Tag Archives: Ross Olsson

Jr. Blues Alumni Report – March 13th, 2019

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues are proud of the accomplishments that our alumni have made this season. With many seasons having already ended, or will be ending soon, we take a look at the performances of this past week from the NCAA and beyond.

We begin this week’s alumni rundown with our eyes set on the ECHL. Ross Olsson signed his first professional contract last week for the Worcester Railers and made his debut this past Saturday against the Norfolk Admirals. In a 6-1 victory for the Railers, Olsson scored his first professional goal and got in his first professional fight. Olsson recently graduated from Endicott College where he put record numbers offensively. 

The NCAA is entering the final stretch as conferences are in the midst of their playoff tournaments. Continuing his superb season, Dryden McKay helped Minnesota State to a Quarterfinal sweep of Alabama Huntsville in the WCHA playoffs this past weekend. McKay earned an Honorable Mention for both the WCHA Goaltender and Rookie of the Week honors after allowing just two goals on 32 shots. McKay has a stellar 21-6-2 record with a 1.72 GAA and a .928 SV% on the season. He leads all freshman goaltenders in wins, GAA, SV%, and shutouts, and ranks 2nd among all goaltenders in GAA and 7th in SV%.  

The UCONN Huskies upset the #2 ranked Massachusetts Minutemen on Saturday night, 4-3. Brian Rigali scored his 5th goal of the season and added his 6th assist in the programs first ever victory over a team ranked that high (previous highest ranked team was #3). Max Kalter would join his fellow Jr. Blues alum on the scoresheet with his 10th assist of the year in the season finale for UCONN, who did not make the playoffs.

While Stefanos Lekkas didn’t lead his team to victory in their season finale, he did lead them to a 2-2 tie against UMass-Lowell. Lekkas stopped 28 of 30 shots to earn his 3rd tie of the season, he currently holds a 12-19-3 record with a strong 2.27 GAA and a .930 SV%. The junior from Elburn, IL is ranked 5th in the nation in SV% and in the top 20 in GAA.  

Our final highlight of the weekend goes to Ryan Leibold, a freshman at Holy Cross. On Saturday, Leibold scored his 4th goal of the season in a 3-2 loss to Robert Morris. In 33 games this season Leibold has 4 goals and 5 assists.

Here is a recap of other alumni around the hockey world:

  • Tim Santopaolo, F: 6 G, 6 A in 14 GP (Watertown Wolves, FHL)
  • Nicholas Belger, F: 21 G, 31 A in 32 GP (Stony Brook Univ., ACHA)
  • Josh Bell, F: 19 G, 16 A in 27 GP (Missouri St., ACHA)
  • Michael Davies, F: 16 G, 14 A in 39 GP (EHC Linz, EBEL)
  • Zachary Tyson, F: 6 G, 20 A in 29 GP (Hobart College, NCAA DIII)
  • Joey Lupo, F: 11 G, 13 A in 25 GP (Amherst College, NCAA DIII)
  • Luke Radetic, F: 14 G, 9 A in 26 GP (Univ. of St. Thomas, NCAA DIII)
  • Joey Sardina, F: 10 G, 10 A in 28 GP (Lake Forest, NCAA DIII)

Three Jr. Blues Alumni Sign Professional Contracts

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues have pushed a fair amount of players onto the professional level including Mike McKenna, Brian McCullough, and Greg Rallo. But in the last couple of weeks, three additional alumni have also transitioned to the professional ranks. 

Ross Olsson signed an Amateur Tryout Contract with the Worcester Railers of the ECHL this past week. In 94 games at Endicott College (NCAA DIII), Olsson put up 55 goals, 79 assists, 23 power-play goals, 3 shorthanded goals, and 6 game-winning goals. The Billerica, MA native ranks 1st all time at Endicott in points, assists, and power-play goals, while ranking 2nd in points per game (1.43), goals, goals per game (0.59), and game winning goals. Since signing the contract Olsson has yet to dress for the Railers, but the 6’4″ 215 lbs. forward will look to break into the lineup this weekend as they take on the Adirondack Thunder, Norfolk Admirals, and South Carolina Stingrays.

