In a classic battle between two of the United States’ top junior hockey programs, the St. Louis Jr. Blues came away with a massive road win as they defeated the Granite City Lumberjacks 2-1.
Last year saw these two sides finish their regular season series tied 2-2, and for much of the first period it seemed like this game would be another tight affair. However, with 2:31 remaining in the 1st an unlikely source would put the Jr. Blues in front: defenseman Tom Yurisich (Batavia, Ill.) chanced his arm and found the back of the net, assisted by Zach Wilson (Ballwin, Mo.) and Will Baginski (St. Louis, Mo.). For the rest of the 1st term and just about all of the second, the main story was the play of goaltender Mikaël Foucher (Montreal, Quebec, Can.), who made several crucial saves to keep the visitors in front. However, just 31 seconds into the 3rd period the ‘Jacks finally broke through to tie the game: from then on, the tension only ratcheted up even further. Late on with the scores still level, debutant defenseman Cade Roberts (St. Peters, Mo.) drew a holding penalty, and on the resulting power-play a Mason Kruger (Alpharetta, Ga.) shot from center point was turned in by Dante Jones (Toronto, Ont., Can.), who continued his scoring streak with what turned out to became the winner at the 18:30 mark. Foucher would pick up the win stopping 26 shots, as the hosts out-shot the Jr. Blues 27-24.
The Jr. Blues will finish off the road series against Granite City tomorrow night at 7:30 pm.