Tag Archives: Nick Techel

Jr. Blues Split in Minnesota, Will Host Two Games in Springfield

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues battled back after a Friday night loss to win in overtime on Saturday. Brandon Puricelli had two goals on Friday, Max Osborne had four assists overall, and Nick Techel scored five minutes into overtime on Saturday to send the series back to Springfield tied 1-1. Game three will be on Friday at 7:05 pm and game four will be on Saturday at 6:05 pm.

The 2019 Robertson Cup Playoffs started off rough for the Jr. Blues as the Magicians scored the first goal of the series less than two minutes in. They would add two more goals in the 2nd period and lead 3-0 halfway through the contest. Nikita Kozyrev broke up Minnesota’s shutout bid with two minutes left in the 2nd period on a scramble in front of Ethan Haider. After forty minutes of playoff action, the Jr. Blues trailed 3-1.

The 3rd period would be filled with chances for both sides as the realization of playoff implications began to loom. Minnesota scored early into the 3rd period to make it 4-1 and took a commanding lead before Brandon Puricelli would do his absolute best to bring the Jr. Blues even scoring twice in the final frame. Despite a hard fought contest and plenty of opportunities, the Magicians held on for a 4-3 victory and a 1-0 series lead.

As the Jr. Blues started game two on Saturday, the hope of two home playoff games began to shrink. The Magicians opened the scoring just over seven minutes in and led 1-0 at the intermission for the second consecutive game. This time, however, the Jr. Blues would come out hot in the 2nd period. 

Ben Schmidling would tie the game up late in the 2nd period on a rebound in front of the net and Caden Villegas would bury a 2-on-1 feed just three minutes later to give the Jr. Blues a 2-1 lead heading into the 2nd intermission. Giovanni Carabelli extended the lead on a redirected shot from Blake Finley halfway through the period to make it a 3-1 contest. The Magicians would storm back with two goals of their own in less than three minutes to tie game 3-3 and force a sudden death overtime.

The overtime period was filled with fast-paced, back and forth action that saw both Jack Williams and Jack Robbel make timely and crucial saves. But 4:30 into the extra frame Nick Techel would score off a feed from Max Osborne and beat Robbel under the bar to give the Jr. Blues a 4-3 overtime victory and even the series, 1-1.

With the victory on Saturday, the Jr. Blues are now guaranteed two home games this weekend in Springfield, IL. Both games will be held at the Nelson Center with Friday’s game starting at 7:05 pm and Saturday’s game starting at 6:05 pm. Tickets are already available for purchase for Friday’s game, and tickets for Saturday’s game will be released shortly. 

 

Jr. Blues Notes:

  • Brandon Puricelli had three points on the weekend (2 G, 1 A) to extend his point streak to 16 games dating back to February 23rd against the Brown Bears.
  • Nick Techel’s overtime goal gave the Jr. Blues their first playoff victory since the 2011-12 season.
  • Max Osborne had 4 assists on the weekend and is currently tied for the 3rd most points in the playoffs so far.
  • Jack Williams picked up the victory on Saturday night for his first NAHL playoff win.

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

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.

Jr. Blues Split Series with Jets

Janesville, Wisconsin – The Springfield Jr. Blues fell to the Janesville Jets 4-2 on Saturday night, slipping back down to 4th place in the Midwest Division. Nikita Kozyrev and Giovanni Carabelli each had a goal in the contest, the fourth consecutive weekend split for the team.

Janesville jumped out in front in the 1st period before a late tally by Kozyrev tied the game 1-1 heading into the 1st intermission. Carabelli scored just past the halfway point of the 2nd period to tie the game 2-2, but the Jets would quickly score two goals late in the period to lead 4-2 at the break.

Despite opportunities, the Jr. Blues were unable to make the comeback in the 3rd period. Jack Williams stopped 26 of 30 shots in the loss, while Cole Brady made 27 of 29 shots in the win. Nick Techel and Brandon Aird assisted on the Jr. Blues first goal, while Aaron Swanson and Sam Sterne assisted on the second goal.

In the Division:

In what was once an insurmountable lead has now dwindled to just two points for the Minnesota Magicians, as the Fairbanks Ice Dogs are within striking distance after a weekend sweep of the Magicians. The Jr. Blues, for their part, are now within 8 points of the division leaders, a huge step forward after sitting in 5th place and nearly 20 points back at the beginning of January. Although there are no more games left with Minnesota, Springfield plays Kenai River and Fairbanks at home the next two weekends before playing eight straight against the Chippewa Steel.

Murray Scores First, Jr. Blues Fall 3-2

Richfield, Minnesota – The Springfield Jr. Blues fell to the Minnesota Magicians 3-2 on Saturday night. Ryan Murray and Nikita Kozyrev scored for the Jr. Blues while Janis Voris stopped 24 of 27 shots in just his second loss of the season. The loss drops the Jr. Blues into 4th place in the division, and puts their record for the season at 22-17-3-1.

