Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues skated into the preseason looking to prepare for the 2022-23 North American Hockey League (NAHL) Regular Season and, in the process, came out with a weekend split with the visiting Shreveport Mudbugs.
On Saturday, the Jr. Blues started slow but shifted momentum in their favor during the 2nd period and came away with a 3-2 shootout victory. The visitors got on the board first just two minutes into the contest on a screened shot from the point, and then doubled their lead early in the 2nd period to hold a commanding 2-0 lead halfway through the contest.
From there it became the Aksel Reid Show as he stood tall in net and turned aside every scoring opportunity that came his way in the 3rd period, overtime, and shootout. He was a crucial part of a back-and-forth track race during overtime, including coming up big on a two-on-one in overtime with time winding down.
Justin Kingery and Nikita Nikora both made big splashes in their Jr. Blues debut: Kingery finished off a beautiful passing play to get us on the board, and Nikora buried a wrister from the near circle to tie things up. In the shootout, Lucca Munoz was the lone scorer from both teams as he outlasted netminder Devin Stephens and went post and in for the game winner.
The tables were turned on Sunday night as the Jr. Blues jumped out to an early lead on a goal from newcomer Carson Galin, only to be answered by Shreveport just over a minute later. Once again the Jr. Blues would take the lead on Tyler Dale’s Power Play strike less than a minute into the 2nd period, but Shreveport battled back to tie the game up 2-2 and sent us into overtime.
A penalty shot from Shreveport in the extra frame came up empty but in shootouts they were able to find the right recipe as they got a taste of revenge with a 3-2 shootout win of their own. Jed Ballioti got the nod in net for the Jr. Blues and was solid in net all night long in his debut in front of the Springfield crowd.
The Jr. Blues will now shift focus to the 2022 NAHL Showcase where we will play the El Paso Rhinos on Wednesday evening to kick off our 30th Anniversary Season. Make sure to tune into HockeyTV to catch all of the action LIVE!
AND DON’T FORGET! Our home portion of the regular season begins September 30th at 7:05 pm when we host the Fairbanks Ice Dogs! Get your tickets online and skip the line on game night by visiting our ticketing website at tickets.jrblues.com TODAY!