22 in 22 Series: St. Louis Jr. Blues
September 1, 2013
The 22 in 22 series features an in-depth look into all 22 teams in the NA3HL for the 2013-14 season, with a new team being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season on Saturday, September 7th as four NA3HL teams take to the ice on Opening Night.
22 in 22 will go in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all 22 head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2013-14 season, including taking a look at their roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season.
It will also take a look back on the 2012-13 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 22 in 22 is done to provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
St. Louis Jr. Blues
Head Coach: Chris Flaugher
2012-13 Record: 43-3-1-1, 88 Points (1st, Central Division)
2012-13 Leading Scorer: Cody Guidorzi (24 G, 30 A, 54 P, +53)
Playoffs: Went 0-2 at 2013 Silver Cup; Beat Quad City 3-0 in the Central Division Semi-Finals
2013-14 Division: Central
First Regular Season Game: Sat, September 7th, 2013 7:00 PM at Cincinnati
Home Opener: Sat, September 14th, 2013 8:00 PM vs. Twin City at Affton Ice Rink
The St. Louis Jr. Blues, the 2012-13 North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Organization of the Year, had one of the best regular seasons to date in NA3HL history going 43-3-2 earning first place in the Central Division. However, the playoffs did not go as planned as back-to-back losses at the Silver Cup left a bad taste in the mouth of the Blues and they will be coming out firing on all cylinders in 2013.
The Jr. Blues were a well-rounded team last season with leading scorer Cody Guidorzi scoring 54 points last season and defenseman Kyle Meeh being named to the All-NA3HL 1st team. In addition, Coach J.P. Beilsten was recognized as the NA3HL Coach of the Year, but this season Chris Flaugher will have opportunity at coaching the St. Louis Jr. Blues, as Beilsten accepted a coaching position in the professional ranks with the Central Hockey League’s St. Charles Chill.
Although the Blues had an early exit from the Silver Cup, the management group considered it a very successful season as many of the players from last years team were successful in moving up the hockey ranks. “Player development wise, our season was a 100% success,” Coach Flaugher said. “We had players get scouted by college teams as well as four players tendered by North American Hockey League (NAHL) franchises.”
Coach Flaugher will have an experienced group coming back from the successful 2012-13 season, returning eleven veterans that he hopes will remember their quick exit from the post-season tournament. “The eleven guys we have returning were disappointed in how the season finished,” Coach Flaugher said. “Hopefully they will have learned from it and will take that feeling into next season.”
Flaugher is realistic in setting expectations for the 2013-14 season as the previous season was one of the best in league history. “The regular season (last year) set the bar really high for this year’s team. The veterans know where the bar is set and they know what it takes to exceed that bar.”
The Blues will have a tough task at repeating the success of previous years teams, but Flaugher is convinced his team will be able to by simply working hard every day. “Our goal as a team is to bring the same mentality from practice into our regular season games.”
Looking to repeat their regular season success but change the course in how the team performed in the playoffs, Blues fans can be assured Coach Flaugher will have the team ready to translate regular season success into a Silver Cup championship.
Next up in the 22 in 22 series: Sugar Land Imperials