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Springfield Unable to Figure Out Magicians

Richfield, MN – The Springfield Jr. Blues dropped their first road game of the season last night to the Minnesota Magicians by a score of 7-2. The loss drops Springfield to 4-4-1-0 and they are now tied with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs for 4th in the Midwest Division.

Minnesota led from start to finish on Friday night. A hat trick by Chris Konin and four points from Cameron Buhl paced an offensive outbreak from Minnesota, who now has three games with 5+ goals. Ethan Haider stopped 19 of 21 shots to pick up his fifth win of the season.

Springfield broke up Haider’s shutout bid just over five minutes into the 3rd period when Max Osborne (Anchorage, AK) scored his first goal of the year unassisted. Brandon Puricelli (St. Louis, MO) scored his team leading fifth goal of the year with 8:31 left in regulation to bring the score to 7-2, but that would be all the offense Springfield would be able to muster. Caleb Hannon (Buffalo, NY) was given his first regulation loss of the season as he stopped 9 of 12 shots. Jack Williams (St. Louis, MO) came in for Hannon in the 2nd period and stopped 16 of 20 shots.

A rematch takes place tonight as the Jr. Blues and Magicians will faceoff at 7:00 p.m. Check out our viewing party at Cooper’s Alleyside, or stream the game live on HockeyTV.

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Springfield Jr. Blues Alumni Report

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues a proven record of moving players onto college and professional hockey. Over the last 26 seasons countless players have made their mark after leaving Springfield. Here is an Alumni Update on just a few of those players. 

Stefano Lekkas (2013-14) – University of Vermont, Hockey East

Stefano Lekkas (Elburn, IL) was named the Hockey East Player of the Week after a remarkable performance against #4 University of Michigan. Lekkas stopped 48 shots in the contest, including 19 on the penalty kill and 15 in the 3rd period alone. Lekkas is in his third season at Vermont and is one of nine former Jr. Blues goalies currently playing in the NCAA.

Evan Fear (2016-17; 2017-18) – Green Bay Gamblers, USHL

Evan Fear (Winnetka, IL) is currently playing for the Green Bay Gamblers in the United States Hockey League (USHL). In three starts this season, Fear is 1-2-0 with 3.04 GAA and a .898 save percentage. But the big news came out this morning, as Evan committed to Quinnipiac University for the 2019-20 season. He joins a list of former Jr. Blues players who have played for Quinnipiac including T.J. Friedmann (2014-15) and Matthew Cassidy (2016-17).

Mike McKenna (1999-00; 2000-01) – Belleville Senators, AHL

Mike McKenna (St. Louis, MO) is entering his 14th professional season this year and is one of three former Jr. Blues goalies who are playing professionally in North America (Tyler Parks and Nick Niedert). McKenna played for the Jr. Blues in the late 90’s and early 00’s before playing four years at St. Lawrence University. McKenna was drafted in the 6th round of the 2002 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators and has played games in the ECHL, the AHL, and the NHL. He is currently playing for the Belleville Senators, who are the AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators.

 

Weekend Preview: Minnesota Magicians

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues are preparing for a weekend trip to Minnesota to take on the Magicians on Friday and Saturday. The two game set will be the first meeting of the year between the teams and the first of 10 games throughout the season.

Springfield Jr. Blues (4-3-1-0; 9 pts, 4th in Midwest)

Ben Schmidling (St. Joseph, MO) leads the way offensively for the Jr. Blues with four goals and six assists through eight games. Rookie Ryan Reid (Phoenix, AZ) leads the defensive corps with two goals and four assists, while Sam Sterne (Batavia, IL) leads the team with a plus-7 rating. Caleb Hannon (Buffalo, NY) has been solid in between the pipes for Springfield as he is currently 2-0-1-0 with a 1.33 GAA and a .956 save percentage.

Minnesota Magicians (5-3-0-0; 10 pts, 2nd in Midwest)

Minnesota has been led by an outstanding early performance from Ethan Haider who is 4-2-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA and two shutouts on the season. Matthew Stanton, four goals and four assists, and John Keranen, five goals and one assist, lead the way offensively for the Magicians.

Catch the games live on HockeyTV Friday at 7:15 pm and Saturday at 7:00 pm. Make sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for player news, game updates, and event information.

Techel, Brainin Named Midwest Division Stars of the Week

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud member of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are proud to announce that Nick Techel earned Midwest Division 2nd Star of the Week and Max Brainin earned an Honorable Mention.

