Springfield, Illinois – The Springfield Jr. Blues, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are heading up to Wisconsin this weekend – this time to face the Chippewa Steel!
After an early week off, the Jr. Blues returned to action this past weekend as we hosted the Minnesota Magicians for our first regular season home games since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Things started off on the right foot as the good guys shut out the Magicians 4-0 on Friday, but from there things took a wrong turn as Minnesota bounced back and shut out the Jr. Blues 4-0 on Saturday.
Ethan Robertson picked up the win on Friday stopping all 38 shots that he faced. Robertson and Ethan Roberts combined to stop 30 of 34 shots in the loss on Saturday evening. Joey Dosan continued his strong start as well, tallying two goals on Friday to increase his point total to 9 (6 G, 3 A). But now the weekend is in the past and the boys will now focus on their upcoming opponent: the Chippewa Steel.
The Steel got off to a fast start but have begun to cool down as of late. Chippewa began the season by sweeping the Kenai River Brown Bears before going 2-2 at the Showcase and lost two of three to the Anchorage Wolverines this past weekend. All in all they sit in 6th place in the Midwest Division with a 5-4-0-0 record for 10 pts.
Behind the Note:
- Ethan Roberts and Ethan Robertson are both currently in the top 10 in GAA among qualified goaltenders this season. Both of them have already recorded shutouts as well, making them the only goaltending tandem in the NAHL who each have a shutout.
- The Midwest Division is looking to be one of the strongest divisions in the NAHL this year. As of right now, six of the eight teams have at least 10 points while no other division has more than three (Fairbanks, Springfield, MN Magicians, MN Wilderness, Anchorage, Chippewa).
- While a loss on Saturday prevented the Jr. Blues from moving into sole possession of 2nd place in the division, we are still the 2nd best team in the league overall with a 6-2-0-0 record and 12 points. We are also tied for the best goal differential in the league at +15 with Fairbanks.
- Michael Valdez scored his first junior hockey goal in Friday’s victory – making him the 7th Jr. Blues player this season to record their first goal (Smith, Holt, Callahan, Weber, Gadowsky, Bade). He also becomes the 13th player to record their first junior point overall (Smith, Holt, Callahan, Weber, Gadowsky, Bade, Kaplowitz, Bradley, Riva, Schultz, Scott, Robertson).
- The 2021-22 season is the Steel’s 4th season in the NAHL and the series record between the Jr. Blues and Steel is even at 7-7. Both teams have exchanged dominant showings against the other; in 2018-19 the Jr. Blues held a 6-2 advantage while in 2019-20 the Steel held a 5-1 advantage.
Tale of the Tape
Record: SPR 6-2-0-0 | CHP 5-4-0-0
Head Coach: SPR Tyler Rennette | CHP Casey Mignone
Asst. Coach: SPR Todd Pococke | CHP Logan Murphy
Founded: 1993 | 2018
Tickets for this weekend’s games are $10 in advance and $12 at the door and can be purchased through the Chippewa Steel’s website. Both games begin at 7 pm and can be viewed exclusively on HockeyTV! Make sure to select the “Away Feed” to hear our road broadcast team call all the action!