Jr. Blues Finish Strong at 2021 NAHL Showcase
Springfield, Illinois - The Springfield Jr. Blues rode into the 2021 North American Hockey League (NAHL) Showcase on a high note after sweeping the Jets in Janesville to open the season. After four games in four days up in Blaine, MN, the boys return to Springfield after winning three of four at The Greatest Show on Ice!
The Jr. Blues picked up two wins to begin the Showcase before falling Friday night to the Aberdeen Wings 6-3. It marked the first time a few different things happened: it was the first game that the Jr. Blues trailed at any point, the first loss of Ethan Roberts young NAHL career, and the first defeat for the boys to start the season.
The game wasn't all negative, however, as James Callahan and Cole Schneider each scored and Coby Weber picked up his first goal with the Jr. Blues. Roberts stopped 22 of 28 in his first loss of the season. Ethan now sports a 3-1-0, 2.00 GAA, and .919 SV%.
Despite falling to Aberdeen on Day 3 of the Showcase, the Jr. Blues rebounded on Saturday afternoon to defeat the Bismarck Bobcats behind a strong 2nd period. Carson Jones opened the scoring before Joey Dosan scored twice in four minutes and the Jr. Blues never looked back. Zach Bade picked up his first goal while Connor Smith added one in the 3rd period to seal a 5-2 victory. Matthew Smith picked up the win in net as he stopped 21 of 23 shots.
And now we rest. After six games in nine days the Jr. Blues have an off weekend to rest and recover from the flurry of action to begin the season. We currently sit atop the Midwest Division with a 5-1-0 record and 10 points, just in front of Fairbanks (4-1-0-1, 9 pts) and Chippewa (4-2-0, 8 pts).
Behind the Note:
Connor Smith currently has 7 points through 6 games (4 goals, 3 assists). He is tied for 5th in the NAHL in points and tied for 4th in Goals (along with teammate Joey Dosan).
Speaking of Joey Dosan, his two goals on Saturday increases the Jr. Blues total of multi-goal games to three as Cole Schneider and Leo Bacallao have also scored twice in a game this season.
There are currently 13 players on the Jr. Blues roster with multiple points and there are 21 players overall with at least 1 point, including netminder Ethan Robertson. And while we're at the number game, there are 6 players who are averaging at least a point per game (C. Smith, Dosan, Jones, Panisa, Gadowsky, and Robertson).
The rookie on this squad have been making a splash so far. In just six games we have had 6 players pick up their first junior hockey goals (C. Smith, Callahan, Gadowsky, Bade, Weber, and Holt). And we have had 11 players pick up their first junior hockey points overall (C. Smith, Callahan, Gadowsky, Bade, Weber, Holt, Bradley, Kaplowitz, Riva, Scott, Valdez, and Robertson).
What's on Deck:
The Jr. Blues will have an early off weekend, which should help the team to be able to rest and recuperate after a lot of hockey in a short amount of time. Our next games will be October 1st and 2nd here in Springfield against the Minnesota Magicians! It'll be our first regular season home series since February 2020 and we are beyond excited to see everyone at The Nelson Center! Tickets can be purchased in advance by heading over to tickets.jrblues.com TODAY!
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