The Springfield Jr. Blues beat the Michigan Warriors 3 to 1 tonight at Nelson Center in a well-paced and balanced match.
The State Journal-Register writeup is here.
The box score is located here.
The top half of the Blues' defensive zone was dangerous tonight not because of the play but because of the ice. Three players and the referee each tripped around the same spot during the game. Play continued without any inspection of the ice, so they must have accepted the rut as part of the surface and continued.
The Warriors opened up the scoring with a shot at 1:43 in the first period by Slovakian native Matus Matis. The Jr. Blues answered almost immediately as Czech newcomer Radim Matus scored at 2:12 and brought the game back to a tie. Gavin Tufte scored at 12:28 off of Chris Sitler and Kyle Cook. The highlight of the period for me was a desperation stick save by Jr.Blues goalie Tyler Parks. He did this while a Warriors player was sitting on his back as part of a scoring rush scrum. Parks threw his paddle out there and blocked what could have been a tap-in for Michigan. While this might not sound like a desperation save, it might if you also know that it was during a 5 on 3 power play as Jr. Blues Cody Dixon and Chris Sitler sat in the penalty box.
The second period saw a lone goal by Kyle Cook at 9:05 for insurance and scoring stopped there.
The third period went scoreless, but not action-free. Jr. Blues captain Stewart Bell dropped gloves with the Warriors' Michael Economos. In the most awkward moment of the night, as I was discussing the fight with my dad a woman turns around and introduces her and her husband as Economos' parents. So we'll have to disagree on who won the fight, but I'd give it to Bell as he gained control towards the end of the fight.
Both teams went 0 for 6 on their power play. I couldn't substantiate the rumor the teams had been watching "Power Play the St. Louis Way" prior to the game.
Attendance was a healthy 1913. Also in attendance was NASCAR Nationwide Series driver and Riverton (one of the towns just outside Springfield, for those not from here) native Justin Allgaier. I think I might be taller than him and I give Darren Pang a run for "Shortest Guy In The Place." I guess they're making NASCAR drivers smaller these days.
The Jr. Blues take on the Warriors tomorrow night at 7pm at Nelson Center. Tomorrow night is Firefighters Night, where all firemen and their families can get in for $4 each. Tickets for everyone else are $8 for adults, $5 for children, military personnel and seniors. Come on in if you can make it.
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