Local Hockey Team is Playoff Bound for the First Time Since 2013
SPRINGFIELD, IL, March 19, 2018– The Springfield Jr. Blues are proud to announce they have returned home from Alaska winning 4-1 and having clinched playoff position. This will be the first time the team has gone to the playoffs since 2013, and the first time they will do so under Head Coach Tyler Rennette, who is a first-year head coach.
The Springfield Jr. Blues spent the last week and a half in Alaska, first taking on the Fairbank’s Ice Dogs for a two-game series before heading to take on the Kenai River Brown Bears. Their first weekend in Alaska resulted in a split with Springfield winning the first game 5-3, breaking the Ice Dogs 33 game-point streak. Brandon Puricelli led the way with two of the five goals. Puricelli also had two assists. Patrick Smyth had two goals, and Marcus Walter scored once. Goalie Jurja Ovecka stopped 26 goals for his 10th win of the season.
Saturday the Ice Dogs game back and won with a final score of 6-1. Max Brainin scored the lone goal for Springfield.
Springfield then traveled to Soldonta, Alaska for a three-game set against the Kenai River Brown Bears.
Thursday night Springfield came out ready to win. Chase Mickelson had one goal and an assist to kick off scoring in the 1st period. Max Brainin and Nick Schultze scored in the 2nd period, but it was Dylan Rauh who scored late in the 3rd, pushing Springfield closer to the playoffs. Goalie Evan Fear made 21 saves for the win.
Friday night, Springfield was hot with Jurja Ovecka in goal, making 29 saves and the team scoring 6 goals on the opponent. Ovecka let in 2 goals to Kenai, yet still landed his 10th win of the season.
Max Brainin led scoring with three points (two goals and an assist). Brandon Puricelli netted two goals as well, while Fabio Hollenstein had one goal and one assist. Nick Schultze also found the back of the net with one goal.
Feeling confident, the teams met again for the third time over the weekend on Saturday night when Giovanni Carabelli scored a short-handed goal assisted by Ethan Stewart and Marcus Walter. Brandon Puricelli then made the score 2-0 with assists from Nikita Kozyrev and Fabio Hollenstein. The Bears went on to score one point, stopping Evan Fear from having a shutout. Springfield still held on for the win, sweeping Kenai and locking themselves into a playoff position for the Robertson Cup.
Springfield will be playing their final two regular season home games Friday March 30th and Saturday March 31st. Springfield will play the Minnesota Magicians. The Springfield Jr. Blues are currently sitting in the third-place position in the NAHL Midwest Division, over the Magicians, who have two games in hand. Springfield will travel to Janesville for a single game on March 28th before returning home for a two-game home series against the fourth-place Minnesota Magicians on March 30-31.
Tentatively, the first playoff home game is set for the 20th of April, though this could change depending on the remaining five games of the regular season.
To purchase tickets for the next two home games on the 30th and 31st of March, visit www.JrBlues.com or tickets can be purchased at the door.