Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that Nikita Kozyrev has been named the Bauer Hockey Midwest Division 2nd Star of the Week! Additionally, Brandon Puricelli was listed as an Honorable Mention for his play over the weekend as well.
Kozyrev, 20, scored in each period for the Jr. Blues on Saturday night to earn the first hat trick of the season for the team in a 8-0 rout over Kenai River. On Sunday Kozyrev scored the opening two goals of the contest in the first four minutes of the game before adding an assist late to bring his weekend total to 6 points. Kozyrev, who is in his second season in Springfield, has 7 goals in his last five games.
Puricelli, 21, didn’t score any goals over the weekend but he did tally 7 assists between Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday Puricelli assisted on all three of Kozyrev’s goals, while on Sunday he assisted on both of Kozyrev and Techel’s goals. Puricelli is now in his 3rd season in Springfield and he has 21 goals and 34 assists in 47 games played.
Congratulations to Nikita and Brandon for being recognized for their outstanding play this past weekend! Make sure to stay up to date with all of the news and information on the Jr. Blues by following our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages!
Attleboro, Massachusetts – The Springfield Jr. Blues sent four players to the 2019 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, three on the Midwest Division roster and one on the Selects Red roster. Each team played two games starting Monday afternoon and finishing up last night.
Jack Williams was one of two Midwest Division goaltenders on the Selects Red roster alongside Cole Brady. Williams played the first half of Monday’s contest surrendering three goals on 23 shots. He then came in for the second half of yesterday’s morning matchup where he once again stopped 20 of 23 shots. Williams, who is committed to Michigan State University, currently has a 15-11-0-1-1 record on the season for the Jr. Blues with a 2.75 GAA and a .901 save percentage.
Max Brainin, Brandon Puricelli, and Janis Voris represented the Jr. Blues on the Midwest Roster. Brainin had a goal in Monday’s contest, while Puricelli added two assists. Voris stopped 16 of 18 in Monday’s matchup before stopping all 15 shots that he faced yesterday afternoon. Brainin and Puricelli did not make the scoresheet for yesterday’s game, but they’ve made it plenty of times throughout the season. Puricelli leads the Jr. Blues with 21 goals and 27 assists (48 points) and is just outside of the top ten for scoring in the league. Brainin has 13 goals and 26 assists (39) and is 3rd on the Jr. Blues in points. Voris currently sports a 5-2-0-0 record with a 2.61 GAA and a .907 save percentage.
We’d like to congratulate these four young men for their hard work and their commitment to bettering themselves and the Jr. Blues organization. The Top Prospects Tournament is a unique opportunity that not every player gets to experience and they took advantage of the opportunity in front of them. Congratulations Max, Brandon, Janis, and Jack!
Attleboro, Massachusetts – The NAHL’s Top Prospect Tournament kicks off this afternoon in Attleboro, MA at 1:00 pm EST. The Springfield Jr. Blues have four players at the tournament this year: Max Brainin, Brandon Puricelli, and Janis Voris are on the Midwest Roster, while Jack Williams is on the Selects Red roster.
Williams and the Selects Red play this afternoon in the tournament’s first game at 1:00 pm EST against the South Division roster. His second game will be tomorrow at 10:00 am EST against the Central Division roster.
Brainin, Puricelli, and Voris will start their portion of the tournament this evening at 7:00 pm EST against the Selects Blue roster. Their second tilt will be tomorrow at 4:00 pm EST against the South Division.
You can catch all of the action live on HockeyTV, and make sure to follow our Twitter page for live in game updates. The boys will be back for action this weekend against the Kenai River Brown Bears at the Nelson Center.
Janesville, Wisconsin – The Springfield Jr. Blues defeated the Janesville Jets 3-0 on Friday night to move into a tie for 3rd place in the Midwest Division with the Jets. Lukas Kucera had a goal and an assist, while Jack Williams turned aside all 19 shots that he faced to pick up his 15th win of the season.
