Tag Archives: Jr. Blues Alumni

Jr. Blues Alumni Breakdown

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have advanced over 100 players onto college and professional hockey in the last 25 years. We’ve picked out a handful of alumni who have been excelling this season on and off the ice for this week’s Jr. Blues Alumni Breakdown.

Dryden McKay nabbed his fourth WCHA Goaltender of the Week award after going 1-0-1 for the MSU-Mankato Mavericks against the Michigan Tech Huskies. McKay, a freshman, stopped 57 of 60 shot in two games started and ended with a .950 save percentage and 1.38 goals against average. McKay turned aside 24 shots in Friday’s contest, and an additional four shooters in the shootout victory. On Saturday the Downers Grove, IL native made 33 saves in a 3-2 overtime win. He is now 17-5-2 over all with a 1.87 GAA and a .923 save percentage this season. McKay currently leads all freshmen goaltenders in minutes played (1477:55), wins, goals against average, and shutouts (3).

Stefanos Lekkas, to his own credit, has been playing equally as well for the University of Vermont Catamounts as of late. After going 1-1-0 against University of New Hampshire he was named the Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week. Lekkas, who is from Elburn, IL, stopped 57 of 59 shots he faced over the weekend. He denied 26 shots in a 1-0 defeat on Friday before making 31 saves in a 4-1 victory on Saturday. On the season Lekkas is 12-14-2 with a 2.26 GAA and a .931 save percentage.

Facing off with Lekkas was a fellow Jr. Blues alum in Mike Robinson. Robinson led the UNH Wildcats to a 1-0 victory on Friday behind a 29 save shutout, his fourth of the season. In Saturday’s 4-1 defeat Robinson turned aside 37 of 41 shots. In 25 games played this season he is 10-8-7 with a 2.25 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

Not to be outdone or forgotten, Tommy Nappier is continuing to win for the Ohio State Buckeyes. The St. Louis, MO native is 11-1-2 with a 1.60 GAA and a .946 save percentage for the #2 team in the nation. Over the weekend Nappier kept 29 of 30 shots out of the net in a 4-1 victory over Wisconsin.

McKay, Lekkas, Robinson, Nappier, and Devin Cooley have not only been topping our alumni list each week, but they’ve also been ranking at the top or near the top of statistical categories for all goalies in the NCAA. Nappier has the highest winning percentage in Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey (.857), while McKay sits at sixth (.750) and Cooley is 15h (.654).

All five are in the top 20 for goal against average: Nappier is second (1.60), McKay is seventh (1.87), Cooley is 14th (2.08), Robinson is 19th (2.25), and Lekkas is 20th (2.26). Nappier is also second in the nation in save percentage (.946), while Lekkas is fifth (.931), Cooley is 8th (.929), McKay is 15th (.923), and Robinson is 16th (.923).

Here is a quick recap of a few more of our alumni:

  • Max Kalter had 2 assists for UCONN (NCAA); he now has 6 goals and 7 assists in 28 games played.
  • Brian Rigali had 1 goal and 1 assist for UCONN (NCAA); he now has 4 goals and 5 assists in 23 games played.
  • T.J. Friedmann scored his first NCAA goal for Quinnipiac on Feb. 2nd against Clarkson University. He has four assists in 23 games as well.
  • Kelly Klima has four points in his last five games (2 goals, 2 assists) and has at least one point in 13 of his 20 games played this season (8 goals, 9 assists) for the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL).
  • Kevin Loppatto is currently on loan to IF Bjorkloven in HockeyAllsvenskan (Second League) in Sweden. He has 1 goal in three games played with the team. Loppatto had put up 16 goals and 13 assists in 33 games for Vannas HC in Sweden’s Division 1 League (Hockeyettan, Tier Three).
  • Evan Fear was traded to the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL by the Green Bay Gamblers. In 24 appearances this season, Fear is 10-9-4-0 with a 3.33 GAA and a .899 save percentage. He has three USHL Goaltender of the Week awards this season (10/22/18, 12/10/18, and 12/31/18).
  • Mike McKenna is now on his second AHL team this season (Belleville Senators, Lehigh Valley Phantoms) and his 14th AHL team overall (Norfolk, Milwaukee, Omaha, Portland, Lowell, Albany, Binghamton, Peoria, Springfield, Syracuse, and Texas). McKenna has played in 470 AHL games and holds a career line of: 228-176-25 with 27 shutouts, a 2.71 GAA, and a .913 save percentage. He has appeared in two Calder Cup Finals (Syracuse Crunch and the Texas Stars).
  • Luke Radetic has 13 goals and 9 assists for University of St. Thomas (NCAA D3) in 23 games.
  • Bradley Marek has 6 goals and 4 assists in 41 games for the Central Illinois Flying Aces (USHL).

Jr. Blues Alumni Report

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have been a member of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) since 1993 and have had alumni play college hockey and in professional leagues around the world. Here are a few alumni performances from the past week that we have chosen to spotlight.

Three goaltenders earned player of the week honors in three different conferences. Dryden McKay (Minnesota State-Mankato) has continued to impress as he was named the WCHA Goaltender of the Week. McKay, a freshman, stopped 26 of 27 shots in two wins over Alabama Huntsville this past weekend. In Saturday’s 4-0 win McKay stopped all 12 shots for his third career shutout. The Downers Grove, IL native currently has a 16-5-1 record with a 1.91 GAA and a .921 save percentage for the Mavericks.

