Tag Archives: David Schmidling

Jr. Blues, Jets Split Series to Finish Regular Season

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues split their final regular season games against the Janesville Jets this past weekend. On Friday the Jr. Blues fell to the Jets 4-2, but bounced back with a big 4-3 overtime victory on Saturday night. The Jr. Blues finished the 2018-19 NAHL season with a 33-22-4-1 record for 71 points and a 3rd place finish in the Midwest Division.

Friday’s game had major implications in the divisional standings. If the Jr. Blues won both games over the weekend against the Jets and the Minnesota Magicians lost both of their games against the Chippewa Steel, then the Jr. Blues would finish in 2nd place and earn home ice in the first round of the playoffs. The Jets, however, would have different plans as to how the weekend would go.

The Jets opened up the scoring early in Friday’s contest and took a 1-0 lead into the 1st intermission. Caden Villegas would score his 9th goal of the season to open the 2nd period and tie the game up momentarily. Janesville would add two more goals in the 2nd period to take a 3-1 lead into the 2nd intermission. A 3rd period strike from defenseman Sam Sterne cut the deficit to 3-2, but the Jets would regain their two goal lead and never look back. With the 4-2 loss, the Jr. Blues sealed their 3rd place finish. Jack Williams picked up the loss in the contest, stopping 17 of 20 shots. Henry Graham made his debut in relief of Williams and stopped 11 of 12.

With the playoffs set in stone, Saturday’s contest became a game of pride and bragging rights as we honored our 12 senior players before the game. Ryan Murray, Sam Sterne, Cade Groton, Nikita Kozyrev, Nigel Nelson, Brendan Aird, Braden Stewart, Ben and David Schmidling, Max Brainin, Brandon Puricelli, and Nick Techel all suited up for their final junior hockey games of their careers. After this season, many of them will continue their play at NCAA Division 1 or Division 3 schools, while others will turn to the ACHA to continue their careers.

With emotions high, the Jets once again struck first to take a 1-0 lead early. But the Jr. Blues would not let this game get away from them. Caden Villegas scored his 2nd goal in as many games and his 10th of the season to tie the game 1-1. Ben Schmidling would prove that his timing is impeccable as he gave the Jr. Blues their first lead of the weekend with 0.1 seconds left in the opening period. At the intermission the Jr. Blues led 2-1 and had the momentum squarely in their corner.

Nick Techel would contribute a goal early in the 2nd period to increase the lead to 3-1 and seemingly put the game away for the Jr. Blues. But the Jets would battle back with a goal in the 2nd and a goal in the 3rd to tie the game 3-3. 60 minutes would prove to not be enough time to determine a winner, and the game would head to overtime. In overtime Graham would save the Jr. Blues from a penalty kill early in the extra frame, and Max Brainin would send the crowd home happy with his 20th goal of the season with less than :20 left in overtime for a 4-3 Jr. Blues win.

Henry Graham stopped 28 of 31 shots to earn his first NAHL victory on Saturday night while defenseman Kobe Pane made his Jr. Blues and NAHL debut as well. Both players are currently signed to tenders for the 2019-20 season.

Jr. Blues Notes:

  • The Jr. Blues will face off against the Minnesota Magicians in the 1st round of the playoffs. Games 1 and 2 will be in Minnesota on April 12th and 13th, while Games 3 and 4 will be in Springfield on April 19th and 20th. Game 5 would be back in Minnesota on April 21st. Games 4 and 5 are both if necessary.
  • Brandon Puricelli finished the 2018-19 season with 30 goals and 50 assists for 80 points. He set the Jr. Blues record for assists in a season and ranks 2nd in points in a season. Puricelli finished the season on a 14 game point streak and finished 4th in points in the NAHL.
  • With his overtime goal, Max Brainin reached the 20 goal plateau for the first time in his career. The goal also gave the Jr. Blues four 20+ goal scorers this season after having none last season.
  • Brendan Aird had 4 assists on Saturday night giving him 11 points overall in his time with Springfield (22 GP; 1 G, 10 A).
  • Ben Schmidling finished up his 2018-19 campaign with 1 goal and 2 assists on the weekend to bump his total points on the season to 68 (37 goals, 31 assists). Ben finished 3rd in the NAHL in goals and is currently on a 10 game point streak.

Puricelli, Schmidling(s) lead Jr. Blues to Sweep of Steel

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues swept the Chippewa Steel this past weekend and finished their regular season series 6-1-1-0 against their division foe. Brandon Puricelli and Ben Schmidling led the way offensively with six points on the weekend while David Schmidling added two goals of his own. 

The only time the Jr. Blues trailed this weekend was on Friday night. Early in the 2nd period the Steel scored and took a 2-1 lead, however, the Jr. Blues would score the next six goals to take a commanding 7-2 lead. A late goal by the Steel would make it 7-3 and that would be the final score. Puricelli and Max Brainin each had a goal and three assists, while Ben Schmidling would add two goals and two assists. Williams stopped 21 of 24 shots sent his way to earn the victory.

