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Half Perfect!

The Jr. Blues have completed the first half of the 2009-10 season in record fashion.  The Jr. Blues 24-0-0-0 record is an all time best for the storied franchise.  The Jr. Blues are currently the only Junior Hockey Team in the US that is undefeated.  This includes all levels of Juniors from Tier I A to Tier III C.  There are many reasons for the fantastic start but offensive talent seems to get the most attention.  The Jr. Blues sport the top 3 scorers of the CSHL and 4 of the top 5 with Chris Hutton leading the league with 54 points.  Nick Saracino 52 points, Ryan McGrath 45 points and Tim Tankeev with 39 points.  Alternate Captain Hutton has enjoyed the first half, \”The season has been great so far, everyone on the team is working hard, and doing whatever it takes to win.\”  Alternate Captain Eric Aldag agrees, \”The team this year has been a very hardworking team we have been pretty consistent during the first half of the season.  We have a lot of talent and a strong core of veterans who are leading the way.\”    

Veteran leadership has been a key according to Head Coach Jack Behan, \”I think the biggest reason we haven\’t stumbled to this point is our leadership.  This starts with our Captain Barclay Berner and Alternate Captains Eric Aldag and Chris Hutton.  They have a very big desire to return to the Nationals and know that each game is crucial for that goal.\”  Captain Barclay Berner points out exactly what Coach Behan has noticed, \”So far the season has been a blast.  However, knowing what is ahead of us we have to stay focused and keep working hard to have continued success.  We have some tough games ahead and we are looking forward to the challenge.  I am very excited about the second half, I can\’t wait!\”  Berner isn\’t the only one excited about the challenges ahead.  Hutton explains, \”The month of December will be a good test for us; we play three of the top four teams.  It will take hard work and focus to win.  These are the best games of the year.\”  Eric Aldag is more to the point for the chances of the Jr. Blues, \”The second half of the season will consist of our toughest games and we our very excited.  We need to play solid hockey like we have up to this point. We can\’t start relaxing and get cocky.\” 

Coach Behan likes what he hears, \”The kids know that they will win or lose this league in the second half.  They have been focused and driven to this point.  I\’m looking forward to see them in numerous tough games in succession starting this weekend in Quad City.  Tommy McDermott\’s kids have been improving weekly, they will be a huge test for us.\”  Behan refuses to look beyond Quad City but with Dubuque coming to St. Louis and then playing Pittsburgh and Cleveland two games apiece in the CSHL Showcase the following weekend, certainly December looks to be the month of truth for the Jr. Blues.  \”I can\’t look that far ahead, we have one of our toughest tests this weekend, and we will focus on the others when the time comes.  Yes, we all know the importance of this month and yes we are excited about the challenge, but we take things one day at a time around here.  I\’ve been through this too many times to approach it any other way.\”

With a record setting first half of the season behind them, Behan does take one last look, \”I would be lying to you if I said I wasn\’t proud of the kid\’s effort to date.  We have improved in so many areas.  To be the last standing undefeated team is humbling.  This group loves to compete, they love to work hard, and they have a huge distaste for losing.  Couple that with their talent and you have a mix for a very good team.  I think this month we will see if we can prove just that.\”