Janesville, WI – Janesville Jets forward Zach LaValle scored his 60th point of the season on a second period goal in Saturday’s shootout loss to the Soo Eagles, breaking the franchise single-season scoring record.
The previous record of 59 points was set in 2011 by Ross Mauermann, a native of Janesville, who still holds the career scoring record at 100 points.
“People probably won’t come to the games now,” joked LaValle following Saturday’s game. “Now that a Minnesota boy broke Mauermann’s record? I think I heard a big boycott’s coming.”
LaValle, from Oakdale, Minnesota, has led the charge offensively for the Jets’ banner year. His teammates named him one of three alternate captains at the start of the year, and his 40 assists rank him third in the league. Ask him about the record, and, like he has all season, he will immediately deflect the praise.
“I couldn’t have done anything without the guys,” he explained. “I’ve had some individual success, but I wouldn’t get all those assists if we didn’t have so many goal scorers on our team. I wouldn’t get the goals if I wasn’t getting fed by [Evan] Feno and [Brandon] Schultz.”
The top line of Schultz, Feno, and LaValle was among the league’s most dangerous for the majority of the season. LaValle’s 60 points place him fifth in scoring. Not far behind him is Schultz, who sits in ninth with 53 points. Feno, who has missed the last nine games to injury, has 46 points in 45 games.
“It’s a team game,” LaValle continued. “That’s what’s been prominent this year: we’ve all come together to play it.”
What is perhaps most impressive about LaValle’s record is the potential to add on to it. He will bring a three-game point streak (two goals, four assists) into Friday’s tilt versus the Minnesota Magicians, the next of six remaining games on the calendar.
Such an achievement requires even more than LaValle’s tremendous skillset, said Jets assistant coach Erik Largen.
“Zach’s a very gifted player offensively,” Largen said. “He’s smart, he skates well, he has a great shot, and he looks to pass and make plays with guys. But this record is a product of the time and work he’s put into this year. He’s been one of the hardest workers on our team this season, and that has translated into the numbers he has put up.”
LaValle is far from the only Jet enjoying a career year. Of the 10 players with at least one season of NAHL experience, eight have already passed their career highs. It isn’t surprising to see so much individual success on a Janesville team that has climbed to a 30-point lead in the North Division.