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PREVIEW: Jets vs. Jr. Blues (Game #49)

After a weekend off, the Jets host the Springfield Jr. Blues in the final regular season weekend series between the two long-standing rivals. The Jr. Blues will look for some points to keep a gap between them and the fifth-place Coulee Region Chill, who trail Springfield by five points entering tonight, but with three games in hand. The Jets, sixteen points ahead of the Minnesota Magicians for top spot in the Midwest, want to keep their foot on the gas and close the regular season strong.

SPRINGFIELD JR. BLUES

OVERVIEW:

Record: 23-23-2-1

Road Record: 11-12-0-1

Last Game: A 3-2 overtime loss versus Topeka last Saturday

Goals For/Goals Against: 141GF/148GA

Power Play: 16.2% (19th in the NAHL)

Penalty Kill: 79.9% (15th in the NAHL)

Leading Scorers: Matt Long (47GP – 14G – 32A – 46PTS), Brennan Blaszcak (47GP – 21G – 11A – 32PTS), Matt Cassidy (45GP – 11G – 18A – 29PTS)

WHO’S UP FRONT:

Brennan Blaszcak: The ’96 forward potted a couple goals last weekend versus Topeka to increase his team-leading total to 21. Blaszczak picked up two points in his home state at the Top Prospects Tournament and will try to stretch the ice against Janesville tonight.

Matt Long: Springfield’s captain, the ’97 Chicago product, announced his commitment to Canisius this week. Long will play his 150th game with the Jr. Blues tonight, and will seek to do damage on the man advantage unit, where his eight assists lead his team.

WHO’S ON D:

Fletcher Fineman: Not often found on the scoresheet, the 6’3″ Union College commit eats steady minutes for Springfield. He has maintained a +3 mark this season, and through 42 games, has registered only 6 penalty minutes.

WHO’S IN GOAL: 

Mike Robinson: The New Hampshire commit and San Jose Sharks draft pick (3rd round, 2015) has helped push Springfield into the middle of the playoff hunt with a .921 and a 10-7 record in 17 decisions. The 6’4″ goaltender will likely see the pipes at least once in this series.

JANESVILLE JETS

OVERVIEW:

Record: 36-9-0-3

Home Record: 20-2-0-2

Last Game: A 5-2 victory over Kenai River last Saturday

Goals For/Goals Against: 191GF/126 GA

Power Play: 25.0% (2nd in the NAHL)

Penalty Kill: 82.0% (10th in the NAHL)

Leading Scorers: Cullen Munson (44GP – 19G – 30A – 49PTS), Peter Bates (46GP – 20G – 28A – 48PTS), Michael Maloney (47GP – 21G – 26A – 47PTS)

WHO’S UP FRONT:

Cullen Munson: The third-year Jet played well in front of scouts at last week’s Top Prospects Tournament, picking up a goal and an assist, and will be leaned on heavily down the stretch as a veteran with playoff experience. Munson leads his Jets in scoring this season, and in total playoff games played (13).

Ben & David Schmidling: The Jets’ skilled pair of twins turn 19 today, and each picked up a point in the last series versus Kenai River.

WHO’S ON D:

Adam Roeder: The captain will move into a tie for third place in all-time games played tonight with his 137th contest, and should pass former defenseman Bryan Kronberger (2011-2014) tomorrow night.  Roeder also sits just one goal behind Alex Smith (14) for all-time goals from a defenseman. With the Jets’ “D” corps still battling injuries and illnesses, look for Roeder to log a lot of good, solid, minutes this weekend.

WHO’S IN GOAL:

Jake Barczewski: The ’99 goaltender is as unflappable as they come. He has put up a .920 or better in four of his last five starts, won all of those contests, and nearly had his first career assist against Kenai River. A 23-2-0-0 record speaks for itself.