St. Louis Jr. Blues (28-15-1, 55 pts) vs Granite City Lumberjacks (33-10-0, 66 pts)
VENUE: Affton Ice Rink, Affton, Missouri
GAME TIMES: February 28 at 7 pm, February 29 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 comes in off a bye weekend: their last action saw them drop two hard-fought games at North Iowa, losing 6-4 on Valentine’s Day and 4-2 on February 15. Star perfomers from the weekend were Joey Boccardi (3 A) and Pavel Kopytin, who picked up his first goal since his debut game against the Bulls back on October 19.
SOUP’S ON: Seamus Campbell had quite a whirlwind week: starting it off last Monday by picking up an assist in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, the winger committed to Quinnipiac on Thursday following a strong performance in Massachusetts for the NAHL Blue Selects. He also signed a NAHL tender with the defending champion Aberdeen Wings, skated for the USHL’s Lincoln Stars, and played a Challenge Cup high-school semi-final for Kirkwood High, all in the span of seven days.
EASTERN PROMISES: The Jr. Blues’ representatives to the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament all impressed in New England as the Central Division complied a 2-1 record. Forward Joey Solimando recorded an assist, fellow attack-man Evan Ross scored a goal and also picked up an assist, blue-liner Joey Boccardi found the back of the net twice to go along with a helper, and Mason Kruger also picked up an assist in three games played.
PLAYOFF PUSH: The Jr. Blues have qualified for the NA3HL Playoffs for the fifth straight season and will most likely face the Coulee Region Chill in a re-match of last year’s Central Division Finals. At present, schedule and site are yet to be determined, as the Jr. Blues and Chill are going down to the wire in search of home-ice advantage. Keep an eye on our social media channels for more information when the schedule is released.
SCOUTING THE LUMBERJACKS: Granite City is deep in their own playoff race, currently sitting two points back of North Iowa for first place in the West Division but with the red-hot New Ulm Steel seven points back in third and riding a 14-game winning streak. The ‘Jacks, as usual, have spread the attack out quite a bit amongst the entire team: of their current active roster, the only man not to score at least 10 total points has only been with Granite City since the new year. Like St. Louis, they too have a player who tendered with a NAHL Central Division team, as Tal Halliday signed with Minot earlier this week.
JUNIOR NOTES: The Jr. Blues wish to send their condolences to the family of Mike Zelenovich, a former Affton Ice Rink employee who passed away earlier this month. “Zamboni Mike”, as he was known, was an ardent supporter of the Jr. Blues, and in his honor the Jr. Blues will be wearing memorial stickers with his initial “Z” on their helmets for the remainder of the season….This weekend we honor our 1999 birth-year players—captain Mason Kruger, alternates Sean Hofstetter and Jake Wiethaupt, Clayton Dawe, Will Oliver, and Mark Capkovic—on the occasion of their final regular-season home series. We wish them the best of luck both on the ice and in life, and remind them that they will always be a part of the Jr. Blues family.