No one gave the St. Louis Jr. Blues much of a chance of winning the game. But as Head Coach Jack Behan said, the players \”didn\’t get that memo.\” That was yesterday after beating 3-Time defending Tier III Jr. A National Champion New Hampshire Monarchs 2-1.
No one gave the St. Louis Jr. Blues much of a chance of winning the game. But as Head Coach Jack Behan said, the players \”didn\’t get that memo.\” THAT is today after beating a powerful South Shore Kings team 4-3 in the USA Hockey Tier III Jr. A National Championships. In the process, the Jr. Blues become the first team outside the EJHL to hoist the National Championship trophy since the inception of the Tier III A classification.
The Jr. Blues were underdogs in both games. As Behan said, \”We weren\’t supposed to be here, against those teams. So the pressure was on them, not us.\” But his team played with passion for 5 days and now have a National Championship trophy to show for it. From timely scoring to outstanding goaltending, the Jr. Blues had everything come together in the last two days.
Says Behan, \”This team went through a lot this season. A lot of other teams would fold under that pressure. But not this group. This group was energized by the challenge!\”
He continued, \”This team has answered every challenge thrown at it this year. They became battle tested at the Hurster Cup, they carried that momentum into this weekend, and they never let anyone tell them that they couldn\’t win.\”
The Jr. Blues went with their hot hand in the last two games, goaltender Josh Hillegas, who stopped 89 of 93 shots in those games. Special teams ended up being a big factor in the two game stretch. With 2 power play goals in the semifinal game and 2 short-handed and 1 power play goal today, the Jr. Blues were able to hold off a furious finish in today\’s final. Paul Zuke scored twice, including the game winner to pace the Jr. Blues today. Patrick Gregory and Nick Saracino also scored in the winning effort.