The St. Louis Jr. Blues are beginning their quest for the cup tonight in Madison, Wisconsin where they will play the Wisconsin Whalers. The last month of the season saw a lot of jockeying for position as the top 5 teams were within striking distance of each other. The Peoria Mustangs won the division with a win in their 47th game of 48 and the Jr. Blues secured 2nd place in the division in their 46th game. Chicago and Cincinnati went to the last game of the season with a chance to finish 4th and a weekend series with Peoria. In the end, Chicago held on to slip past Cincinnati by a point.
The 2014 playoff format allows for each team to host a home game. Because of the travel issues, the Jr. Blues and Whalers have agreed to play game one in Wisconsin and games two and three (if necessary) will be played in St. Louis on Saturday and Sunday. The winner of the series will go on to play the winner of the Peoria/Chicago series.
Head Coach Chris Flaugher said, "I've been telling the kids all week that standings don't matter any more. Everyone is 0-0 and anyone can win on a given night." When asked about the Wisconsin match-up, Flaughter said, "Wisconsin is a strong team and we have a great playoff history against them. This will be the 4th straight year that we play them in the first round. They always show up ready to play. Tommy always has his kids prepared."
He continued, "They are a big, strong, mature team that work extremely hard. They have knocked us out in the past when we were the #1 seed and they were the #8 seed and we have developed quite a rivalry with them over the last couple of years. I think that any one of these teams can beat the other, which will make for some exciting playoff hockey."
The Jr. Blues are back at Affton on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m., if necessary.