From the ECHL to the SPHL, we transition to Bryan Hovanec and his journey through the lower professional leagues. The Pittsburgh, PA native signed with the Carolina Thunderbirds of the FHL on Feb. 24th after completing his collegiate career at Lebanon Valley College (NCAA DIII). In his time at LVC, Hovanec registered 104 points in 104 games split between the college’s tenure in the ACHA (Division 1) and NCAA (Division III). In one game with the Carolina Thunderbirds Hovanec registered 1 assists before being loaned to the Quad City Storm of the SPHL. In three games with Quad City, the 6’2″ 200 lbs. forward currently has no points and 2 penalty minutes.

Mike Crowley also made his professional debut recently as he was signed to a three game contract by the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs of the SPHL. The South Buffalo, NY native recently completed his college career at SUNY-Cortland (NCAA DIII) where he had 13 goals and 45 assists over 93 games. Crowley wore an ‘A’ as an alternate captain for his junior and senior seasons and finished the 2018-19 season with three goals and 13 assists. Crowley performed well during his three game contract and has now seen action in 6 games for the Rail Yard Dawgs. The 5’11” 180 lbs. forward has 1 goal and 1 assist to this point in his tenure in the SPHL.

There are over 100 Jr. Blues alumni playing in other junior leagues, college, or professional, and we don’t always have enough time to mention each one for their individual accomplishments. If you know of a Jr. Blues alum who has been excelling on or off the ice, please let us know by sending an email to info@jrblues.com!

Jr. Blues Alumni Update

Springfield, Illinois – From the NCAA to the NHL, Jr. Blues alumni have represented the capital city since 1993. Over 100 alumni are currently playing in higher levels of junior hockey, college hockey, or professional hockey. Here is a quick look at the highlights from the past week.

Dryden McKay has been turning heads for Minnesota State-Mankato this season. The Buffalo Grove, Ill native helped the Mavericks sweep Ferris State over the weekend with a 3-2 OT win on Friday and a 2-1 win on Saturday. McKay stopped 45 of 48 shots in total over the weekend with a 1.46 GAA and a .938 save percentage, and was named the WCHA Goaltender of the Week. McKay, a freshman, is 11-4-1 on the season. 

The Air Force Falcons tied Army 2-2 in two games this past weekend, and two Jr. Blues alumni helped get them there. Trevor Stone scored on Friday night and Brady Tomlak scored on Saturday night. In 22 games played this season Stone has 5 goals and 2 assists, while Tomlak has appeared in 20 games this season and has 4 goals and 5 assists.

Tommy Nappier continues to shine for the Ohio State Buckeyes. On Saturday, Nappier stopped 24 of 26 shots from the Michigan Wolverines to claim his 8th victory of the season. The 6’3”, 220 lbs. St. Louis, MO native has a 1.58 GAA and a .945 save percentage in the 2018-19 campaign, both 2nd best in the nation.

Transitioning to professional hockey can be difficult for some players, but Kelly Klima seems to be progressing well for the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL. In 10 games for the Admirals this season Klima has 3 goals and 5 assists, including a goal and 2 assists in a three game series against Orlando this past weekend. Kelly’s brother, Kevin, also played for the Jr. Blues and is currently playing for HC Sparta Praha in the Czech league after starting the season in Tucson for the Arizona Coyotes’ AHL affiliate.

Here a few other outstanding performers:

  • Ross Olsson: 6 goals and 13 assists in 11 games for Endicott College
  • Josh Lammon: 8 goals and 8 assists in 24 games for Mercyhurst Univ.
  • Bryan Hovanec: 9 goals and 6 assists in 14 games for Lebanon Valley College
  • Luke Radetic: 10 goals and 4 assists in 15 games for Univ. of St. Thomas
  • Blake Robertson: 8 goals and 3 assists in 17 games for Trine Univ.
  • Sandro Aeschlimann: 1.83 GAA and a .932 save percentage in 6 games for EV Zug (Swiss)

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