Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are coming off a big weekend where we took three out of four possible points in our series against the Minnesota Wilderness. The Jr. Blues currently sit in 2nd place in the Midwest Division with an 11-5-0-1 record and 23 points.
We opened up our Halloween weekend with a 4-2 victory on Friday night after we jumped on the Wilderness for three goals in the opening frame. Jonathan Panisa, Cole Schneider, and James Callahan all tallied early on Friday and the Jr. Blues never looked back. Wilderness got on the board late in the 1st and then added a second early in the 2nd period to make it close, but Leo Bacallao’s 8th of the season sealed the victory.
Ethan Roberts stopped 30 of 32 to pick up his 7th win of the season as he proved once again to be the workhorse in net for the Jr. Blues. Michael Valdez (x2), Joey Dosan, Carson Jones, Connor Smith, Panisa, and Bacallao all registered assists as well in the contest.
Saturday was a hard fought matchup between two teams who refused to give in to the other. Schneider picked up his 2nd of the weekend and 6th of the year just :22 in but it was the Wilderness who would score the next two to take a 2-1 lead early in the 3rd period. Mikey Valdez would tip in a shot from the point from Andrew Schultz to tie the game up, and despite a back-and-forth overtime period, the game headed to a shootout where the Wilderness would ultimately win to take a 3-2 victory.
Roberts stopped 37 of 39 in regulation and overtime and 3 of 6 in the shootout as he was saddled with the SO loss. Jones, Dosan, Schultz, and Bacallao would all pick up assists in the contest, while Dosan and Schneider were the lone goal scorers in the shootout.
By the Numbers:
- Michael Valdez and Leo Bacallao both picked up 3 points on the weekend to lead the Jr. Blues offensively. Valdez, a Colorado College commit, now has 2 goals and 5 assists on the season while Bacallao has 8 goals and 7 assists. Joey Dosan, who picked up 2 assists this weekend, now has 7 goals and 10 assists to lead the Jr. Blues in points with 17.
- Ethan Roberts’ 7 wins puts him in a 4-way tie for 4th most wins in the league, while his 732 minutes played so far leads all netminders. He currently has a 7-4-0-1 record with a 2.54 GAA, .917 SV%, and 1 shutout. Roberts has started in each of the last 7 games and has played in 8 consecutive games overall.
- Cole Schneider has scored goals in 4 consecutive games dating back to our series opener against the Ice Dogs. He currently has the longest active streak of consecutive games with a goal while the season high of 5 straight (set by Jake Black of Johnstown) is in reach this weekend.
This weekend we host the Chippewa Steel for a two game series on Friday and Saturday. The game on Friday begins at 7:05 pm with doors opening at 6; make sure to stop in early to enjoy our pre-game happy hour that begins at 6 and runs until 7. On Saturday we host Scout Night with doors opening at 5 pm and puck drop set for 6:05 pm. Grab your tickets in advance at tickets.jrblues.com TODAY – save some time (and money) and skip the line!