Despite closing a three-goal deficit with less than five minutes to play in the 3rd period, the St. Louis Jr. Blues fell in a shootout to the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Cougars 7-6.
SIUE got the scoring opened with 4:26 to go in the 1st, but the hosts replied courtesy of Tom Yurisich (Batavia, Ill.), who fired a shot from the point to equalize with 1:31 to go in the opening term. The Cougars would regain the lead early in the 2nd, only to be cancelled out through a great individual effort from Dom Lesnock (Dearborn, Mich.) while the Jr. Blues were short-handed. However, after that the Cougars scored three times without reply, while the hosts could not capitalize on several power-plays (including a five-minute major) and were stymied multiple times by a hot goaltender. Will Baginski (St. Louis, Mo) pulled the Jr. Blues within two just after the start of the third, but SIUE restored the three-goal cushion shortly thereafter. With 4:24 to go in the 3rd Hunter Muzzillo (Capron, Ill.) began the fightback with a rocket of a shot past the Cougar goaltenders, and then with 1:52 left Colton Markiewicz (Rochester Hills, Mich.) made it a one-goal affair. The Jr. Blues continued to pile on the pressure after that, and with just 27 seconds remaining and the goalie pulled Yurisich picked up his second of the night to put a packed house on their feet and force overtime. St. Louis controlled much of the extra session and even had a man-advantage, but after five minutes no goals were scored and as such this affair would be decided in a shootout. Zach Lodes (Ballwin, Mo.) scored in the second round to give St. Louis the early advantage, but SIUE would reply in the 3rd round and force a sudden-victory situation. St. Louis was unlucky in the fourth round hitting the post, and the Cougars would score in the next round and shut the door on the Jr. Blues shooter to win 7-6. Ty Barnhill (Milwaukee, Wisc.) made ten saves in regular time and three in the shootout, while the Jr. Blues out-shot the Cougars 52-16.
The Jr. Blues conclude their exhibition schedule tomorrow night against the Saint Louis Billikens. Game time is 12:15 pm at Affton.