As the roster deadline approached for the NA3HL, the Jr. Blues had bitter sweet news. First, the St. Louis Bandits of the NAHL called Head Coach, J.P. Beilsten looking for a left handed forward with junior hockey experience, and more than one year of eligibility. Two players fit the bill and Ryan Hogland was picked up by the Bandits for the rest of this season.
Beilsten said, "We had three or four players that were skilled, left handed forwards, but they wanted someone with at least one year left of eligibility after this season and junior hockey playoff experience. Two players fit that bill and they had the chance to skate with the Bandits this week. [Jeff] Brown called and said he was going to keep Hogland."
Beilsten continued, "We couldn't be more happy for Ryan. In a lot of ways, we think he could have played at that level all year, but sometimes things happen and you make the best of your situation. That's what Ryan did, and in the end it paid off."
As hard as it was to lose Hogland for the rest of the year, that loss is off-set by the return of Jamie DeMarco. DeMarco had missed much of the season with an injury, returned to the line-up last weekend at North Iowa. Though still a little rusty, DeMarco's speed is still hard to defend. Beilsten said, "When you have a player of Demo's ability, he can only make you better. It hurt having him out of the line-up, but it gave other players the chance to step up and contibute, which they did. In the end, losing Hogland to the Bandits is an easier pill to swallow knowing you have DeMarco back in the line-up."