The St. Louis Jr. Blues wrapped up the 2012-13 regular season last weekend in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota with two hard fought games against the Granite City Lumberjacks. After winning game one 4-1, the Jr. Blues dropped game two 5-4 in a shootout. Head Coach J.P. Beilsten said, "These games are great for us, and hopefully them. We had some great games against them last year and we missed playing them this year. Granite is a team that makes you better everytime you play. They are strong, skilled, and disciplined and they bring out the best in you." Beilsten continued, "Playing them the weekend before playoffs helps better prepare us for the playoffs."
Up in round one for the Jr. Blues is Quad City. The match-up seems to have become a tradition over the last couple of years. Says Beilsten, "The regular season is over. Everyone is 0-0 and you have to win or go home. One thing Quad City has taught us over the years is that you can never underestimate them. Tommy [McDermott, Quad City Head Coach] always has his teams playoff ready and we can certainly expect that again this year."
The Jr. Blues and Flames have matched up every year in the post season since 2010. In 2011, the 8th seeded Flames beat the top seeded Jr. Blues 2 games to 1 in the series. Beilsten said, "They've done it before, and they are playing well right now, so we can't take any time off or any team lightly. If we do, our season is over."
The Jr. Blues finished the season with the leagues top record at 43-3-1-1 for 88 points. They finished 3rd in team scoring with 238 and 1st in team goals against with 78. Goaltenders Mikael Broliden and Clint Steinmeyer led the league in GAA with a 1.49 and 1.68 respectively. They finished 2nd and 4th, respectively, in Sv% with a .937 and .926. The Jr. Blues finished 3rd in Power Play percentage and 2nd in the Penalty Kill on the season.
Playoffs begin Friday night at Affton with game time at 8:00 p.m. Game two of the best of 5 series is Saturday at 7:00 p.m. with game three slated for Sunday at 12:45 p.m. Games 4 and 5 will be played the following weekend in Davenport, if necessary.