There's a reason why the St. Louis Bandits are in first place. They know how to keep momentum on their side. As last night's score shows, the Jr.Blues got stomped. The game was an array of almost-ins for the Jr. Blues as goalie Tyler Green stopped 28 of 29 shots. Imperial, MO, native Tyler Parks stayed in goal for the Jr. Blues for most of the game, but was pulled in order to get some ice time for Conor Girard in the 3rd period. The one goal for Springfield came from the team's most productive line, the Sitler-Pontasch-Cook line. Chris Sitler potted a nice little goal while Green was looking in the wrong direction. The majority of the scoring, though was on St. Louis' side. Springfield thankfully didn't give up, matching the Bandits with shots and possession.
The game was also postponed with 1:57 left in the 2nd period after a fan decided to rattle the glass in front of him and broke it instead. The teams went to the locker rooms and resumed the 2nd period, then started the 3rd period after a 30-second time out. Again, it wasn't a great game for the Jr. Blues and the 630 fans who showed up tonight.
In a one-sided game like this, there isn't much to say, so I'll take a look at two of the players who stood out to me: Taylor Wolfe for the Bandits and Chris Sitler for the Jr. Blues. Taylor Wolfe, a former Jr. Blue traded to St. Louis last year managed to fire a nice goal off during the game. Sitler and Wolfe are the kind of guys who have the talent to go further in their hockey careers, but I don't know if they'll make it past this stage. Wolfe came to Springfield last season from the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints, and he's able to show flashes of skill and physicality. The team got him so he could have more playing time, and he scored well. He's got an attitude problem that shows up when his team is doing poorly, though. I think he was traded more out of sympathy than anything, as Springfield coach Joe Dibble wanted Wolfe's talent to show up in the Bandits' playoff run. Sitler only has one problem that would leave him at the AHL or ECHL levels. He's short, 5'6". I think he could develop into a pro player, but he's not Martin St. Louis. That's unfortunate, too, because he's not afraid to check people taller and heavier than he is.
The next game for the Bandits and Jr. Blues is tonight at 7pm. It's being held at the Hardee's IcePlex in Chesterfield, MO. The next Jr. Blues home game will be December 18 at 4pm for a Sunday matinee game. Tickets are $8 at the door.