Nick Techel (Wausau, WI) is in his first season with Springfield after playing last year with the Soo Eagles of the NOJHL. Through the first eight games of the season, Techel has scored three goals and two assists including two goals in Friday’s game against Topeka and one assist in Saturday’s game. Techel is the second Springfield player to have earned the 2nd Star of the Week honor already this season as Ben Schmidling (St. Joseph, MO) earned the honor in week one. 

Max Brainin (Buffalo Grove, IL) earned Honorable Mention this week after scoring twice in Saturday’s game and added an assist in Friday’s game. Brainin is in his second season with Springfield and has been an integral part of a veteran forward group that has been leading the team on and off the ice.

Springfield will look to continue their offensive momentum this weekend against a strong Minnesota Magicians team that already has two shutouts on the season. Catch the games live on HockeyTV Friday at 7:15 pm and Saturday at 7:00 pm.

Jr. Blues Blank Topeka to Split Series

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues shutout the Topeka Pilots 3-0 on Saturday night to split the weekend series and improve their record to 4-3-1-0. The Jr. Blues still sit in 4th in the Midwest Division but are just one point behind the Janesville Jets and Minnesota Magicians who are tied for 2nd place.

Saturday’s game was offense heavy in the 2nd period again as the Jr. Blues scored three times during the period. Max Brainin (Buffalo Grove, IL) scored 2:47 into the second frame for his first goal of the season, assisted by Nick Techel (Wausau, WI) and Ryan Reid (Phoenix, AZ). Brainin would strike again with a little less than five minutes left in the period to increase the lead to 2-0. Ben Schmidling (St. Joseph, MO) and Max Osborne (Anchorage, AK) assisted on Brainin’s second goal.

But the offense wasn’t through yet. With just :08 left in the period, Ryan Reid scored his second goal of the season from Ben Schmidling and Nick Techel to put the Jr. Blues ahead 3-0 heading into the second intermission.

That would be all the scoring Caleb Hannon (Bufallo, NY) would need, however, as he shut the door on Topeka to earn his first shutout and second win of the season.The 19-year-old Taft School alumni also made a huge save on a penalty shot in the 2nd period that would have tied the game. Hannon improved his Goals Against Average (GAA) to 1.33 which is good for 6th best in the NAHL.

The Jr. Blues travel to Minnesota this weekend to square off with the Magicians on Friday and Saturday. The Magicians have been paced by goaltender Ethan Haider, who has four wins and a 1.67 GAA. The Jr. Blues will look to solve Haider and the Magicians and climb higher in the standings and you can watch the games live on HockeyTV.

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Jr. Blues Rally Late, Come Up Short

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues late rally came up short against the Topeka Pilots last night and Topeka won 5-4. The Jr. Blues now sit at 3-3-1-0 and remain in 4th in the Midwest Division.

Springfield opened the scoring on Nick Techel (Wausau, WI) second of the season with :07 left in the 1st period to head into the 1st intermission leading 1-0. The 2nd period saw four unanswered goals by Topeka in 10 minutes to shift momentum completely in their favor.

The 3rd period started similarly to the 2nd as Topeka padded their lead just :20 into the frame to make it 5-1. But the Jr. Blues refused to roll over for the 1st place Pilots as they scored three goals in 1:11 to bring the game within one, 5-4. But that was all the offense the Jr. Blues could muster as Topeka held off the rally to claim the victory.

Brandon Puricelli (St. Louis, MO) extended his point streak to six games, Giovanni Carabelli (Shelby Township, MI) scored his third goal of the year, Jonathan Panisa (Irvine, CA) scored his second goal in a Jr. Blues jersey, and Techel added a second goal in the 3rd period to give him two on the evening and three on the year.

Tonight’s game will be our Scheels Family Night, Scheels will be in attendance to hand out coupons and a Family Fun Pack Giveaway. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and puck drop is at 6:00 p.m.

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Jr. Blues Knock Off Brown Bears

Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues knocked off the Kenai River Brown Bears on Saturday night, 3-2. The Jr. Blues took three out of four possible points on the weekend and currently sit in 4th in the Midwest Division with a 3-2-1-0 record.

Giovanni Carabelli (Shelby Township, MI) started the scoring off in the 1st period with his second goal of the season and gave the Jr. Blues a 1-0 lead heading into the first break. Jonathan Panisa (Irvine, CA) scored his first NAHL goal in the 2nd period in just his second game with the team to put the Jr. Blues back on top, 2-1. 

Brandon Puricelli (St. Louis, MO) extended his point streak to five games and scored the would be game winning goal on the power play to extend the lead to 3-1 heading into the 2nd intermission. Caden Villegas (Plano, TX) recorded his first point as part of the Jr. Blues and Nikita Kozyrev (Tallinn, Estonia) notched his fifth assist of the season during the game.

