The St. Louis Jr. Blues entered the weekend with the Toledo Cherokee in a virtual three-way tie with the Cherokee and Chicago Force. By the end of the weekend, St. Louis was in sole possession, on the loss side (St. Louis -8, Chicago -10, Toledo -13), thanks to a sweep of Toledo and a Peoria/Chicago split.
On Saturday, the Jr. Blues jumped out to a 3 goal lead on two goals by Alternate Captain Barclay Eastman. His first came off of a shot that missed the mark, rebounded off the back boards where Eastman was waiting, all alone with an empty net. His second goal came just :20 seconds into the second period. A Toledo defenseman lined-up at the wing with Eastman with the intent to get Eastman involved in an altercation. Not to be easily enticed, Eastman skated away with the Toledo player chasing him. In the meantime, Barclay won the race to a loose puck as the goaltender was again out of position, and put it into another empty net. The same defenseman was exploited the next shift when Andy Thurby and Cooper Mitchell combined to put St. Louis up 3-0.
Mitch Fernsler stood tall after giving up two goals in one shift, stopping 29 of 31 shots in the game.
On Sunday, the Jr. Blues would be challenged early. During warm-ups, the Toledo goaltender skated to the center ice line and challenged St. Louis goaltender Justin Davis to a fight. That would forshadow the game that was about to be played.
After a scoreless first period, the Jr. Blues got on the scoreboard first. Midway through the period, and already killing their third penalty of the period, Marek Tonhauser chipped the puck into the neutral zone. Dominic Valencia raced past a flat-footed Toledo defender while Erik Boning did the same, creating a 2-on-1 opporunity. Valencia slid a perfect pass to Boning who rifled a shot past the Cherokee goaltender.
Late in the 2nd, Jamie DeMarco slid the puck underneath the Toledo goaltender on the power play to give St. Louis a 2 goal lead. St. Louis would add a third goal late in the game when DeMarco sent a perfect pass through the slot to a wide open Daniel Kaufman who made no mistake.
Instead of taking a 5 minute fighting penalty, Justin Davis kept his head and stopped all 24 shots he faced, picking up the shut-out win.