Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues continued to stay hot as we extended our winning streak to six games after sweeping the Chippewa Steel this past weekend! Both games ended by the finals of 5-2 as we improved our record to 24-9-1-1 for 50 points and sole possession of 2nd place in the Midwest Division.
Friday: SPR 5 – 2 CHP
The Jr. Blues came out flying on Friday night as we took the lead early in the 1st period and never relinquished the momentum. Hagen Moe grabbed his 14th goal of the season just three and a half minutes into regulation and then Zach Bade notched his 9th to make it 2-0 before the 1st intermission.
Leo Bacallao would score his 15th of the season just :27 into the 2nd period as the Jr. Blues extended our lead to 3-0. After Chippewa broke Aksel Reid’s shutout bid, Carson Jones scored shorthanded late in the period to give us back our three goal cushion as we headed into the 3rd period with a 4-1 lead.
The 3rd period was much of the same as Reid and the Jr. Blues continued to withstand the Steel pressure. Despite a goal from Chippewa to cut our lead to 4-2, Moe picked up his second of the game and 15th of the season to give us a 5-2 lead and that’s how the game would finish.
Reid stopped 23 of 25 to pick up the win to earn his fifth straight victory while Connor Smith had two assists in the game. Jonathan Panisa, Michael Valdez, Noah Holt, Andrew Schultz, Bacallao, Bade, and Moe all had an assist in the contest as well.
Saturday: SPR 5 – 2 CHP
Saturday, however, would start out much differently for the Jr. Blues. Chippewa started the game fast, looking to break their losing skid and their effort would be rewarded when they scored shorthanded to take a 1-0 advantage into the 1st intermission. The lead wouldn’t last long into the 2nd period though as the Jr. Blues proved once again why they are one of the top teams in the NAHL.
Tristan Shewchuk buried a wrister just :49 into the 2nd period to tie the game up and then James Callahan gave us the lead two minutes later as an all out blitz to start the period shifted momentum into the Jr. Blues corner. Aksel Reid, making his sixth consecutive start, turned aside all 9 shots he faced in the middle frame as we took a 2-1 lead into the break.
In the 3rd period it was all Noah Holt as the rookie forward would tally three goals to complete his first junior hockey hat trick and help seal a weekend sweep. It started with his first goal at the 9:43 mark and, after Chippewa answered quickly, would be followed up by his second goal at the 13:26 mark to make it 4-2. He would finish things off with a shorthanded, empty net goal at 16:54 to make it 5-2 and that’s how the game would finish.
Reid completed the sweep by stopping 20 of 22 shots to pick up his sixth straight win while Jack Boxer and Shewchuk each had two assists. Connor Smith, Joey Dosan, Will Magnuson, Fisher Scott, and Isaac Keller all had assists as well.
By the Numbers:
- After going the entire 2019-20 season without any Hat Tricks, Noah Holt’s three-goal performance is our third of the season already. Hagen Moe notched one against Anchorage in October, Isaac Novak recorded one on January 7th against Fairbanks, and Holt this past Saturday.
- The Jr. Blues 6-game winning streak is currently the longest active streak in the league and is tied for 3rd longest on the season. The streak began back in December against Kenai River and has seen us sweep both Fairbanks and Chippewa to start the 2022 calendar year.
- The Jr. Blues home record has now improved to 13-3-0-1 on the season and we are 9-1-0-0 in our last 10 home games dating back to November. Our 13 home wins are tied for 3rd best in the league with Fairbanks as we trail only Austin (15) and New Mexico (14).
- Our 24 wins by January 22nd is the fastest we have recorded that many wins in team history. We eclipsed that win total nearly a month faster than the next quickest season (2004-05, February 19th).
We head up to Minnesota to play the Magicians this Thursday and Friday at the Richfield Ice Arena. Both games will begin at 7 pm CST and can be watched exclusively on HockeyTV!