1st place. The Ice Dogs have 67 points and we have 65, while Janesville remains in 3rd place with 57 points. Anchorage is in 4th with 56 and the MN Wilderness are in 5th with 55. Our opponents this weekend, the MN Magicians, are in 6th with 53 points. The Steel have fallen into 7th place with 41 points and the Brown Bears are in 8th with 31 points.
By the Numbers:
- The Jr. Blues currently have three players with 20+ goals this season. Hagen Moe has 25, Cole Dubicki has 22, and Leo Bacallao has 21. Overall, we have five players with 30+ points (Dubicki, Bacallao, Moe, Jones, and Smith) and nine players with 20+ points.
- Our Power Play unit continues to hold the 2nd best percentage in the Midwest Division (27.4%) and overall sits in 3rd in the league behind Wichita Falls and Kenai River.
- Our 31 wins by March 12th is the quickest we have reached that mark in the last 20 seasons. We have now won 30 or more games in three of our last four seasons and are currently on pace for our best season since 2003-04.
- The Jr. Blues are 21-0-0-1 when leading after two periods and are one of five teams without a regulation loss in that scenario (Danbury, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Iowa).
We head back to the road this weekend for two games up in Richfield, MN as we look to stymie the Magicians hopes of reaching the playoffs. Both Friday and Saturday’s games get underway at 7 pm and you can catch all of the action LIVE on HockeyTV!