Janesville, Wisconsin – The Springfield Jr. Blues fell to the Janesville Jets 4-2 on Saturday night, slipping back down to 4th place in the Midwest Division. Nikita Kozyrev and Giovanni Carabelli each had a goal in the contest, the fourth consecutive weekend split for the team.
Janesville jumped out in front in the 1st period before a late tally by Kozyrev tied the game 1-1 heading into the 1st intermission. Carabelli scored just past the halfway point of the 2nd period to tie the game 2-2, but the Jets would quickly score two goals late in the period to lead 4-2 at the break.
Despite opportunities, the Jr. Blues were unable to make the comeback in the 3rd period. Jack Williams stopped 26 of 30 shots in the loss, while Cole Brady made 27 of 29 shots in the win. Nick Techel and Brandon Aird assisted on the Jr. Blues first goal, while Aaron Swanson and Sam Sterne assisted on the second goal.
In the Division:
In what was once an insurmountable lead has now dwindled to just two points for the Minnesota Magicians, as the Fairbanks Ice Dogs are within striking distance after a weekend sweep of the Magicians. The Jr. Blues, for their part, are now within 8 points of the division leaders, a huge step forward after sitting in 5th place and nearly 20 points back at the beginning of January. Although there are no more games left with Minnesota, Springfield plays Kenai River and Fairbanks at home the next two weekends before playing eight straight against the Chippewa Steel.
Richfield, Minnesota – The Springfield Jr. Blues began their weekend series against the Minnesota Magicians with a 4-1 victory on Thursday night. Cade Groton and Nigel Nelson each had a goal and an assist in the victory, while Janis Voris stopped 25 of 26 shots to earn his 5th win of the season.
Springfield opened the scoring 2:31 into the game on the captain Groton’s 2nd goal of the season to give the Jr. Blues a 1-0 lead over division leading Minnesota. The home team would strike on the power play a little more than five minutes later to knot the game up 1-1 heading into the 1st intermission.
From there it would be all Springfield as the Jr. Blues struck gold three times in the 2nd period. Caden Villegas tallied his 5th of the season, and his first since committing to Union College this week, to give the boys in blue a 2-1 lead. Ben Schmidling and Nelson would then score less than 30 seconds apart to give the Jr. Blues a commanding 4-1 lead heading into the 3rd period.
Despite quality scoring chances for both teams in the 3rd period the final score would be 4-1. New faces in Lukas Kuchera and Philip Mass each tallied an assist in their first games wearing the shield. Aaron Swanson had two assists in the victory, Giovanni Carabelli had one assist, and Brandon Puricelli extended his point streak to nine games with an assist.
With the victory the Jr. Blues have now won three in a row against the Magicians and seven of their last ten overall. Springfield’s record is now 21-16-3-1 for 46 points and are tied with the Janesville Jets for 3rd place in the Midwest Division.
A rematch between the two teams is set for tonight at 7:15 pm CST at Richfield Ice Arena in Richfield, MN. Catch all of the action live on HockeyTV, and make sure to follow our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for all the latest news and updates.
Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues defeated the Janesville Jets 4-2 on Friday evening to extend their winning streak to five games. Ben Schmidling notched a two goal performance to lead the Jr. Blues, and Nikita Kozyrev continued his hot play with a goal and an assist. Jack Williams earned his 12th win of the season stopping 15 of 17 shots.
The Jets opened the scoring up on the power play in the 1st period to lead 1-0. Schmidling would tie the game up with less than a minute to play in the 1st period on his 15th of the season, and then would score his 16th goal in the 2nd period to give the Jr. Blues a 2-1 lead. Nick Techel scored his 10th of the season and his 3rd game winning goal in the 3rd period to increase the lead to 3-1. Kozyrev continued to stay red hot with his 7th goal of the season, and his 7th point in his last 4 games, to extend the lead to 4-1. A late Jets goal would cut the deficit to 4-2, but that would be all the offense Williams would allow.
Max Osborne picked up two assists in the game and now has 10 assists on the season. Brandon Puricelli’s 20th assist of the season on Schmidling’s first goal extends his point streak to five games. Aaron Swanson also had an assist on Schmidling’s first goal to extend his point streak to 8 games.
Soldotna, Alaska – Janis Voris won his 4th game with the Springfield Jr. Blues on Saturday night in a 2-1 victory over the Kenai River Brown Bears. Nikita Kozyrev stayed hot with his 6th goal of the season, and Aaron Swanson extended his point streak to 7 games. The Jr. Blues are in 4th place with a 18-15-2-1 record and are now only three points behind the Janesville Jets.
Swanson scored his 6th goal with Springfield a quarter of the way through the 2nd period to give the Jr. Blues a 1-0 lead. Just a minute and a half later, Kozyrev would extend the lead to 2-0. The Brown Bears would break up Voris’ shut out bid with :11 left in regulation, and the final score would be 2-1.
Voris stopped 23 of 24 shots in his second consecutive start, and his third start on the road trip. Brandon Puricelli, Jayden Jensen, and Max Brainin each had an assists in the victory.
Soldotna, Alaska – The Springfield Jr. Blues defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears 3-1 on Friday night in the second game of a three game series. Ben Schmidling and Brandon Puricelli each had two assists and Janis Voris stopped 26 of 27 to earn his 3rd win.
