Quick: name something the St. Louis Blues aren't very good at! Right, the power play. Springfield's power play has been consistent all season, usually around 18%. No, it's not great, but going 1 for 6 or 2 for 9 is still doing better than 0 for 19.
Apparently one cannot expect wins on a consistent basis when one is facing the best team in the division. The Springfield Jr. Blues were swept in this weekend's best of three series against the St. Louis Bandits. Tyler Green had a great show again, stopping 28 of 30 shots for the Bandits, and Conor Girard stopped 35 of 38 for the Jr. Blues. St. Louis goes to 24-6-2 and Springfield drops to 12-18-1 for season records. It's gonna be a long year.
Here's the actual decent recap at the State Journal-Register for what has to be the third time in as many games. I have to tip my cap to Kevin Tremain, he's really been doing a good job at getting the Jr. Blues mentioned in the paper where someone might actually read about the team and think "Eh, their season can't always be this bad, so why not go to a few games?" Sunday's game was well-attended at 283. Any Sunday game that's closer to 300 than 200 is a well-attended game.
The Jr. Blues goals were scored by Josef Pontasch and defenseman Ruslan Pedan. Pontasch's goal came on a 2nd-period power play, assisted ably by his linemates Kyle Cook and Chris Sitler. Pedan, though? The Russian d-man scored a beauty of a shorthanded goal in the 3rd period, bring a spark of energy to the team. Ben Kramer is standing out for the team as well. He's taking up the offensive defenseman role and doing it well by moving the puck to the opponent's zone with a speed not normally seen with defensemen. Now all that's needed is for the bottom two lines to start scoring.
Stewart Bell was back on Springfield's home ice for the Jr. Blues after sitting out a game for a fight instigator penalty against the Chicago Hitmen. While he plays a physical game and relishes fighting, the rest of the boys seem to play a calmer game around him. His leadership skills have improved greatly during the season, further cementing the good choice in making him captain.
The Jr. Blues will be going into their Christmas break as of today. Their next game will be December 30 against the Topeka Roadrunners in Topeka. The next home game will be Friday, January 6 against the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings.