St. Louis Jr. Blues (28-4-0, 56 pts) vs. Granite City Lumberjacks (22-11-0, 44 pts)
VENUE: Armadillo Deck Sports Arena, Sauk Rapids, Minn.
GAME TIMES: January 26 at 7:30 pm, January 27 at 7:30 pm (all times Central)
WHERE TO FOLLOW: All Jr. Blues games are streamed live on HockeyTV.com (subscription required). On Twitter, follow @JrBluesGameday for live updates.
A QUICK RECAP: The Jr. Blues rebounded well from their sweep at the hands of Metro by returning the favor at Evansville, winning 15-1 and 11-1. Dante Jones continued his great run of form last weekend, posting two goals, six assists and a +10 rating in the two games: for this, he was recognized as Bauer/NA3HL First Star of the Week for the Midwest Division, while Dylan Carroll (3G, 3A, +8) was named Second Star.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: The Jr. Blues’ final two charity weekends are both coming up soon: February 23 and 24 against Rochester benefiting The Frozen Cup/#ShutOutAutism and March 10 and 11 versus Wisconsin supporting Brendan’s Buddies. Both fixtures will feature silent auctions, specialty jerseys that will be sold during and after the game, and much more fun for the entire family.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: The defending Fraser Cup champions are locked in yet another tight West Division battle, as they come into the weekend one point back of division leaders New Ulm but only three points clear of third-place Alexandria. The Jacks are remarkably balanced with sixteen players all with 10 or more points, and led by veterans Braden Altena (17G, 32A) and Owen Sikich (21G, 20A). Goaltending has always been strong for the men from Sauk Rapids, with Ridge Gerads (10-5-0, 1.68, .930, 3 SO) putting up quality numbers this year.
JUNIOR NOTES: The last time these two clubs met was earlier this season, when St. Louis won both games at Affton 3-1 and 4-2….At 1,246 miles and 19 hours round-trip, this is the Jr. Blues’ longest road trip of the season.