Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues found a way to end their losing streak this past weekend and split their two-game series with the Minnesota Wilderness. With the win we improved our record to 30-15-1-2 for 63 points and sole possession of 2nd place in the Midwest Division.
Friday: SPR 3 – 4 MNW
The weekend opened up on the wrong foot as the Wilderness were able to score twice in the 1st period to take a 2-0 advantage into the middle frame. Isaac Keller got the boys on the board with a shot from the slot to make it 2-1 and less than five minutes later Brayden Cook picked up his first junior hockey goal to tie the game 2-2.
From there, however, the Wilderness would regain their composure. A late 2nd period tally on the power play gave the bad guys a 3-2 edge, which they would add to in the 3rd period to hold a 4-2 lead late in the contest. Hagen Moe would find a way, once again, to score when the Jr. Blues needed it to cut the deficit to 4-3 with less than three minutes to play. But the Wilderness dug in deep, and kept the Jr. Blues from tying it up. Bad guys won 4-3.
Ethan Roberts turned aside 23 of 27 shots in the loss while Hayden Riva collected two assists in the game. Cole Dubicki, Isaac Novak, Keller, and Cook each had one assist.
Saturday: SPR 9 – 3 MNW
In the midst of any losing streak, the hardest thing to accomplish is maintaining composure when things don’t go according to plan. Our game on Saturday night proved that this team has the ability to rebound, regardless of what’s been going on in previous games.
The Wilderness scored first, early in the opening period on the power play to take a 1-0 advantage. From that point forward it was all Jr. Blues as we scored the next 7 goals of the game! It all started with Will Magnuson netting his 4th of the season from a low angle to tie the game, and then Andrew Schultz beat the Wilderness netminder through traffic just two minutes later to give us our first lead of the weekend, 2-1.
In the 2nd period the Jr. Blues erupted for six goals from six different players as the game completely changed in favor of the good guys. Isaac Novak netted his 11th goal just over a minute into the middle frame to make it 3-1. After Novak’s goal, the Jr. Blues would pile things on by scoring four times in eight minutes, starting with Daniel Juzych. Juzych picked up his first junior hockey goal on a redirect on a two-on-one from Zach Bade to make it 4-1. Hagen Moe would beat the Wilderness goalie on a odd-man break as well to make it 5-1, and then just :12 later Connor Smith made it 6-1.
Carson Jones added his 12th of the year to make it 7-1 and then Leo Bacallao joined the party with his 19th of the year to make it 8-2 by the time we headed to the intermission. Both teams would score in the 3rd period with Smith netting his 2nd of the evening on a rebound in front to make it 9-3 and that’s how the game ended.
Aksel Reid stopped 27 of 30 to grab the win in net while Tristan Shewchuk and Bade each had two assists in the game. Hayden Riva, James Callahan, Michael Valdez, Isaac Keller, Jack Boxer, Cole Dubicki, Juzych, Novak, and Moe all had one assist in the game.
By the Numbers:
- The Jr. Blues had two players score their first junior hockey goals this weekend: Brayden Cook and Daniel Juzych. Cook now has 1 goal and 4 assists in 18 games this season while Juzych has 1 goal and 7 assists in 29 games.
- Hagen Moe is on a 5-game goal scoring streak with 7 points (6 goals, 1 assist) in that span. He now has 24 goals and 11 assists in 40 games and recently committed to Bowling Green University.
- Carson Jones grabbed his 12th goal of the season on Saturday, which helped end an 11-game goal drought that began in late January. Leo Bacallao, who secured his 19th goal on Saturday, ended a 6-game goal drought of his own.
- Our 9 goals are the most we have scored since February 24th, 2019 when we defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears 9-3 behind two goals from Nikita Kozyrev and Nich Techel and 4 assists from Brandon Puricelli.
The Jr. Blues will head up to Janesville, WI this weekend for a two game series with the Jets! It’ll be our final trip to Janesville this season, but it won’t be the last time we see the Jets as they come to Springfield April 15th and 16th to close out the regular season. Both games this weekend get underway at 7 pm CST and you can watch all of the action LIVE on HockeyTV!