Jets Score Early and Often for 1-0 Series Lead

By Mason Lyttle

JANESVILLE, WI — Joey Abate‘s goal less than two minutes into the series set the night’s tone as the Jets downed the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, 4-1, and earned the first win of the Midwest Division Finals.

[box score]

Abate’s snipe on a breakaway, his first of a three-point night, marked the third time, in just four playoff games, that Janesville scored less than two minutes into a game. Defenseman Chase Blackmun, from Wisconsin state champion Hudson High, earned the secondary assist for his first NAHL point. Later in the first, Frankie Sullivan gained the zone and threw a bad-angle shot past Erik Gordon for the 2-0 lead.

The Jets came out hot again to open the second, generating chance after chance in the frame’s first few minutes. It was Chris Dodero who finally converted, jamming home a rebound from a Keegan Miller shot and opening the lead to 3-0 at the 14:13 mark of the period.

As the game wore on, both defenses tightened. The teams combined for just 10 shots on goal in the third period, five each. With Lordanthony Grissom in the box for a hold, and Gordon on the bench for an extra attacker, the Jets escaped the 6-on-4 pressure for a shorthanded, empty-net goal from Joey Abate. Fairbanks’ Nolan Schaeffer ended Jake Barczewski‘s shutout hopes less than two minutes from the horn.

Gordon’s first loss since March 4th came from three goals allowed on 23 shots, while Barczewski went 19/20 for the win.

Puck drops on Game 2 tonight in Janesville at 7:00pm as the Jets hope to play their final home game of the season. A Jets win tonight will send the series to Fairbanks for the remaining game(s), while a Fairbanks win would confirm a Sunday Game 3 in Janesville. Coverage of tonight’s game begins at 6:55pm on HockeyTV.com. The Jets are again thanking their fans by extending a free kids ticket promotion to tonight’s game as well. Reserve your kids tickets here, and pick up $6 General Admission seats at any Lions Quick Mart location in Janesville.

 

Scoreboard Watching
Overall seed in parentheses

South Division Finals
(7) Corpus Christi 3  @
(2) Lone Star 4
             (OT)
Lone Star leads series 1-0

Central Division Finals
(14) Aberdeen 4  @
(9) MN Wilderness 3              (2OT)
Aberdeen leads series 1-0

East Division Finals
(8) New Jersey 2 @
(1) Aston 5