Kucera, who joined the team last week, scored the opening goal late in the 1st period to give the Jr. Blues a 1-0 lead heading into the 1st intermission assisted by David Schmidling and Caden Villegas. Max Osborne would extend the lead to 2-0 on a power play strike late in the 2nd period on a redirection from Brandon Puricelli. Max Brainin added an assist on the goal as well. Caden Villegas added an insurance goal early in the 3rd period to make it 3-0 assisted by D. Schmidling and Kucera.
That would be more than enough offense as Williams earned his 3rd shutout of the season and his second consecutive start with a shutout. Williams now sits with a 15-10-0-1-1 record with a 2.70 GAA and a .902 save percentage on the campaign.
Jr. Blues Notes:
- Lukas Kucera, who had been incorrectly listed as Darren Johnson on the score sheet, now has a point in each game with the Jr. Blues
- Caden Villegas had a goal and an assist to push his season point total to 12.
- Max Osborne’s goal was his 6th of the season and his first point since 1/25, also against the Jets.
- David Schmidling played his first game since 11/24 (against the Jets) and recorded two assists in the game. He now has 1 goal and 10 assists in 16 games played this season.
- Max Brainin had an assist on Osborne’s goal, he now has 26 on the season and is one point from tying his career high in points (40).
- Brandon Puricelli notched his 100th point as a member of the Jr. Blues with his 27th assist of the season. He now has 48 points this season.
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.
Janesville, Wisconsin – Despite technical issues with the broadcast, the matchup between the Springfield Jr. Blues and the Janesville Jets on Saturday night proved to be a game worth watching. Ben Schmidling and Brandon Puricelli each had three points in the contest, and Jack Williams stopped 24 of 28 shots in the Jr. Blues 4-3 overtime loss to the Jets. It’s only the third loss for Springfield since Christmas.
The Jets would open up a 2-0 lead in the 1st period to lead at the intermission, but the Jr. Blues would battle back to make the game interesting. Ben Schmidling and Brandon Puricelli each scored on the power play in the 2nd period to even the game up heading into the 3rd period.
Schmidling would continue his torrid stretch with his 20th goal of the season just :30 into the 3rd period. With a 3-2 lead, things looked to be trending in the Jr. Blues favor. Four Springfield penalties in just over nine minutes not only helped the Jets tie the game 3-3, but also to limit the opportunity for the Jr. Blues to mount any offense in the 3rd period. In overtime, the Jets would score with :44 left to complete the comeback and win 4-3.
Max Brainin, Aaron Swanson, and Nick Techel each had one assist in the game. Puricelli assisted on both of Schmidling’s goals, while Schmidling assisted on Puricelli’s.
With the overtime loss the Jr. Blues sit comfortably in 4th place with a 20-16-3-1 record for 44 points, just two points behind the Jets and five points behind the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. A three game series against the Minnesota Magicians this weekend could have major implications on the playoff picture for the Jr. Blues as a sweep could catapult them into second place.
Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues fell to the Janesville Jets 4-2 on Saturday night to halt their win streak. With a rematch this weekend in Janesville, WI, the Jets are just 3 points in front of the Jr. Blues for 3rd place in the Midwest Division. The Jr. Blues record sits at 19-16-2-1 for 41 points and are comfortably 13 points ahead of Kenai River for 4th place.
Saturday was our Military Appreciation Night and we had a full house on hand as we looked to sweep the Jets and move into 3rd place in the division. The Janesville Jets had other ideas, however, as they took a 1-0 lead into the 1st intermission on a goal by Austin Koss. Tommy Middleton would extend their lead to 2-0 in the 2nd period as the Jets took control of the game.
Ben Schmidling and Max Brainin scored 1:09 apart late in the 2nd period to tie the game up 2-2 heading into the break. Brandon Puricelli, Nikita Kozyrev, and Blake Finley picked up assists on the goals respectively. However, the Jets would make the most of their opportunities in the 3rd period with goals by Brenden Olson and Carter Hottmann to defeat the Jr. Blues 4-2.
Janes Voris stopped 24 of 28 shots for the Jr. Blues in his first loss since he joined the team earlier this month. Springfield capitalized on their only power play opportunity of the game, and their penalty kill was a clean 2-for-2 on the evening.
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!