The Magicians scored the first three goals of the game to give them a 3-0 lead early in the 2nd period. The lead was Minnesota’s first lead of the weekend and proved to be too much for the Jr. Blues to overcome. Kozyrev tallied his 7th of the season with five seconds left in the period to trim the lead to 3-1 heading into the 2nd intermission.

That score would stand until the 14:14 mark of the 3rd period when Ryan Murray would score his first of the season to cut the deficit to just one goal. Despite a flurry of activity late, the Jr. Blues would not be able to complete the comeback and lost by the score of 3-2. Jayden Jensen, Nick Techel, and Max Brainin each had an assist in the game as well.

The loss, accompanied by the Janesville Jets win, pushed the Jr. Blues back down to 4th place in the division. Springfield sits two points behind Janesville for 3rd place, and five points behind the Fairbanks Ice Dogs for 2nd place. The Jr. Blues will head to Janesville, WI this weekend for a third crack at overtaking the Jets for 3rd place.

Jets Stop Jr. Blues 4-3 in Overtime

Janesville, Wisconsin – Despite technical issues with the broadcast, the matchup between the Springfield Jr. Blues and the Janesville Jets on Saturday night proved to be a game worth watching. Ben Schmidling and Brandon Puricelli each had three points in the contest, and Jack Williams stopped 24 of 28 shots in the Jr. Blues 4-3 overtime loss to the Jets. It’s only the third loss for Springfield since Christmas.

The Jets would open up a 2-0 lead in the 1st period to lead at the intermission, but the Jr. Blues would battle back to make the game interesting. Ben Schmidling and Brandon Puricelli each scored on the power play in the 2nd period to even the game up heading into the 3rd period.

Schmidling would continue his torrid stretch with his 20th goal of the season just :30 into the 3rd period. With a 3-2 lead, things looked to be trending in the Jr. Blues favor. Four Springfield penalties in just over nine minutes not only helped the Jets tie the game 3-3, but also to limit the opportunity for the Jr. Blues to mount any offense in the 3rd period. In overtime, the Jets would score with :44 left to complete the comeback and win 4-3.

Max Brainin, Aaron Swanson, and Nick Techel each had one assist in the game. Puricelli assisted on both of Schmidling’s goals, while Schmidling assisted on Puricelli’s.

With the overtime loss the Jr. Blues sit comfortably in 4th place with a 20-16-3-1 record for 44 points, just two points behind the Jets and five points behind the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. A three game series against the Minnesota Magicians this weekend could have major implications on the playoff picture for the Jr. Blues as a sweep could catapult them into second place.

Schmidling Scores Two, Jr. Blues Win 4-2

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues defeated the Janesville Jets 4-2 on Friday evening to extend their winning streak to five games. Ben Schmidling notched a two goal performance to lead the Jr. Blues, and Nikita Kozyrev continued his hot play with a goal and an assist. Jack Williams earned his 12th win of the season stopping 15 of 17 shots. 

The Jets opened the scoring up on the power play in the 1st period to lead 1-0. Schmidling would tie the game up with less than a minute to play in the 1st period on his 15th of the season, and then would score his 16th goal in the 2nd period to give the Jr. Blues a 2-1 lead. Nick Techel scored his 10th of the season and his 3rd game winning goal in the 3rd period to increase the lead to 3-1. Kozyrev continued to stay red hot with his 7th goal of the season, and his 7th point in his last 4 games, to extend the lead to 4-1. A late Jets goal would cut the deficit to 4-2, but that would be all the offense Williams would allow.

Max Osborne picked up two assists in the game and now has 10 assists on the season. Brandon Puricelli’s 20th assist of the season on Schmidling’s first goal extends his point streak to five games. Aaron Swanson also had an assist on Schmidling’s first goal to extend his point streak to 8 games.

Jr. Blues Defeat Brown Bears 3-1

Soldotna, Alaska – The Springfield Jr. Blues defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears 3-1 on Friday night in the second game of a three game series. Ben Schmidling and Brandon Puricelli each had two assists and Janis Voris stopped 26 of 27 to earn his 3rd win.

Unlike their start on Thursday, Springfield started strong and never looked back. Sam Sterne scored his 2nd goal of the season 8:02 into the 1st period, and Nikita Kozyrev scored his 5th goal of the season just over a minute later to give the Jr. Blues a 2-0 lead. It would prove to be all the offense they would need to win their 3rd straight game.

Aaron Swanson scored an insurance goal with 6:31 left in the 2nd period to give the Jr. Blues a 3-0 lead and firm control of the game. The Brown Bears would break Voris’s shutout bid on Markus Komul’s power play goal in the 3rd period to cut the deficit to 3-1, but wouldn’t be able to mount any more offense.