Shifting to the east coast, Stefanos Lekkas was named the Hockey East Player of the Week after backstopping Vermont to a victory and a tie against #9 Providence. The Elburn, IL native made 33 saves in a 3-1 win on Friday, and made 46 saves in a 1-1 tie on Saturday. On the weekend Lekkas made 79 saves, posted a 0.98 GAA and a .975 save percentage. Overall Lekkas is 11-13-2 with a 2.36 GAA and a .929 save percentage for the Catamounts this season.

We would be remiss if we didn’t include Tommy Nappier in our Alumni recap as well. Nappier, a sophomore at Ohio State, was named the Big Ten #3 Star of the Week after leading the Buckeyes to a 2-0 win on Saturday against Notre Dame. Nappier turned aside all 30 shots that he faced to earn his fourth shutout of the season and his 10th win of the season. With just one loss on the season, Nappier’s 1.64 GAA and .945 save percentage both rank second in the nation.

But don’t think that it’s just goalies who are making strides since leaving Springfield. Boston University forward Patrick Curry scored two goals on Friday night against #3 UMass. Curry, who is from Schaumburg, IL, is in his junior season at BU and in 25 games played this season he has 9 goals and 8 assists.

Here are more alumni who have been playing well this season:

  • Russell Jordan (F) – 4 goals, 6 assists between Pensacola and Birmingham (SPHL)
  • Sam Craggs (F) – 4 goals, 4 assists in 29 games; Bowling Green St. Univ. (NCAA)
  • Coale Norris (F) – 6 goals, 6 assists in 28 games; Ferris State (NCAA)
  • Max Kalter (F) – 6 goals, 5 assists in 26 games; Univ. of Connecticut (NCAA)
  • Kelly Klima (F) – 7 goals, 8 assists in 17 games; Norfolk Admirals (ECHL)
  • Jack Summers (D) – 7 assists, +3 in 20 games; Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)

Jr. Blues Alumni Breakdown

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have a long list of alumni who have played collegiate and professional hockey. We’ve highlighted a few of the spectacular performances for this week’s Alumni Roundup.

Dryden McKay (Minnesota St. Mankato) has been named an Honorable Mention for the WCHA’s Goalie and Rookie of the Week after stopping 45 of 48 shots in the Mavericks’ sweep of Michigan Tech over the weekend. McKay has a 9-4-1 record in his first season with Mankato with a .917 save percentage and a 2.13 GAA.

McKay’s teammate in Springfield, Grant Meyer, had quite the weekend as well. Meyer, in his second season at Canisius College, helped the Golden Griffins sweep the University of North Dakota with a goal in both games. In 16 games played this season, Meyer now has 4 goals and 12 assists which is 3rd best on the team.

Tommy Nappier has continued his stellar season at Ohio State with an impressive 29 save shutout of Michigan State on Saturday. With the victory, Nappier’s record improves to 7-1-2 on the season with a 1.54 GAA and a .947 save percentage. He has three shutouts on the season and ranks second in the nation in both GAA and save percentage.

Not to be outdone by his predecessor, Mike Robinson nabbed Hockey East Top Performer for his efforts this past weekend. Robinson recorded 24 saves in a 2-1 OT victory Merrimack, and stopped 13 of 14 in 40 minutes of work against Yale. He has a 5-5-5 record this season with a 2.10 GAA and a .926 save percentage and has one shutout this season.

It’s been the year of the goalie as far as Jr. Blues alumni go, as five former netminders rank in the top 30 in save percentage with three sitting in the top ten. But that’s not to say that forwards and defenseman haven’t been contributing as well.

  • Tim Santopaolo has scored 18 goals and 12 assists in 14 games for Svegs IK of Sweden’s Division 2 league
  • Nicholas Belger has 15 goals and 14 assists in 18 games for Stony Brook University in the ACHA
  • Josh Norman has 13 goals and 15 assists in 36 games for the Rockland Nationals of the CCHL
  • Kevin Loppatto has 16 goals and 8 assists in 23 games for Vannas HC in Sweden’s Division 1 league
  • Josh Bell has 11 goals and 13 assists in 15 games for Missouri State University in the ACHA.

Jr. Blues Alumni Report #10

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have over 90 alumni playing in higher junior hockey leagues, college hockey, or professional hockey. Here is a recap of some of our alumni.

Mike Robinson (2016-17); Univ. of New Hampshire, NCAA

Mike Robinson (Bedford, NH) was drafted #86 overall in the 3rd round of the 2015 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks. The east coast native played for the Boston Jr. Rangers and the Boston Jr. Bruins before making the transition to USHL to start the 2016-17 season. After two games played in Dubuque, Robinson joined the Jr. Blues where he would play 25 games and post a 2.99 GAA and a .916 save percentage. Robinson is currently playing in his second season for the University of New Hampshire and has a 2.16 GAA and a .929 save percentage, as well as a 3-5-4 record in 12 games played

Joey Lupo (2013-2016); Amherst College, NCAA D3

Joey Lupo (St. Louis, MO) played for the Jr. Blues in parts of three seasons from 2013-14 to 2015-16. In 125 NAHL games played, Lupo scored 13 goals and added 22 helpers for a total of 35 points. Now in his third seasons at Amherst College, Lupo currently has 2 goals in 7 games played this season. Last year he ranked top five on the team in points after scoring 8 goals and 7 assists in 25 games played.

Radim Matus (2011-12); Orli Znojmo, EBEL

Radim Matus (Trinec, Czech Republic) came to Springfield during the 2011-12 season after playing exclusively in the Czech Republic for his hometown HC Trinec U18 & U20 teams. In 23 games played for Springfield, Matus scored 6 goals and added 9 assists in what proved to be his only North American hockey games. From 2012-13 to 2016-17, Matus played in his home country before joining the Orli Znojmo of the EBEL (Austria). Through 28 games this season Matus has 5 goals and 8 assists.