By Mason Lyttle
DULUTH, MN — The Janesville Jets fought back out of a 1-0 deficit to pick up a second period lead, but allowed a third period tying goal and fell in overtime to the Lone Star Brahmas, 3-2, and surrendered the dangerous first lead of the best-of-three series for the right to play for the Robertson Cup.
Lone Star jumped out with the game’s first goal, forcing a turnover on their aggressive forecheck and creating a 2-on-1 beneath the dots. Pete Kessel snapped a puck past Jake Barczewski for the Brahmas lead.
In the second, Kip Hoffmann’s red hot scoring hand struck again to tie the game at 1-1. Five minutes later, Ian Malcolmson and Keegan Miller sped off on a 2-on-1, where Malcolmson dished a beautiful saucer pass to Miller, who capitalized and put the Jets ahead, 2-1.
The Brahmas stole momentum back in the third period, forcing turnovers, generating chances, and drawing penalties. In the final seconds of a Jakov Novak minor penalty, the Brahmas jammed the near wall to keep a puck in, and captain John Zimmerman put a shot through traffic to force the game’s third tie at 2-2, where it would stay through regulation.
Much as they have all postseason, the Brahmas reached into their pocket and pulled out some overtime magic. Drake Glover gained the zone, used defenseman Chase Blackmun as a screen, and wristed in his second overtime winner of the playoffs.
Jake Barczewski took just his second loss of the postseason despite making 30 saves. Max Prawdzik earned the win for Lone Star, stopping 28 of 30.
With their season on the line, the Jets will lace up for Game 2 tonight, again at 7:30pm CDT at the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center’s Sill Arena. The Jets need a win tonight to force a decisive Game 3, which would be played Saturday at 6:00pm CDT. Tonight’s HD broadcast on HockeyTV.com will feature the Jets’ call of Mason Lyttle and Kevin Meegan beginning at 7:15pm.
Overall seed in parentheses
Robertson Cup Semi-Finals
(14) Aberdeen 2 @
(1) Aston 4
Aston leads series 1-0