St. Louis Jr. Blues (9-1-0, 18 pts) vs Granite City Lumberjacks (8-1-0, 16 pts)
VENUE: Affton Ice Rink, Affton, Mo.
GAME TIMES: October 20 at 7 PM, October 21 at 2 PM (all times Central)
WHERE TO FOLLOW: All Jr. Blues home games are streamed live and in high-definition on HockeyTV.com (subscription required). Jr. Blues director of media Kevin Gier will be on the call. On Twitter, follow @JrBluesGameday for live updates.
A QUICK RECAP: The Jr. Blues’ winning ways continued last weekend at Evansville, where they beat the Jr. Thunderbolts by scores of 6-3 and 13-4. For their parts in the victories, forwards Ivan Galaguzov (3G, 3A, +4) and Matt Monreal (2G, 2A, +1) were named the Bauer/NA3HL Midwest Division First and Second Stars for the week, respectively.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: Making his debut last weekend in the Junior ‘Note was defenseman John Shively: the West Dundee, Ill. native and former Bismarck Bobcat took well to his new surroundings, scoring a goal. In addition, forward/defense hybrid Dominic Caito, who previously played for the Jr. Blues in 2015-16, returned to the organization.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: The Fraser Cup holders from Sauk Rapids, Minn. (near St. Cloud) suffered their first defeat of the season at Willmar as part of a home-and-home split. They returned a solid veteran core from their championship side, including leading scorer Braden Altena (3G, 13A) and goaltender David Mulligan (4-0-0, 1.50 GAA, .928 SV%) but also added quite a bit of new talent, like goal-scoring leader Ryan Pearson (7G). Last year these two teams met in the group stage at the then-Silver Cup Finals, the Lumberjacks winning 4-3 on a goal with :02.9 seconds left in regulation.
JUNIOR NOTES: The Jr. Blues’ first charity jersey game is a month away, as the November 18 home game versus the Peoria Mustangs will be First Responders Night supporting both Responder Rescue and former Jr. Blue Matt Crosby, who was shot and paralyzed while responding to a domestic disturbance in 2011 serving with the Rock Hill, Mo. police. Last year, First Responders Night saw more than 1,000 come through the gates of Affton Ice Rink, raising more than $6,000 for good causes, and the Jr. Blues organization hopes to improve on those numbers this year.