Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues split their series with the Shreveport Mudbugs this past weekend, winning on Friday night and losing in overtime on Saturday.
On Friday night it was the Ryan Wilson show as the rookie netminder stopped all 37 shots that Shreveport sent his way en route to a 1-0 victory. The lone goal of the contest occurred just under six minutes into the 2nd period when Danila Larionovs picked up his 3rd goal of the season on a feed from Trent DeNuccio and Wilson.
Friday night’s victory was the 2nd shutout for Wilson on the season as he previously blanked the Corpus Christi IceRays 1-0 at the NAHL Showcase and was his 3rd win overall.
Saturday night began the right way for the Jr. Blues as they racked up a 2-0 lead in the 2nd period on goals by Giovanni Carabelli and Adisen Brueck. Trent DeNuccio, Daniel Holmkvist, Hunter Longhi, and Jackson Salt all picked up assists. Things looked pretty bleak for the Mudbugs after they took back-to-back major penalties in the 3rd period, but a shorthanded goal from Warren Natyshak proved to be the spark that Shreveport needed.
Alexis Girard tied the game up with just over two minutes left in regulation and sent the game to overtime. Matt Weber tucked a shot by Wilson two minutes into the extra frame to give the Mudbugs the victory and avoid the sweep.
By the Numbers:
A Strong Start – Danila Larionovs has played in 8 games this year for the Jr. Blues and has 3 goals and 2 assists. With his goal Friday he had scored in three straight games and is currently tied for second on the team in scoring with 5 points (Adisen Brueck – 5; Caden Villegas – 6).
Reliable in Net – Ryan Wilson sits with a 3-1-1 record, a 2.04 GAA and .934 SV% through 5 starts to begin the regular season, including two shutouts. Behind Wilson, Alex Proctor is currently 1-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .929 SV%. Wilson is tied for the league lead in shutouts, while Proctor is in the top 20 in both goals against and save percentage (out of 69 goalies in the league).
Special Teams – The Jr. Blues penalty kill has done well to this point in the season. With an 89.3% penalty kill percentage the Jr. Blues PK team is 2nd best in the division and 8th best in the league. However, the power play unit, which sits at 6.7%, is currently last in the division and 2nd to last in the league.
The Jr. Blues will hit the road for the first time this season as they travel up to Chippewa Falls, WI this weekend for a two game series with the Chippewa Steel. Last year the Jr. Blues and Steel didn’t meet until March where they played eight straight games against each other. Both Friday and Saturday’s contest will kick off at 7:10 pm and can be watched live on HockeyTV.