Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues split their weekend series with the Chippewa Steel and in the process clinched a berth in the 2018-19 Robertson Cup Playoffs. The Jr. Blues have now made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons and this berth marks the 15th time the Jr. Blues have made the postseason dance.
The Jr. Blues started the weekend off in the right direction by scoring five power play goals en route to a 7-4 victory over the Steel. Ben Schmidling notched his first hat trick of the season, Nikita Kozyrev scored twice, and Brandon Puricelli had four points to lead the Jr. Blues to their 29th win of the season. Jack Williams stopped 12 of 16 shots to earn his 19th win of the season.
Saturday would not fall the same way, however, as Chippewa scored the first four goals of the game and never looked back in a 6-2 upset. Ben Schmidling had a goal and an assist and Brandon Puricelli scored as well as Janis Voris picked up the loss. The loss snapped a four game winning streak for Springfield as they remain in 3rd place in the Midwest Division.
The Jr. Blues and the Steel will face off again this weekend in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin for games five and six of an eight game stretch between the two clubs. Both games can be watched live on HockeyTV.
Jr. Blues Notes:
- Ben Schmidling had 6 points over the weekend (4 goals, 2 assists) and now sits in 12th in the league in scoring with 55 points. His second goal on Friday gave him 100 career points in the NAHL, the second Jr. Blues player to eclipse the century mark this season.
- Brandon Puricelli is on a hot streak as of late. In his last 8 games Puricelli has 20 points (6 goals, 14 assists) which has helped propel him to 5th in the league in scoring with 68 points.
- Max Brainin has 51 points on the season (17 goals, 34 assists) and is 5 points shy of reaching 100 NAHL points in his career.
- Springfield sits in 3rd place with 62 points, just four points behind 2nd place Minnesota and 10 points behind 1st place Fairbanks.