Dateline: Springfield, Illinois
January 14, 2012
Springfield Jr. Blues vs. St. Louis Bandits
Jr. Blues. Parents and Billets will still receive the articles in this form, but everyone else will need to check the Jr. Blues Blog at http://www.jrblues.wordpress.com for the article. As we grow and This will be the last weekend that everyone receives the articles about the game and the expand the articles we will utilize the Blog, so if you haven’t received this as an email please check the Blog. The guys continue to drag me kicking and screamin’ into the techno-age whether I agree to it or not. Oh well, sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks. It just takes more effort and more repetition to teach the old dog. Arf!
We’re back on the ice with, who else, the Bandits again. Janesville has taken over first place in our Midwest Division at present, and last night Coulee Region lost in overtime to earn a point and tie the Blues again for third place. The Chill plays again at Bismarck and we have St. Louis tonight and again in Chesterfield, Missouri tomorrow at 2:00 pm.
The Jr. Blues picked a player from the Czek Republic this week. He is listed at 24 on the NHL European scouting report for the draft so we are hoping for great things. After travelling all day long Thursday and being dog tired from the travel, he seemed like a really nice young man. I, for one, am anxious to see him play. The Blues deserve a break or two after recent events and the way the season has played out so far. It seems that Murphy of Murphy’s Law fame has been an optimist what with all the injuries, etc.
Last week was an exciting weekend of hockey with the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings in town. Both games went to a shootout as the teams split. It is especially a shame that the local newspaper had not one word in Sunday’s paper about the Saturday night game. I wonder what it would take to get Don Trello back. We didn’t always agree with what Don had to say, but you could count on the Jr. Blues (the longest continuous franchise in the NAHL and Springfield’s longest running sports franchise) being covered by the paper. Win, lose or draw, we had the coverage. Now, you just don’t know whether there will be coverage of our Jr. Hockey team or not, and there haven’t been any human interest stories about the team whatsoever. Don, please come back!
Okay, it’s time for another round with the St. Louis Bandits. The Blues are 2 – 6 against the boys from Chesterfield, but tonight would be a good night to start a win streak against them. They seem to have the Jr. Blues number every year. Yes St. Louis is always a very good team, but sometimes it feels like the Blue and Gold are cannon fodder for them. Oh well, that’s how the cookie crumbles in the NAHL. I t’s game time!
The Jr. Blues came out in the first period with more energy than I’ve seen to now. Just eleven seconds into the game Jordan Johnson sent a pass to Cody Dixon who passed up ice to Nick Townes, and Bang! One quick goal for the Blues! The Blue and Gold controlled the period and Mike Williams sent that nasty wrist shot of his past the Bandit Goalie at 7:41 to make it 2 – 0, Jr. Blues. Gabe Antoni did a super job defending the goal during the first stanza turning away some point blank shots and keeping St. Louis at bay.
Period two belonged to the Blue and Gold as the defense was superb. Again, Gabe Antoni was superlative in between the pipes. The Blues have played two inspired periods of outstanding hockey. It really looked like, from past games that these two teams have traded uniforms. The Blues have controlled the first two periods, and in large part to the goal tending of Gabe Antoni.
The game domination by the Blues continued throughout the third period as the Blue and Gold scored on a Kevin Walters goal at 4:21. He was assisted by Sitler and Pontasch. Kyle Cook scored at the 10:00 minute mark to make it 4 – 0, with an assist by Kevin Walters. The Bandits scored at 11:09, but that goal was answered by Chris Sitler at 12:20 with help from Ethan Nauman to make the score 5 – 1. St. Louis answered with a meaningless goal at 19:34 to make the final score 5 – 2.
It was all Jr. Blues tonight to be sure. The same two teams play again tomorrow in Chesterfield, Missouri, game time 2:00 pm. And if you can’t make the game, I’ll bring it to you on FASTHockey!