Unlike their start on Thursday, Springfield started strong and never looked back. Sam Sterne scored his 2nd goal of the season 8:02 into the 1st period, and Nikita Kozyrev scored his 5th goal of the season just over a minute later to give the Jr. Blues a 2-0 lead. It would prove to be all the offense they would need to win their 3rd straight game.
Aaron Swanson scored an insurance goal with 6:31 left in the 2nd period to give the Jr. Blues a 3-0 lead and firm control of the game. The Brown Bears would break Voris’s shutout bid on Markus Komul’s power play goal in the 3rd period to cut the deficit to 3-1, but wouldn’t be able to mount any more offense.
Max Brainin tallied his 20th assist of the season on Kozyrev’s goal in the 1st period, he leads the team in that category. Nick Techel also had an assist in the game.
Game three is scheduled for this evening at 7:30 pm AKST (10:30 pm CST) and can be streamed live on HockeyTV!
Soldotna, Alaska – Brandon Puricelli’s 20th goal of the season helped propel the Jr. Blues to a 4-2 win on Thursday night. Nikita Kozyrev would tally a goal and two assists in the contest, and Jack Williams would stop 25 of 27 shots to earn his 11th victory of the season.
Things started off badly for the Jr. Blues as Brown Bears forward Zach Krajnik scored just :57 into the game to give the home team a 1-0 lead. The Jr. Blues would tally late in the period on Max Brainin’s 11th goal of the season to tie the game 1-1.
Kozyrev would score his 4th goal of the season just before the halfway mark of the 2nd period to give the Jr. Blues a 2-1 lead. The Brown Bears would answer back a little under three minutes later on a goal by JJ Boucher. That would be all the offense that Williams would allow, stopping all 9 shots in the 3rd period.
Nick Techel would score the game winning goal with 8:33 left in regulation, and Puricelli would net his 20th goal of the season less than a minute later and the Jr. Blues were in front 4-2 and that remained the final score. Sam Sterne added two assists of his own, while Ryan Reid, Aaron Swanson, Giovanni Carabelli, and Blake Finley each had one assist. The assist by Finley, on Techel’s game winning goal, is his first point in the NAHL.
A rematch is set for this evening at 10:30 pm AKST (7:30 pm CST). Tune into HockeyTV to catch all of the action live!
Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud member of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that Aaron Swanson and Jani Voris were named Honorable Mentions for the Midwest Division for their play this past weekend.
Aaron Swanson, 19, was acquired from the Amarillo Bulls in December and has provided an immediate impact. Swanson scored the lone goal on Friday night against Fairbanks and scored the second goal on Saturday. In eight games with the Jr. Blues he has 3 goals and 5 assists. Swanson is in his second NAHL season.
Janis Voris, 17, joined the Jr. Blues after Christmas to solidify the goaltending. In Saturday night’s contest Voris stopped 37 of 40 shots en route to his second win with the team. He has seen action in three games with the Jr. Blues and currently has a 2-0-0-0 record with a 2.97 GAA and a .904 save percentage. Voris, who is from Riga, Latvia, is in his first season in the NAHL.
Congratulations to Aaron and Janis for their outstanding performances!
Springfield, Illinois – The new year brought new excitement at the Nelson Center as the Springfield Jr. Blues took four points from the Minnesota Magicians to move into 4th place in the Midwest Division. The Jr. Blues record sits at 14-14-2-1 for a total of 31 points, three points ahead of Kenai River.
Friday, January 4th: Jr. Blues 3 – 2 Minnesota
The Jr. Blues jumped out to a 3-0 lead over 1st place Minnesota on Friday night thanks to goals from Caden Villegas, Nikita Kozyrev, and Ben Schmidling. Minnesota scored twice late in the 2nd period to make the game interesting, but Jack Williams would shut the door in the 3rd period to earn his 10th win of the season. Aaron Swanson had two assists in the contest and Villegas had a goal and an assist to pace the team offensively.
Saturday, January 5th: Jr. Blues 2 – 1 Minnesota (OT)
In front of a raucous crowd at the Nelson Center, the Jr. Blues came from behind in the 3rd period to complete the weekend sweep. Max Osborne scored four minutes into the 3rd period to tie the game up, and he would get an assist on Nikita Kozyrev’s overtime game winning goal just 1:51 into the extra frame. Janis Voris, making his Jr. Blues debut in net, stopped 20 of 21 shots to earn his first victory. Osborne and Kozyrev each finished with two points, and Aaron Swanson and Brandon Puricelli each had one assist.
The Jr. Blues will be heading to Alaska on Wednesday as they prepare to take on the Fairbanks Ice Dogs this weekend. It’s the third series between the two teams this season with Springfield holding a 3-1 advantage through four games. After a two game set in Fairbanks, the Jr. Blues will stay in Alaska for a three game series in Kenai against the Brown Bears. Through four games played against each other, each team has two victories. The boys will be back in town for a pair of games against the Janesville Jets on January 25th and 26th
Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, player updates, and event information. The upcoming away games can be seen on HockeyTV, as there will be no viewing party due to the start of the games.