Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues concluded their out-of-division part of the schedule this past weekend by splitting a two game series with our friends from Mason City, the North Iowa Bulls. Cole Lonsdale and Tyler Borgula continued to stay hot while Aksel Reid provided strong play in net. After the split the Jr. Blues record sits at 11-13-0-0 for 22 points.
Friday: SPR 2 – 1 NIA (OT)
Our weekend began on Scout Night this past Friday when we hosted the Boy Scouts of America, Abraham Lincoln Council in front of a packed house at The Nelson Center. The Bulls got on the board first on a nifty tip in on the power play and we headed into the 2nd period trailing 1-0.
Early in the 2nd period, forward Cole Lonsdale collected his 7th goal of the season when he fired a lethal wrist shot past the North Iowa netminder to tie the game 1-1 just over a minute into the frame. From that point forward, Aksel Reid and Mitch Day kept the offenses at bay as we finished up a full 60 minutes still tied at one.
Halfway through the overtime session veteran forward Brayden Cook collected the puck at center ice and pushed the Bulls defense back into their defensive end, losing control at the top of the circles. Lonsdale collected the loose puck and buried the gamewinner and his 8th of the season to send the raucous crowd home with a 2-1 victory.
Reid picked up his 5th win by stopping 30 shots while Mac Gadowsky, Nikita Nikora, and Cook all picked up an assist.
Saturday: SPR 1 – 4 NIA
The Jr. Blues returned to the ice on Saturday looking to secure the weekend sweep and to gain ground in a very competitive Midwest Division. Unfortunately, the Bulls struck first and never looked back.
North Iowa scored twice within three minutes in the 1st period to lead 2-0 after the opening frame and then added another goal to make it 3-0 eight minutes into the middle period. Trailing by a wide margin the Jr. Blues needed a spark to get back in the game.
Rookie forward Tyler Borgula provided that spark, again, by sneaking a quick snap shot past Bulls netminder Stefan Carney to cut the North Iowa lead to 3-1. The Jr. Blues continued to provide pressure and scoring opportunities the rest of the game, but a late empty netter from the Bulls sealed a 4-1 defeat.
Reid turned aside 21 shots in the loss while Nikita Nikora and James Callahan each assisted on Borgula’s goal.
By the Numbers:
- With his two points on the weekend, Cole Lonsdale now has 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) in 20 games with the Jr. Blues this season. The Mississauga, Ontario native has also played in three games for the Madison Capitals of the USHL, scoring his first goal on November 25th.
- Rookie Tyler Borgula is continuing to provide the offense that the Jr. Blues have needed. His 10 goals are tops on the team and his 18 points are not only tied with Lonsdale for most on the team, but also places him in 6th place among all NAHL rookies.
- The Jr. Blues have been one of the most well behaved teams on the ice this season. Our 277 total PIMs are 4th fewest in the league, and our 55 times shorthanded are the fewest among all teams.
This weekend the Jr. Blues will head north to Eagle River, WI to face off with the Wisconsin Windigo for the first time. Both Friday and Saturday’s games begin at 7 pm and can be seen live on HockeyTV! Make sure you remember to grab your tickets for our next home games on December 16th and 17th against the Minnesota Wilderness – we will have a fleece scarf door giveaway courtesy of CEFCU on Friday and our annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest on Saturday!