St. Louis Jr. Blues (23-13-1, 47 pts) vs Peoria Mustangs (18-14-3, 39 pts)
VENUE: Affton Ice Rink, Affton, Missouri
GAME TIMES: February 1 at 4 pm, February 2 at 1 pm (all times Central)
WHERE TO FOLLOW: All Jr. Blues home games are streamed live and in high definition on HockeyTV.com (subscription required). On Twitter, follow @JrBluesHockey and follow @stljrblues on Instagram for live updates, and search “St. Louis Jr. Blues” on Youtube for highlights.
A QUICK RECAP: St. Louis enters the weekend looking to snap a four-game losing skid, after being swept last weekend by New Ulm 5-4 and 4-3. The Jr. Blues did not lead for a single second on the weekend, but standout performances came from forward Jake Wiethaupt (a hat-trick on Saturday) and defenseman Joey Boccardi (two goals on Sunday).
WE GOT FIVE ON IT: A total of five St. Louis Jr. Blues players, plus head coach Chris Flaugher and broadcaster Kevin Gier, will be making the trip to Attleboro, Mass. on Presidents’ Day weekend to take part in the 2020 NAHL/NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament. Flaugher will be behind the bench of the NA3HL Central Division team, which will feature forwards Evan Ross and Joey Solimando and blue-liners Joey Boccardi and Mason Kruger, with Gier once again on the broadcasting crew (this year joined by Joe Clemence from the Granite City Lumberjacks). Over on the NAHL side of the tournament, forward Seamus Campbell will dress for the NAHL Selects Blue team as part of their all-star showcase. He won’t be the only man with Jr. Blues ties to play in the NAHL tournament, as Bud Winter (2017-18) will represent the St. Cloud Blizzard on the Central Division team.
GET SQUARED UP: Just 15 squares remain on the Jr. Blues’ Super Bowl Squares board, and if you haven’t bought one already it’s time to act fast. To enter, go to www.runyourpool.com, ask to join pool 125452 with the password “affton”, and pick your preferred square. Price is $25 a square, with half the pot going to the Jr. Blues and half going to the prize jackpot, which will be paid out after every regulation quarter. If you want to sign up, send your money via PayPal to email@example.com.
SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS: Peoria has been slowly but surely inching closer to locking up the final playoff spot, sitting 21 points clear of fifth-place Milwaukee and only seven back of third-place Coulee Region. New Mexico Ice Wolves tender Dillan Bentley has been a revelation for the ‘Stangs, with 26 goals and 21 assists in his first junior season. Between the pipes, expect to see both Jaden Gardner (8-7-1, 2.42 GAA, .916 SVZ%) and Cole Walter (8-7-2, 2.67, .888) get a game this weekend. This marks the final time St. Louis and Peoria will meet during the regular season: the Jr. Blues have a 5-1-0 advantage this year, with two of those three wins coming in extra time.
JUNIOR NOTES: Next Saturday marks the Jr. Blues’ annual Brendan’s Buddies game, when the Jr. Blues taken on the Milwaukee Power at 4 pm. The team will be wearing commemorative jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game, along with other items, all to support #1 fan Brendan Staub.