Paskus, Jets Cap Off Series Win in Overtime

LA CROSSE, WI — Burying a one-timer from behind the net, Cole Paskus, the leading scorer in the regular season series versus Coulee Region, ended the Chill’s season and sent the Jets to the Midwest Division Finals.

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Like in Game 1, the Jets stole the lead before the 1:00 mark of the first period. Regular season leading scorer Peter Bates jumped on a loose puck in the low slot and put one past Brad Arvanitis for the 1-0 lead. Later in the period, the Jets earned an offensive zone draw and set up in their faceoff overload play. Ian Malcolmson, Wisconsin’s high school player of the year as named by the Wisconsin Hockey Coaches Association, won the draw cleanly to Jakov Novak, who fired a wrister low glove to double the Jets’ lead.

The Chill rebounded in the second, cutting into the lead with a power play goal from Justin Kendall a little more than a minute in. Midway through the period, Keegan Miller missed a stick lift and caught Taylor Trapp in the face, resulting in a four-minute double minor. The Jets aggressively killed more than three minutes of their penalty before a breakdown below the dots gave the tying goal to Isaac Theisen.

Much as the Jets scored early in the first, and the Chill scored to open the second, the third period also featured an early goal, this one from Kip Hoffmann. The Jets’ second line was buzzing all night, and struck for their second tally of the evening when Hoffmann put home a pass from his roommate Cullen Munson for his third point of the series. In the dying minutes of the third, with their season on the line, the Chill pulled Arvanitis for an extra attacker and hemmed the Jets in their own zone. Steven Quagliata centered a pass which Joey Sofo buried, bringing the crowd to its feet and tying the game, 3-3, with hardly a minute left in regulation.

Each team earned chances in the overtime period, as Jake Barczewski robbed Billy Duma, and on the other end of the ice, Joey Abate tipped a puck through Arvanitis but wide of the goal mouth. Eventually it was Jack Gates who won a battle behind the Coulee net and sent a pass into the slot, where a crashing Cole Paskus won the series for Janesville.

Barczewski was again great, displaying his trademark athleticism on several lateral saves, and earning the win with a 36-save effort. Arvanitis also played well, stopping 40 of 44, but couldn’t steal a game for his Chill.

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs, last season’s Robertson Cup champions, iced the Minnesota Magicians at home for a sweep of their own, setting up a Fairbanks/Janesville Midwest Division Finals series. Parts of the schedule will be conditional, but the Jets will host Game 1 and Game 2 this weekend, Friday and Saturday, at the Janesville Ice Arena. See below for a detailed Midwest Division Final series.

Midwest Division Final Schedule
All games 7:00 local time

Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 (if nec.) Game 5 (if nec.)
If Janesville wins G1 & G2 FRI 4/28 in JVL SAT 4/29 in JVL FRI 5/5 in FBX SAT 5/6 in FBX SUN 5/7 in FBX
If G1 & G2 split FRI 4/28 in JVL SAT 4/29 in JVL SUN 4/30 in JVL FRI 5/5 in FBX SAT 5/6 in FBX
If Fairbanks wins G1 & G2 FRI 4/28 in JVL SAT 4/29 in JVL SUN 4/30 in JVL FRI 5/5 in FBX SAT 5/6 in FBX

Check back in on janesvillejets.com on Monday for a complete series preview and promotional information for this weekend’s games. Games 1 and 2 will be broadcast again on HockeyTV.com with Mike Hammett’s home call.