Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues concluded the preseason with a 4-3 victory over Lindenwood University on Friday night. With the win the Jr. Blues will head into the 2019-20 regular season on a high note having won three out of five preseason contests, including both home games.
Forwards Aaron Swanson and Trent DeNuccio each had a goal apiece while Max Osborne had two goals and an assist in the evening. Danila Larionovs, Caden Villegas, Cam Wuesthoff, Jayden Jensen, Spencer Silver, and Anders Grongstad each had one assist. Ryan Wilson and Henry Graham combined in net for the victory.
During the preseason Swanson and Osborne led the team with three goals each, while Larionovs, Wuesthoff, DeNuccio, Aaron Shaw, and Reese Tambellini each had one. Wilson, Graham, and Alex Proctor split the duties in net, each making timely saves for the Jr. Blues throughout the preseason.
With the preseason now finished, we will switch our focus to the 2019 NAHL Showcase which starts this Wednesday in Blaine, MN against the Minot Minotauros at 7:00 pm.
Springfield, Illinois – The North American Hockey League (NAHL), the United States longest running Junior A hockey league, have released the schedule for the 2019 NAHL Showcase.
The event will take place in Blaine, MN from September 18-21 and each team will play between three and four games that will count towards the regular season standings. The action begins on Wednesday September 18th at 10 a.m. as the Topeka Pilots battle it out with the Minnesota Wilderness. In addition to the 26 NAHL teams, the US NTDP will be sending a team as well.
For the Jr. Blues, it will be the opening of the regular season as they do not have any games the weekend before the showcase. While last year’s showcase saw the Jr. Blues face three teams from the East Division and one team from the South Division, this year we will see two members of the Central Division (Minot Minotauros & Minnesota Wilderness), one team from the East Division (New Jersey Titans), and one team from the South Division (Corpus Christi Ice Rays) during the showcase.
Here is the schedule with dates and times:
Wednesday September 18th, 2019 vs. Minot @ 7:00 p.m.
Thursday September 19th, 2019 vs. Wilderness @ 2:00 p.m.
Friday September 20th, 2019 vs. New Jersey Titans @ 11:00 a.m.
Saturday September 21st, 2019 vs. Corpus Christi Ice Rays @ 3:30 p.m.
All game times are central and each game at the Showcase will be streamed live on HockeyTV.
Blaine, Minnesota – The Springfield Jr. Blues finished off the 2018 NAHL Showcase Saturday afternoon against the Johnstown Tomahawks losing 3-1. The Jr. Blues only goal was scored by Spencer DenBeste (Marquette, MI) and they finished the Showcase with a 2-2-0-0 record.
Johnstown opened the scoring five minutes into the 1st period when Chad Merell scored on a odd man advantage beating George McBey (Dallas, TX) for his fifth goal of the season. The 1st period tally would be the only offense for either team until :37 into the third period when Mitchell Hale scored his third goal of the season for the Tomahawks and the score was 2-0. Chad Merell scored a shorthanded breakaway goal just after the halfway mark of the period to increase their lead to 3-0.
The Springfield Jr. Blues would get on the board with 5:39 left in the game when Spencer DenBeste broke up Carter MacPhail’s shutout on the power play. Brandon Puricelli (St. Louis, MO) and Nikita Kozyrev (Tallinn, Estonia) assisted on the goal. The goal was the second in as many days for the Lake Superior State University commit, however, the Jr. Blues were unable to complete the comeback and Johnstown held on for the victory.
George McBey played well in net for the boys in blue, stopping 33 of 36 shots sent his way. Special teams proved to be an important factor in the game, as the Jr. Blues penalty kill was perfect going 9-for-9. The power play generated the only offense, but also surrendered an important shorthanded goal in the 3rd period that proved to be too much for the Jr. blues to overcome.
The Jr. Blues will be back in town next Friday against the Kenai River Brown Bears as they kick off their home schedule at 7:05 p.m. The Brown Bears are currently 3-2-0-0 and are tied for 1st in the tightly contested Midwest Division.
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