Kenai River scored once in the 2nd period and again in the 3rd period to draw the game close, but Jack Williams (St. Louis, MO) shut the door on any ideas of a comeback to pick up his second win of the season. Williams stopped 27 of 29 shots including an outstanding save on a Brown Bears player who had walked in all alone on a breakaway in the 1st period.

The power play scored for the fourth straight game for the Jr. Blues and their sixth goal already on the season. To this point, the Jr. Blues have scored a power play goal in every game except one game during the showcase and look to add to the momentum this weekend against the Topeka Pilots.

Friday night’s game starts at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday night’s game starts at 6:05 p.m. Topeka currently sits tied for 1st in the South Division but are coming off being swept by the Amarillo Bulls over the weekend.

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2018-19 Opening Weekend Celebration

Springfield, Illinois – The 2018-19 home schedule for the Springfield Jr. Blues kicks off this weekend as the boys in blue battle the Kenai River Brown Bears. The Jr. Blues sport a 2-2-0-0 record heading into the weekend, while the Brown Bears currently sit atop the Midwest Division at 4-2-0-0.

The Jr. Blues are led by twin brothers Ben and David Schmidling of St. Joseph, MO who both currently have five points on the season. Returning forwards Max Brainin, Brandon Puricelli, and Nikita Kozyrev all have three points themselves to help pace the team offensively. Between the pipes Jack Williams has a 1-1-0-0 record to this point and has already committed to Michigan State University to play college hockey. Rookies Ryan Reid and Braden Stewart showed well in Blaine, Minnesota during the showcase and look to continue building on that momentum this weekend.

Friday night will be the first home game at the Nelson Center this season and adult tickets will be $6 at the door, or two for $10. There will be a happy hour before the game, starting when doors open at 6 p.m. and lasting until 6:45 p.m, Coors Light drafts will be $1 and Blue Moon drafts will be $2.

Saturday night will be the first Kids Club game this season, kids will be able to sign up for the Kids Club at the game Friday night. The fee for Kids Club is $20 and includes admission vouchers for all Kids Club games, two buddy passes, free post game skate rentals, a special Jr. Blues gift for each member, and an invitation to a Kids Club only party during the season. After the game there will be a post game skate where fans can interact with and meet the players. 

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Jr. Blues Lose in Showcase Finale

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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Jr. Blues Earn First Victory Against the Generals

The Springfield Jr. Blues played their second game of the NAHL Showcase last night and bounced back with a 3-1 win over the Northeast Generals. The Jr. Blues were led by Ben Schmidling (St. Joseph, MO) offensively and a stellar performance between the pipes by Caleb Hannon (Buffalo, NY).

It was a quiet first period on the score sheet from both teams despite 13 shots by the Jr. Blues. The Generals had three 1st period power play opportunities but were unable to capitalize on any of them and heading into the first break the game was even, 0-0.

Reminiscent of Wednesday night’s game, an offensive breakout in the second period by the Jr. Blues proved to be too much for the Generals to handle. Just 1:11 into the second frame Brandon Puricelli (St. Louis, MO) put the Jr. Blues in the driver seat and set the tone for the remainder of the period. The Schmidling brothers, Ben and David (St. Joseph, MO), both had assists on the Puricelli goal. The Jr. Blues would add to the lead just under four minutes later when Ben Schmidling notched his second goal of the season with assists from David Schmidling and Max Brainin (Buffalo Grove, IL). A third tally with 6:22 left in the period again by Ben Schmidling put the Jr. Blues up 3-0, the goal was assisted by David Schmidling and Max Brainin. The boys in blue put up 21 shots in the 2nd period and 43 throughout the game.

The 3rd period was a much better effort by the Northeast Generals as they were able to break up the shut out for Caleb Hannon with a goal by Aurel Naus just over five minutes into the period. But that would be all the offense that the Generals could muster, and the Jr. Blues held on for the 3-1 win.

Hannon finished with 32 saves and helped the Jr. Blues earn their first victory of the campaign. Ben Schmidling was on fire scoring two goals and adding an assist for three points on the evening. Not to be outdone by his brother, David Schmidling had three assists and both were plus-3 on the evening. The pair currently lead the team in points with four points apiece through two games. 

The Jr. Blues look to continue their winning ways this afternoon against the Odessa Jackalopes at 1:30 p.m. Odessa is coming off a huge comeback yesterday against the New Jersey Titans where they scored four 3rd period goals including three within two minutes to raise their record to 2-2-0-1. The last meeting between the Jr. Blues and Odessa took place at the 2015 NAHL Showcase where Odessa beat the Jr. Blues 5-1.

Watch the game live on HockeyTV and make sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for live in-game updates.