A trip south to Springfield proved fruitful as the Minnesota Magicians split a weekend series with the second place Jr. Blues. Each team won by a 4-0 shutout to take two points in the tightly contested NAHL Midwest Division.
Springfield won the Friday opener in a game that was more competitive than the final score. Michael Valdez scored the eventual game winner for the Jr. Blues at 5:35 of the opening frame. It was the only goal in 44 minutes before the host added a trio in the third.
Minnesota held a slight edge (38-37) in shots, but Ethan Robertson proved too tough to beat on this night. Sami Molu (33 saves) took the loss in net.
The Magicians responded well though on Saturday jumping on the Blues for three goals in the first. Patrick Czarnecki opened scoring just 4:29 into the game before goals by Cam Boche and Sam Jacobs made it 3-0 before intermission.
Five minutes into the second Lucas Kanta scored a powerplay goal with assists from Trevor Kukkonen and William Svenddal. It was a team-leading ninth assist for Svenddal who is tied for fourth in team scoring. Kukkonen and Hunter Longhi chipped in with a pair of helpers in the game. Team leading scorer Jacobs as well as Czarnecki also earned assists in the game.
Goaltender Brandon Milberg and the defense did much of the work in the remainder of the game, keeping the Jr. Blues off the scoreboard. Milberg made 26 saves (34 total) over the final two periods to complete the shutout, his first with the Magicians.
“It was a great team win on the road,” commented Milberg after the win. “We were able to make adjustments and improvements from Friday’s game and it showed tonight. Tons of blocked shots and great defensive plays that made my job 100x easier. We’re looking forward to building off this and taking this momentum into next weekend!”
Minnesota Magicians (6-4-0-0) return to Richfield Ice Arena this weekend for a pair of games against the Janesville Jets (2-5-0-1).