Sports

Jr. Blues come again to take collection from Bears

The Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues misplaced not solely a 2020-21 season to the coronavirus pandemic, however a group as nicely.

North American Hockey League groups that didn’t play final season misplaced rights to their gamers so they may go play with one other group.

So what did Springfield head coach Tyler Rennette do all of final season?

“Just recruited,” he mentioned. “We had to replace an entire team.”

Appears to be like like Rennette did a reasonably good job.

The Jr. Blues defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears 5-3 on Friday and 7-4 on Saturday on the Soldotna Regional Sports activities Advanced to maneuver into first place within the Midwest Division. Springfield is 15-8-0-1, whereas the Bears are in final place at 4-18-0-0.

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With followers getting free entry to Friday’s recreation because of Hilcorp with the donation of two nonperishable meals gadgets to the Kenai Peninsula Meals Financial institution, 2,138 confirmed as much as cheer the house group. Brown Bears normal supervisor Chris Hedlund mentioned 3,800 kilos of meals have been gathered.

The Bears are within the midst of a training transition. The group introduced in a press launch Friday that the group has parted methods with former head coach Josh Dubinsky, who was not on the bench for a 4-2 Thursday victory over Springfield. Assistant coach Taylor Shaw is remaining with the group because the Bears conduct a seek for a brand new head coach.

“I think the big message has been, ‘It’s business as usual,’” Shaw mentioned. “The end goal hasn’t changed for them, right? They’re still trying to get commitments right now. And we’re trying to win hockey games.”

Rennette mentioned his group discovered from Thursday’s loss to Kenai River.

“I think we just competed a little bit harder,” he mentioned. “I imply, it’s a tough working group down the corridor. They’re in all probability one of many hardest working groups we’ve performed towards.

“So we came in last night and thought it might be a little easy and tried to rely on our skill alone. But I think tonight the compete level went up and it kind of showed.”

Friday, Zach Bade put the Jr. Blues up 1-0 halfway by means of the primary interval, however the compete degree actually confirmed when Kenai River began an influence play with 7:41 left within the first interval. The Bears had the puck within the zone the total two minutes and hit the crossbar, however goalie Ethan Roberts and the protection maintained the lead.

“The goalie made a couple big saves there when he was down and out, which kept us in it,” Rennette mentioned.

Roberts stopped a few golden Kenai River alternatives early within the second earlier than Connor Smith and Joey Dosan scored 39 seconds aside halfway by means of the interval for a 3-0 lead.

“When we get good looks against a good team, we need to find a way to score because, unfortunately, when we give them good opportunities, they’re going to make us pay,” Shaw mentioned.

With 5:40 left within the second interval, Cole Dubicki gave the Bears life with a short-handed purpose.

Simply 7 seconds into the third interval, the Bears went on the ability play. Caden Triggs scored simply 15 seconds into the ability play to chop the result in 3-2.

With the large crowd behind the Bears, momentum for the house group did not materialize.

“I think they stayed on an even keel,” Rinnette mentioned of his group. “I think they knew the crowd was coming. There’s been talk about it since we got into town and it kind of makes it exciting for both teams, too.”

The Bears obtained away with just a few sloppy performs in their very own finish, however with 15:47 left within the recreation, Springfield’s Leo Bacallao capitalized on a turnover for a rating. Then with 7:52 to play, Michael Valdez scored on the ability play for a 5-2 lead.

“Unfortunately, we were making some soft plays there on the ice and didn’t capitalize on getting pucks deep or moving the puck north when we needed to,” Shaw mentioned.

Kenai River’s David Vieten scored on the ability play with 4:08 to play for a 5-3 recreation, however that deficit was an excessive amount of to beat.

Roberts stopped 25 for the Jr. Blues, whereas Bryant Marks had 17 saves for the Bears.

Saturday, Vieten picked up the place he left off Friday night time by scoring simply 2:02 into the sport on the ability play.

Springfield then shortly moved to wrap up the sport, scoring six straight objectives earlier than two minutes have been gone within the second interval. Carson Jones had two objectives, whereas Valdez, Hagen Moe, Noah Marino and Will Magnuson added tallies.

Ryan Finch scored within the second interval for Kenai River, however Cole Schneider answered because the Bears trailed 7-2 after three intervals.

Caden Triggs and Luke Helgeson scored within the third interval for Kenai River.

Roberts stopped 40 within the victory. For Kenai River, Tommy Aitken stopped 12 of 16 photographs earlier than Marks got here on to cease 18 of 21 photographs.

Kenai River hosts the Anchorage Wolverines on Dec. 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. on the sports activities complicated.

Friday

Jr. Blues 5, Brown Bears 3

Springfield 1 2 2 —5

Kenai River 0 1 2 —3

First interval — 1. Springfield, Bade (Riva), 10:05. Penalties — Springfield 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 1 for two:00.

Second interval — 2. Springfield, Smith (Moe), 8:10; 3. Springfield, Dosan (Bacallao), pp, 8:49; 4. Kenai River, Dubicki (Anderson), sh, 14:20. Penalties — Kenai River 2 for 4:00.

Third interval — 5. Kenai River, Triggs (Marx Noren, Dubicki), pp, 0:22; 6. Springfield, Bacallao (Valdez, Panisa), 4:13; 7. Springfield, Valdez (Shewchuk, Schneider), pp, 12:08; 8. Kenai River, Vieten (Marx Noren, Dubicki), pp, 15:52. Penalties — Springfield 2 for 4:00; Kenai River 1 for two:00.

Photographs on purpose — Springfield 8-10-4—22; Kenai River 11-7-10—28.

Goalies — Springfield, Roberts (28 photographs, 25 saves); Kenai River, Marks (22 photographs, 17 saves).

Saturday

Jr. Blues 7, Brown Bears 4

Springfield 5 2 0 —7

Kenai River 1 1 2 —4

First interval — 1. Kenai River, Vieten (Dubicki, Marx Noren), pp, 2:02; 2. Springfield, Jones (Dosan, Schneider), 6:19; 3. Springfield, Valdez (Schneider, Marino), 6:56; 4. Springfield, Moe (Smith, Panisa), 10:14; 5. Springfield, Marino (Jones, Schneider), 12:31; 6. Springfield, Magnuson (Moe), 17:00. Penalties — Springfield 2 for 4:00.

Second interval — 7. Springfield, Jones (Bacallao), pp, 1:56; 8. Kenai River, Finch (Inexperienced, Lockwood), 9:22; 9. Springfield, Schneider (Jones, Dosan), 19:04. Penalties — Springfield 1 for two:00; Kenai River 2 for 4:00.

Third interval — 10. Kenai River, Triggs (Monrean, Dubicki), 16:49; 11. Kenai River, Helgeson (Evans), 17:57.

Photographs on purpose — Springfield 17-12-8—37; Kenai River 16-13-15—44.

Goalies — Springfield, Roberts (44 photographs, 40 saves); Kenai River, Aitken (16 photographs, 12 saves), Marks (21 photographs, 18 saves).

Cole Dubicki (heart) celebrates his short-handed purpose within the second interval towards the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, on the Soldotna Regional Sports activities Advanced. (Photograph by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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