The Jr. Blues came out strong on Saturday night in front of the biggest crowd of the season looking to continue their quest to reach 2nd place. Puricelli and David Schmidling each had two goals while Ben Schmidling added a goal and an assist. Williams stopped 24 of 25 and the Jr. Blues defeated the Steel 5-1.

Jr. Blues Notes:

  • Brandon Puricelli is hot; he is currently on a 12 game point streak in which he has totaled 9 goals and 21 assists. Overall on the season he has 30 goals and 48 assists and is ranked 4th in the league in points with 78.
  • Ben Schmidling now has 36 goals on the season and has points in 8 straight games. He currently ranks 3rd in the league in goals and 11th in points (65).
  • Jack Williams picked up wins 20 and 21 over the weekend. His 21 wins are the most by a Jr. Blues goaltender since Andrew Martin put up 22 in 2010-11. Williams also recorded his first NAHL point with an assist on Saturday.
  • With Nikita Kozyrev’s goal during the 2nd period of Friday’s game the Jr. Blues now have three 20+ goal scorers. There were no 20 goal scorers on the Jr. Blues last season.
  • The Jr. Blues are 32-21-4-1 for 69 points this season, including a 7-2-1-0 mark in their last 10 contests. They sit comfortably in 3rd place in the Midwest Division and are just 3 points behind Minnesota for 2nd place. With two games to play for both teams, 2nd place and home ice during round one of the playoffs will be on the line this weekend.
  • 13 different players registered a point over the weekend: Puricelli, Brainin, Kozyrev, Techel, B. Schmidling, D. Schmidling, Stewart, Nelson, Marino, Williams, Osborne, Villegas, and Sterne.
  • Javi Ubarri made his Jr. Blues debut on Saturday night. Ubarri, who is from Glenview, IL, played for the Chicago Mission U18 team this season.

Puricelli, Schmidling(s) Lead Jr. Blues to Sweep of Steel

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin – The Springfield Jr. Blues marched into the Chippewa Area Youth Arena over the weekend for the first time in franchise history and swept the Chippewa Steel. After earning four out of four points, the Jr. Blues now sit in sole possession of 3rd place in the Midwest Division with a 28-20-3-1 record for 60 points.

Friday started out in the right direction for Springfield before Chippewa turned the contest into a nail biter. Ben Schmidling and Max Brainin would each score in the 1st period to give the Jr. Blues a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission. The 2nd period would begin well as Nikita Kozyrev pushed the lead to 3-1 on a feed from Brandon Puricelli and Nick Techel. But the Steel would score twice in the final two minutes of the period and the game was tied 3-3 at the break.

Jack Williams would shut the door the rest of the way as he stopped all 11 shots in the 3rd period despite plenty of opportunities for the Steel. Kozyrev would break the deadlock at the 17:50 mark of the 3rd period and give the Jr. Blues a much needed win, 4-3. It was the 8th time this season that the Steel lost a game in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

Heading into Saturday’s contest the Jr. Blues needed both points to keep pace with the Janesville Jets. Brandon Puricelli and the Schmidling twins (Ben and David) would ensure that the Jr. Blues would not come away empty handed.

Puricelli opened the scoring on Saturday just under 10 minutes in, but the Steel would score the next two goals in the game to lead 2-1 late in the opening period. That’s when captain Cade Groton would score his 3rd goal of the season to tie the game 2-2 heading into the break. The fire was sparked and the Jr. Blues would take control of the game from that point on.

Lukas Kucera would break the tie just 2:31 into the 2nd period, his 3rd goal of the season. Ben Schmidling would score six minutes later to make it 4-2, and Max Osborne would extend the lead again just three minutes later. After 40 minutes of action the Jr. Blues were on top 5-2.

Two goals by the Steel in the 3rd period were accompanied by a power play strike from Max Brainin and the final score was 6-4. Janis Voris made 25 of 29 saves to earn his 7th victory. Puricelli had four points on the weekend including a Gordie Howe hat trick on Saturday (goal, assist, fight). B. Schmidling had four points as well (2 goals, 2 assists), and D. Schmidling had three points (3 assists). Nikita Kozyrev ended the weekend with three points (2 goals, 1 assist) and Max Brainin now has 47 points on the season after picking up two points (2 goals).

Jr. Blues Notes:

  • Brandon Puricelli has 25 goals and 38 assists for 63 points this season. It’s the highest season point total since Kyle Cook had 70 points in 2011-12.
  • Ben Schmidling is continuing to stay hot as he has 5 goals and 4 assists in his last 7 games. Schmidling is in his 3rd NAHL season (Janesville, Johnstown) and has 98 career points (46 goals, 52 assists).
  • Noah Marino made his Springfield and NAHL debut over the weekend. He picked up his first junior point with his assist on Ben Schmidling’s 2nd period goal on Saturday.
  • Streaking: Techel is currently on an 8 game point streak (2 goals, 8 assists); Puricelli has points in 6 straight games (4 goals, 11 assists); Kozyrev is on a 6 game point streak (8 goals, 4 assists); and D. Schmidling is on a 3 game point streak (4 assists).
  • It was the 4th weekend sweep this season for the Jr. Blues. All four sweeps have been within the division (Minnesota, Fairbanks, Kenai River, and Chippewa). The Jr. Blues have been swept twice (Minnesota and Janesville).
  • With the Fairbanks sweep of Minnesota, the Ice Dogs are now in 1st place with 66 points. The Magicians have 64 points, the Jr. Blues have 60, and the Jets have 59.

