The Springfield Jr. Blues lost their second game since coming back from the NAHL Showcase tournament. Kenai River beat them 2-0 in a game that was much tighter for the Jr. Blues than the previous night's festival of penalties and turnovers.
Kenai River dominated the second period in both scoring and penalties. At 9:25, Lucas Kohls went top bar and fired a beautiful rising shot that scored past Jr. Blues goalie Ryan Kellenberger. During a scrum that nearly saw the Jr. Blues score twice, Brown Bears goalie Gustaf Johansson fired the puck over the Jr. Blues bench and received a delay of game penalty for his troubles. After successfully killing that penalty, Kenai River's Judd Lowenstein earned a roughing penalty at 13:00. The second period ended with Kenai River leading 1-0. The shot totals ran high in this period, with Kenai River again outshooting Springfield 21 to 20.
In the third period, the Brown Bears finished the Jr. Blues off with a goal by Chris Nuth at 13:21. They were able to kill off earlier penalties from Ansel Dusenberg and Jude Warner at 6:41 and 9:52 respectively. The last item of note was Mike Fazio's second penalty of the night at 14:04 for cross checking. The Brown Bears outshot the Jr. Blues again 13 to 12.
The boys in Springfield made a lot fewer mistakes during this game, but they seemed to shoot at Brown Bears goalie Johansson instead shooting where he wasn't. There were a few drives in the game where the shots seemed to aim at center mass of the goaltender instead of past him. The Jr. Blues are going to have to wait until January when they face the Brown Bears at their rink in Kenai, Alaska.
Total attendance was 722. Of note was the starting forward line from Springfield. James McGing, Trevor Stone and Parker Johnson all hail from Illinois: McGing is from Chicago, Stone is from the nearby town of Pleasant Plains, and Johnson is from Bloomington. I guess you could call them the Route 66 Line or something.
The next series of games will be against another powerful NAHL West team, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The Jr. Blues will host the Ice Dogs at Nelson Center on September 28 and 29. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids under 18, seniors and veterans. The puck will drop both nights at 7pm. Come on in and enjoy some live hockey!