Shreveport, Louisiana – The Springfield Jr. Blues arrived in Shreveport, LA for a two game set with the Mudbugs looking to snap a losing skid and get back in the hunt for the playoffs. The Mudbugs, however, had different plans.
A close game on Friday gave way to a shutout on Saturday and the home team came home away with four of four possible points. With the two losses the Jr. Blues record now sits at 13-28-2-2 for 30 points and 6th place in the Midwest Division. The Janesville Jets are currently in 4th place, the final playoff position, and have 41 points.
Shreveport got on the board first in Friday night’s contest, just under four minutes in. Hunter Longhi would answer back for the Jr. Blues on the power play to tie the game 1-1 and that would be the score heading into the intermission. A crazy bounce early in the 2nd period would give Shreveport a lead that they would not relinquish.
The Mudbugs would get another lucky bounce early in the 3rd period to extend their lead to 3-1 before the Jr. Blues would be able to start their comeback. Noah Marino would score his 2nd goal of the season to cut the lead to 3-2, but Shreveport would answer back to regain their two goal advantage. A goal from Hunter McCurdy at the buzzer would make it a 4-3 game, but that would become the final score.
Alex Proctor got the start in his return to the Jr. Blues, stopping 33 of 37 shots. Mason McCormick picked up an assist in his return while Ethan Heidepriem picked up his first point with the Jr. Blues. Jonathan Panisa continued to stay hot with two assists.
Saturday night’s game would be all Mudbugs as they scored two first period goals and added two more in the second period en route to a 4-0 victory and weekend sweep. Proctor got the nod in net again, this time stopping 41 of 45. The weekend finale was also the season finale between the two clubs as Shreveport takes the season series 3-1.
Jr. Blues Notes:
A Rough Stretch – The Jr. Blues are currently in a five game losing streak stretching back to January 25th against the Topeka Pilots. In that time the Jr. Blues have been swept twice: once by Janesville and once by Shreveport. Despite picking up a point for the shootout loss against the Jets, the Jr. Blues have been unable to keep pace with Janesville or Minnesota for the final playoff spot.
Mr. Longhi – Hunter Longhi is in his first junior hockey season and through 37 games with the Jr. Blues he has 12 goals and 15 assists, including a recent six game point streak where he accumulated 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists). Longhi’s point streak was snapped on Saturday night.
Penalty Box – The Jr. Blues and Mudbugs combined for 110 penalty minutes this weekend, marking the sixth time this season the Jr. Blues have combined to have more than 100 penalty minutes in a weekend. The Jr. Blues have the fourth most penalty minutes in the NAHL this season with 856, trailing the Mudbugs who lead the league with 990 penalty minutes.
The Jr. Blues will head to Topeka this weekend for the final series with the Pilots this season. Friday and Saturday night’s contests both begin at 7:10 pm and can be seen on HockeyTV. The Jr. Blues will be back in town next weekend for a three game series with division leading Fairbanks.