Kucera, Williams Lead Jr. Blues Past Jets, 3-0

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.

Jr. Blues Rally Late, Fall in Overtime

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues wrapped up their three game homestand against the Magicians with a 5-4 overtime loss on Saturday night. The loss in extra time dropped the Jr. Blues record to 5-7-2-1. 

Despite the outcomes of the games Thursday and Friday, the Jr. Blues resiliency was on display Saturday night as they rallied throughout the game to send the matchup into overtime. A goal by Ben Schmidling (St. Joseph, MO), two goals by Brandon Puricelli (St. Louis, MO), and a tally by Max Brainin (Buffalo Grove, IL) led Springfield offensively. 

Caleb Hannon (Buffalo, NY) stopped 26 of 31 shots in his second overtime loss of the season. Davis Browning (Dallas, TX) notched his first two points with Springfield as he had two assists in the game.  David Schmidling (St. Joseph, MO) notched his first point since returning from injury when he assisted on Springfield’s first goal of the evening.

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2018-19 Opening Weekend Celebration

Springfield, Illinois – The 2018-19 home schedule for the Springfield Jr. Blues kicks off this weekend as the boys in blue battle the Kenai River Brown Bears. The Jr. Blues sport a 2-2-0-0 record heading into the weekend, while the Brown Bears currently sit atop the Midwest Division at 4-2-0-0.

The Jr. Blues are led by twin brothers Ben and David Schmidling of St. Joseph, MO who both currently have five points on the season. Returning forwards Max Brainin, Brandon Puricelli, and Nikita Kozyrev all have three points themselves to help pace the team offensively. Between the pipes Jack Williams has a 1-1-0-0 record to this point and has already committed to Michigan State University to play college hockey. Rookies Ryan Reid and Braden Stewart showed well in Blaine, Minnesota during the showcase and look to continue building on that momentum this weekend.

Friday night will be the first home game at the Nelson Center this season and adult tickets will be $6 at the door, or two for $10. There will be a happy hour before the game, starting when doors open at 6 p.m. and lasting until 6:45 p.m, Coors Light drafts will be $1 and Blue Moon drafts will be $2.

Saturday night will be the first Kids Club game this season, kids will be able to sign up for the Kids Club at the game Friday night. The fee for Kids Club is $20 and includes admission vouchers for all Kids Club games, two buddy passes, free post game skate rentals, a special Jr. Blues gift for each member, and an invitation to a Kids Club only party during the season. After the game there will be a post game skate where fans can interact with and meet the players. 

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Jr. Blues Earn First Victory Against the Generals

The Springfield Jr. Blues played their second game of the NAHL Showcase last night and bounced back with a 3-1 win over the Northeast Generals. The Jr. Blues were led by Ben Schmidling (St. Joseph, MO) offensively and a stellar performance between the pipes by Caleb Hannon (Buffalo, NY).

It was a quiet first period on the score sheet from both teams despite 13 shots by the Jr. Blues. The Generals had three 1st period power play opportunities but were unable to capitalize on any of them and heading into the first break the game was even, 0-0.

Reminiscent of Wednesday night’s game, an offensive breakout in the second period by the Jr. Blues proved to be too much for the Generals to handle. Just 1:11 into the second frame Brandon Puricelli (St. Louis, MO) put the Jr. Blues in the driver seat and set the tone for the remainder of the period. The Schmidling brothers, Ben and David (St. Joseph, MO), both had assists on the Puricelli goal. The Jr. Blues would add to the lead just under four minutes later when Ben Schmidling notched his second goal of the season with assists from David Schmidling and Max Brainin (Buffalo Grove, IL). A third tally with 6:22 left in the period again by Ben Schmidling put the Jr. Blues up 3-0, the goal was assisted by David Schmidling and Max Brainin. The boys in blue put up 21 shots in the 2nd period and 43 throughout the game.

The 3rd period was a much better effort by the Northeast Generals as they were able to break up the shut out for Caleb Hannon with a goal by Aurel Naus just over five minutes into the period. But that would be all the offense that the Generals could muster, and the Jr. Blues held on for the 3-1 win.

Hannon finished with 32 saves and helped the Jr. Blues earn their first victory of the campaign. Ben Schmidling was on fire scoring two goals and adding an assist for three points on the evening. Not to be outdone by his brother, David Schmidling had three assists and both were plus-3 on the evening. The pair currently lead the team in points with four points apiece through two games. 

The Jr. Blues look to continue their winning ways this afternoon against the Odessa Jackalopes at 1:30 p.m. Odessa is coming off a huge comeback yesterday against the New Jersey Titans where they scored four 3rd period goals including three within two minutes to raise their record to 2-2-0-1. The last meeting between the Jr. Blues and Odessa took place at the 2015 NAHL Showcase where Odessa beat the Jr. Blues 5-1.

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