VENUE: Schwan Super Rink, Blaine, Minn.
GAME TIMES: December 16 vs Northeast Generals (21-5-20, 44 pts)at 6:15 PM, December 17 vsLouisiana Drillers (19-7-2, 40 pts)at 10:45 AM, December 18 vs Lewiston/Auburn Nordiques (28-1-0, 56 pts) at 12:15 PM (all times Central)
WHERE TO FOLLOW: All Jr. Blues games are streamed live and in high definition on HockeyTV.com (subscription required). Join Kevin Gier and Matt Kenyon on the call. On Twitter, follow @JrBluesGameday for live updates.
SHOWCASE LOWDOWN: The NA3HL Showcase is an annual event held at the Schwan Super Rink, an eight-rink complex located in Blaine, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul. At the Showcase, all 36 of the NA3HL’s teams (plus two guest teams this season) play three intersectional games in front of hundreds of junior, college, and university scouts from across the United States and Canada. This year, the NA3HL has elected to schedule teams based on the divisional standings ending the week of Thanksgiving, ensuring balanced and exciting competition. The showcase also includes several informational seminars for college-bound players, covering topics such as the application process, academic requirements, and NCAA compliance regulations.
A FULL SCHEDULE: The Jr. Blues arrived on December 14thin Minneapolis, enjoyed a team holiday outing, plus their traditional trip to the Mall of America on December 15th. They also were able to get a bit of skating in as well, with a practice on December 15that the Super Rink. This also doubled as a chance for players to adjust to Olympic-width ice, as all the Jr. Blues’ showcase games will be played on the wider surface.
SCOUTING THE GENERALS: The men from Attleboro, Mass. have done well to stay competitive in the Coastal Division, sitting nine points clear of third-place New England coming into the Showcase. Leading the way for the Gens are experienced forwards Marc Faia (21 G, 38 A) and Thad Marcola (17 G, 31 A): both were named to Top Prospects teams last season, and Faia has also spent time with the NAHL parent club of the Generals.
SCOUTING THE DRILLERS: One of the NA3HL’s surprise packages of this season, the Lafayette, La.-based Drillers currently lie just two points adrift of first-place Texas in what has become a very competitive South Division. 15 Driller skaters each have ten or more points, led by Slava Nilov (16 G, 26 A), while the goaltending has been split between Samuli Aarinen (5-4-2, 2.91) and Griffin Varricchio (8-3-1, 3.39).
SCOUTING THE NORDIQUES: The Mainers stand as team to beat heading into this year’s Showcase, with only a 7-2 loss to Northeast back on October 17 blemishing their record. A full 19 Nords players are in double-digits in terms of points, led by Colby Audette with 68 points (31 G, 37 A), good for second in the NA3HL. As for goaltending, duties in the crease have been split three ways between Daniel Miller (10-0, 1.40), Hunter Raye (8-0, 1.63) and Jason St. Pierre (7-1, 2.75) sharing the honors.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE JR. BLUES: On behalf of the entire St. Louis Jr. Blues organization, players, and staff, we would like to wish you a very merry Christmas. We hope to see you back at Affton for the game against Wausau on December 30.