Max Brainin tallied his 20th assist of the season on Kozyrev’s goal in the 1st period, he leads the team in that category. Nick Techel also had an assist in the game.

Game three is scheduled for this evening at 7:30 pm AKST (10:30 pm CST) and can be streamed live on HockeyTV!

Puricelli Nets 20th in 4-2 Win

Soldotna, Alaska – Brandon Puricelli’s 20th goal of the season helped propel the Jr. Blues to a 4-2 win on Thursday night. Nikita Kozyrev would tally a goal and two assists in the contest, and Jack Williams would stop 25 of 27 shots to earn his 11th victory of the season.

Things started off badly for the Jr. Blues as Brown Bears forward Zach Krajnik scored just :57 into the game to give the home team a 1-0 lead. The Jr. Blues would tally late in the period on Max Brainin’s 11th goal of the season to tie the game 1-1.

Kozyrev would score his 4th goal of the season just before the halfway mark of the 2nd period to give the Jr. Blues a 2-1 lead. The Brown Bears would answer back a little under three minutes later on a goal by JJ Boucher. That would be all the offense that Williams would allow, stopping all 9 shots in the 3rd period.

Nick Techel would score the game winning goal with 8:33 left in regulation, and Puricelli would net his 20th goal of the season less than a minute later and the Jr. Blues were in front 4-2 and that remained the final score. Sam Sterne added two assists of his own, while Ryan Reid, Aaron Swanson, Giovanni Carabelli, and Blake Finley each had one assist. The assist by Finley, on Techel’s game winning goal, is his first point in the NAHL.

A rematch is set for this evening at 10:30 pm AKST (7:30 pm CST). Tune into HockeyTV to catch all of the action live!

Jr. Blues and Pilots Split Final Series

Topeka, Kansas – The Springfield Jr. Blues ended the 2018 calendar year in Topeka, KS for their 4th and final series against the Pilots this season. It would prove to be a weekend filled with the unexpected, and would leave the Jr. Blues in the 4th and final playoff spot with a 12-14-2-1 record.

Friday December 21st: Jr. Blues 5 – Pilots 2

Friday proved to follow the trend of road teams winning in this season’s series as the Jr. Blues jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st period and never looked back. Nick Techel scored his 8th goal of the season to open the offense for the Jr. Blues and just three minutes later Ben Schmidling would continue his solid play of late with his 12th goal.

Despite a 2nd period tally by the Pilots, the Jr. Blues would score three 3rd period goals to ground the Pilots 5-2. Caden Villegas, who just recently returned from a call up to the USHL’s Central Illinois Flying Aces, scored his 3rd of the season 1:36 into the final frame. Brandon Puricelli would add his 19th goal with just under five minutes left in regulation, and Aaron Swanson would score his first goal with Springfield to seal the deal.

Jack Williams made 24 saves in his 9th win of the season and third win against Topeka. In addition to his goal, Ben Schmidling added two assists and Max Brainin had three assists in Springfield’s most dominant performance since November 17th against Topeka.

Saturday December 22nd: Jr. Blues 0 – Pilots 7

Saturday showed that the NAHL has enough parody to shock everyone. After a dominant performance on Friday, the Jr. Blues came out looking for the sweep of Topeka and two much needed points. But McLean Dorr and the Pilots would have very different ideas.

Topeka opened up the scoring 2:45 into the game and would add a second momentum changing goal just :20 later to lead 2-0 three minutes into the 1st period. From there, five different Topeka players would score on both Williams and backup Caleb Hannon to shutout the Jr. Blues 7-0. It’s the first time this season that Springfield has been held off the score sheet, and the third game against Topeka that has seen one of the teams left without any goals (October 6th and November 17th).

Williams took the loss in the game, his 9th of the season, while stopping 8 shots. Hannon, who took over in the 1st period and played all of the 2nd period, made 9 saves.

By the Numbers:

  • After 8 games played against each other, Springfield and Topeka each have 4 wins. Each Friday game was won by the road team, and each Saturday game was won by the home team.
  • While Friday’s proved to be closer, hard fought games, Saturday’s showed to be a chance for the home team to flex their offensive muscles. Despite more goal being scored during the opening games than the second games (26 on FRI and 24 on SAT), the home teams outscored the visitors on Saturday’s 22-2.
  • Brandon Puricelli scored his 19th goal and added his 12th assist during Friday night’s contest for a total of 31 points on the season. In 28 games played this season Puricelli  has already eclipsed his point total from last year (24 in 27 games).
  • Max Brainin had three assists on Friday and has 18 assists and 28 points overall on the season.
  • Ben Schmidling had one goal and two assists on Friday and now has 27 points on the season.

Up Next:

The boys are off for the Holidays, but will be home at the Nelson Center on January 4th and 5th to face off against the Minnesota Magicians. Make sure to check out our Facebook, Twitter, and website for more information on upcoming events, player news, and more!