JANESVILLE, WI — Carter Ekberg stole hero status Saturday night, ending a four-hour goaltender battle and capping the Jets’ 3-2 double overtime victory as they seized a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Joseph Abate put the Jets up early when he deflected a point shot from Blake Wareham, who picked up his third point of the series on the assist. Minutes later, Billy Duma drove the net and snuck a puck in for the equalizer. With four minutes left in the period, Kip Hoffmann went to his backhand on a 1-on-1 and chipped one in short side to regain the lead.
Nearly 40 minutes of scoreless hockey separated the game’s third and fourth goals. Late in the third, the Chill pressured and gained possession behind the Janesville net. Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup found Matt Doran in the low slot who knotted the game at 2-2.
Pipes, posts, and great saves dominated the first overtime period, as Jake Barczewski and Brad Arvanitis extended the goalie duel. Neither team could bury their chances until halfway through the second full overtime period, when Carter Ekberg blasted a one-timer and sealed the win for Janesville.
Barczewski battled and earned the win, stopping 43 of 45 Coulee Region shots. Arvanitis was phenomenal in the opposite net, making 66 saves despite the loss.
The series continues Friday in La Crosse when the Chill will host Game 3 at the Green Island Ice Arena. The Jets’ broadcast of Mason Lyttle and Kevin Meegan will begin coverage at 6:55pm on HockeyTV.com.