St. Louis Jr. Blues (17-4-0-0, 34 pts) vs. Evansville Jr. Thunderbolts (10-8-0-1, 21 pts)
VENUE: Affton Ice Rink, Affton, Mo.
GAME TIMES: December 3 at 2:00 PM, December 4 at 1:00 PM (all times Central)
WHERE TO FOLLOW: All Jr. Blues home games are streamed live and in high-definition on HockeyTV.com (subscription required). Join Jr. Blues Director of Media Kevin Gier and Grant Francis on the call. On Twitter, follow @JrBluesGameday for live updates.
WHO’S HOT FOR THE JR. BLUES: The defensive pairing of Regnars Udris (Talsi, Latvia) and Dylan Carroll (St. Peters, Mo.) had a great offensive night last Saturday in the Jr. Blues’ 8-1 defeat of Cincinnati: Udris scored his first NA3HL goal and added an assist, while Carroll recorded two goals and one assist. Both men finished with a +5 rating.
SHOWCASE GETS SET: The NA3HL released its schedule for the Showcase to be held starting December 16 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn., and the Jr. Blues, as expected, will face three tough opponents: the Binghamton Jr. Senators on the 16th, the New England Stars on the 17th, and the Yellowstone Quake on the 18th. Watch this space for a full preview of the Showcase matchups as the date grows nearer. In addition, if you wish to attend the Showcase as a relative or fan, visit the NA3HL’s website for information on lodging, transport and more.
RUSSIANS GO NORTH: The Jr. Blues’ two Russian import forwards, Ivan Galaguzov and Daniil Ovchinnikov, spent this week practicing with the NAHL’s Springfield Jr. Blues. Both have been impressive in their first season in U.S. junior hockey: Galaguzov, from Yekaterinburg, has 34 points (10G, 24A) while Ovchinnikov, from St. Petersburg, has 30 points (9G, 21A).
ABOUT LAST WEEKEND: Last Sunday’s game between the Jr. Blues and Cincinnati was suspended shortly into the 2nd period, when an errant deflection struck a light fixture and dislodged it from the ceiling. Following a 45-minute delay while attempts were made to re-hang the lights, rink officials called the game citing safety and liability concerns. The game will be made up on December 29th at Affton, resuming from the point of stoppage: 15:37 to go in the 2nd period, with the Jr. Blues leading 1-0.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: The Jr. Bolts have made great strides in their second NA3HL season, currently sitting in fourth place in the Midwest Division having won five out of their last six games, including a 6-4 defeat of Nashville on Thursday afternoon. The offense has been a highly balanced attack: while Jon Grimm leads them with 21 points (5G, 16A), nine other players all have ten or more points.
JUNIOR NOTES: Saturday’s game is the Jr. Blues’ annual Scout Day, where area Boy and Girl Scouts are invited to enjoy a great game of hockey. All Scouts in uniform will receive a free Jr. Blues patch perfect for placement on sashes or brag vests, and are also invited to a post-game chat and autograph session with the team.