Tag Archives: Bryan Hovanec

Three Jr. Blues Alumni Sign Professional Contracts

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have pushed a fair amount of players onto the professional level including Mike McKenna, Brian McCullough, and Greg Rallo. But in the last couple of weeks, three additional alumni have also transitioned to the professional ranks. 

Ross Olsson signed an Amateur Tryout Contract with the Worcester Railers of the ECHL this past week. In 94 games at Endicott College (NCAA DIII), Olsson put up 55 goals, 79 assists, 23 power-play goals, 3 shorthanded goals, and 6 game-winning goals. The Billerica, MA native ranks 1st all time at Endicott in points, assists, and power-play goals, while ranking 2nd in points per game (1.43), goals, goals per game (0.59), and game winning goals. Since signing the contract Olsson has yet to dress for the Railers, but the 6’4″ 215 lbs. forward will look to break into the lineup this weekend as they take on the Adirondack Thunder, Norfolk Admirals, and South Carolina Stingrays.

From the ECHL to the SPHL, we transition to Bryan Hovanec and his journey through the lower professional leagues. The Pittsburgh, PA native signed with the Carolina Thunderbirds of the FHL on Feb. 24th after completing his collegiate career at Lebanon Valley College (NCAA DIII). In his time at LVC, Hovanec registered 104 points in 104 games split between the college’s tenure in the ACHA (Division 1) and NCAA (Division III). In one game with the Carolina Thunderbirds Hovanec registered 1 assists before being loaned to the Quad City Storm of the SPHL. In three games with Quad City, the 6’2″ 200 lbs. forward currently has no points and 2 penalty minutes.

Mike Crowley also made his professional debut recently as he was signed to a three game contract by the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs of the SPHL. The South Buffalo, NY native recently completed his college career at SUNY-Cortland (NCAA DIII) where he had 13 goals and 45 assists over 93 games. Crowley wore an ‘A’ as an alternate captain for his junior and senior seasons and finished the 2018-19 season with three goals and 13 assists. Crowley performed well during his three game contract and has now seen action in 6 games for the Rail Yard Dawgs. The 5’11” 180 lbs. forward has 1 goal and 1 assist to this point in his tenure in the SPHL.

There are over 100 Jr. Blues alumni playing in other junior leagues, college, or professional, and we don’t always have enough time to mention each one for their individual accomplishments. If you know of a Jr. Blues alum who has been excelling on or off the ice, please let us know by sending an email to info@jrblues.com!

Jr. Blues Alumni Report – Feb. 20th

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues are proud to have moved over 100 players onto NCAA and professional hockey during our tenure in the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Here are a few whose play this past week has turned heads around the hockey world.

In what has become the ‘weekly alumni goaltender recap’, we once again start off with a goalie who is grabbing the spotlight. Devin Cooley, a soph. at Denver, was named the NCHC Goaltender of the Week after leading the Pioneers to a 1-0 victory over then-No. 4 Minnesota Duluth. The win was Cooley’s first game back from injury and illness and was his 9th win of the season. The Los Gatos, California native earned his third shutout of the season and now has a 1.93 GAA and a .929 save percentage on the season.

This week we’ll dive into how our forwards and defensemen have been performing lately in all levels of college and professional hockey. Kelly Klima, who is currently playing for the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals, has 4 goals and 2 assists in his last four games. The rookie forward now has 12 goals and 11 assists in 24 games this season after participating in training camp with the Arizona Coyotes.

Coale Norris, a soph. at Ferris State University, had the game-winning goal on Friday and an assist on Saturday against Alaska Anchorage. In 32 games this season Norris has 7 goals and 9 assists for the Bulldogs.

Sam Craggs had 2 goals and 1 assist in a blowout win for Bowling Green over Alaska-Fairbanks. He now has 6 goals and 5 assists on the season. Patrick Curry scored a goal against both Harvard and UCONN for Boston University last week. Curry, a junior, now has 11 goals and 8 assists for the Terriers in 29 games.

It’s important to take time to recognize our alumni in Division III and in the ACHA as well.

  • Patrick Flynn, F: 2 G vs. Skidmore; 4 game goal streak. (Babson College, NCAA D3)
  • Bryan Hovanec, F: 2 G, 3 A vs. Chatham & Stevenson. (Lebanon Valley Co., NCAA D3)
  • Nicholas Belger, F: 3 G vs. Syracuse; 9 points (3 G, 6 A) in last 4 games (Stony Brook, ACHA D1)
  • Josh Bell, F: 3 G in two games vs. Arkansas; 5 goals in last three games. (Missouri St., ACHA D1)
  • Joey Lupo, F: 2 G, 1 A vs. Middlebury. (Amherst, NCAA D3)
  • Chase Mickelson, F: 1 G, 1 A in two games vs. Finlandia. (St. Norbert, NCAA D3)

Jr. Blues Alumni Update

Springfield, Illinois – From the NCAA to the NHL, Jr. Blues alumni have represented the capital city since 1993. Over 100 alumni are currently playing in higher levels of junior hockey, college hockey, or professional hockey. Here is a quick look at the highlights from the past week.

Dryden McKay has been turning heads for Minnesota State-Mankato this season. The Buffalo Grove, Ill native helped the Mavericks sweep Ferris State over the weekend with a 3-2 OT win on Friday and a 2-1 win on Saturday. McKay stopped 45 of 48 shots in total over the weekend with a 1.46 GAA and a .938 save percentage, and was named the WCHA Goaltender of the Week. McKay, a freshman, is 11-4-1 on the season. 

The Air Force Falcons tied Army 2-2 in two games this past weekend, and two Jr. Blues alumni helped get them there. Trevor Stone scored on Friday night and Brady Tomlak scored on Saturday night. In 22 games played this season Stone has 5 goals and 2 assists, while Tomlak has appeared in 20 games this season and has 4 goals and 5 assists.

Tommy Nappier continues to shine for the Ohio State Buckeyes. On Saturday, Nappier stopped 24 of 26 shots from the Michigan Wolverines to claim his 8th victory of the season. The 6’3”, 220 lbs. St. Louis, MO native has a 1.58 GAA and a .945 save percentage in the 2018-19 campaign, both 2nd best in the nation.

Transitioning to professional hockey can be difficult for some players, but Kelly Klima seems to be progressing well for the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL. In 10 games for the Admirals this season Klima has 3 goals and 5 assists, including a goal and 2 assists in a three game series against Orlando this past weekend. Kelly’s brother, Kevin, also played for the Jr. Blues and is currently playing for HC Sparta Praha in the Czech league after starting the season in Tucson for the Arizona Coyotes’ AHL affiliate.

Here a few other outstanding performers:

  • Ross Olsson: 6 goals and 13 assists in 11 games for Endicott College
  • Josh Lammon: 8 goals and 8 assists in 24 games for Mercyhurst Univ.
  • Bryan Hovanec: 9 goals and 6 assists in 14 games for Lebanon Valley College
  • Luke Radetic: 10 goals and 4 assists in 15 games for Univ. of St. Thomas
  • Blake Robertson: 8 goals and 3 assists in 17 games for Trine Univ.
  • Sandro Aeschlimann: 1.83 GAA and a .932 save percentage in 6 games for EV Zug (Swiss)

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