Springfield, IL- The Jr. Blues came out flying both nights against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs but, in the end, it would prove to not be enough. Both Friday and Saturday night the Jr. Blues jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.
On Friday night, Parker Johnson opened the scoring on a rebound goal from James McGing. McGing made the play happen by getting a shot on net from his knees after being dragged down. The puck laid in the crease for Johnson to slam home. Jack Sloan also received an assist on the play, making a good lead pass to McGing. A few minutes later, Johnson won an offensive zone faceoff back to defenseman Alex Baskakov who moved the puck over to Simon Koscielski, recently acquired from Austin, who fired the puck at the net. Brett Skibba standing five feet above the crease was able to redirect the puck with his stick for the Jr. Blues second goal of the night.
The Ice Dogs were able to cut the lead to 2-1 in the second on a goal from Brett Gervais. The score would remain 2-1 until 4 minutes into the third when the Ice Dogs would score two goals, 43 seconds apart. The Ice Dogs would hold on for the win despite late pressure by the Jr. Blues. Matt Leon made 35 saves in the loss.
Saturday night was more of the same as the Jr. Blues jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on two power play goals by Nate Chasteen. On the first goal, Chasteen banged in a rebound off of an initial shot by Jack Sloan. Less than 3 minutes later Chasteen would bury a shot from just inside the circle low blocker side. Skibba and Baskakov would receive assists on the play.
Despite carrying another 2-0 lead into the locker room, this time after two periods of play. The Ice Dogs attack would lead to 4 third period goals and 3 goals in the last 10 minutes of play. Ryan Kellenberger made 37 saves in the loss.
The Jr. Blues return home next weekend to face the first place Port Huron Fighting Falcons. Tickets will be available at the door or at your local County Market Grocery store. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids (under 18), seniors and adults. Tickets sold at County Market stores will be sold for $1 off.