Last weekend the St. Louis Jr. Blues took an off-weekend to give their players a little taste of college hockey. The mission of Jr. Blues hockey is to help players develop to play at the next level, whether that next level is Tier I juniors, Tier II juniors, NCAA, or ACHA hockey. Head Coach Chris Flaugher said, "This weekend gave us an opportunity to do several things. First, it gave our older players a chance to see where they stand against an NCAA DIII junior varsity team. It gave them a chance to gauge their ability as to whether they can play at the varsity level next year. Second, it gave our younger players the opportunity to see what it will take to reach that level, or higher in some cases."
Flaugher and goalie coach Mark Staub are both graduates of St. Mary's University. Staub said, "It certainly is not the same campus and facility that I played in while I was in college. But I had a great experience playing there. It was nice to go back, visit and play some games."
The team split the weekend series, winning game one, 5-3 but dropping game two, 3-2. Flaugher said, "We played pretty well and had some players talked to about their future plans. But like any recruiting opportunity, it isn't just about making the next level, it's about the right fit. I think some of our players would be a great fit at St. Mary's, others, maybe not. We provide the opportunity to be seen.
As part of the vising, the Jr. Blues toured the campus and met with staff. Flaugher continued, "The message the staff had for the team was perfect and it was good to hear from someone at that level about the importance of grades. We will be using that message to help educate our younger prospects this summer."