PREVIEW: Jets @ Chill (Game #21)

By Mason Lyttle

JANESVILLE JETS at COULEE REGION CHILL — Green Island Ice Arena
Wed 11/17  |  7:00pm  |  La Crosse, WI

LIVE STREAM: HockeyTV  |  TWITTER: @JanesvilleJets1


LAST WEEKEND: The Brookings Blizzard handed the Jets their first sweep this season at the Larson Ice Arena. The Jets managed a point in Friday’s overtime loss, but couldn’t dig themselves out of a 3-0 hole on Saturday, dropping their fifth contest in seven games.

TONIGHT: The schedule has either dealt the Jets a break or a tough hand, depending on how you slice it. A slumping team sometimes needs to play quickly after its losses, so the downs don’t linger. On the other hand, Janesville tonight plays one of the league’s hottest teams in the Coulee Region Chill. Head coach Ryan Egan’s squad is riding an eight-game point streak, dating back to their 3-1 win over the Jets on Saturday, October 28. Tonight’s Battle of Wisconsin features two teams trending in opposite directions. The central dramatic question: do these trends continue, or is tonight the night Janesville digs deep and rights the ship?

SEASON SERIES (Jets 2-1-0-0)

Oct. 21 @ Coulee Region W, 3-2
Oct. 22 @ Coulee Region W, 6-4
Oct. 28 @ Coulee Region L, 3-1
Nov. 22 @ Coulee Region 7:00pm
Feb. 3 Coulee Region 7:00pm
Feb. 23 Coulee Region 7:00pm
Feb. 24 @ Coulee Region 7:00pm
Mar. 1 Coulee Region 7:00pm
Mar. 23 Coulee Region 7:00pm
Mar. 24 Coulee Region 7:00pm

Midwest Division Standings:

Place Team Record Pts
1 Janesville Jets                     13-6-1-0 27
2 Fairbanks Ice Dogs 11-5-2-2 26
3 MN Magicians 12-7-1-1 26
4 Springfield Jr. Blues 10-8-1-1 22
5 Coulee Region Chill 6-7-1-4 17
6 Kenai River Brown Bears 8-12-1-0 17

JETS BITS

  • INSULT TO INJURY: With Regan Cavanagh out long-term and Brenden MacLaren still out with a knee, the Jets were dealt more bad luck when Erik Palmqvist and Carter Ekberg also missed the Brookings trip. In South Dakota, Garrett Nieto’s injury added to the list, and the Jets managed just one out of a four possible points. Assuredly, no team is healthy right now (in the strictest sense of the word), but Jets trainer Kathy Calkins has been busier than the coaching staff would have hoped she’d be. The Jets will try to lean on their depth over the next few series as key contributors make more progress towards their returns.
  • START HUNGRY: Perhaps the most easily identifiable narrative this season has been Janesville’s impressive ability to push themselves and build comeback efforts. When trailing after 20 minutes, the Jets are a respectable 5-3-1 this season. The other side of that narrative: the Jets have been allowing their opponents a concerning amount of early leads. Janesville’s +6 goal differential, though positive, is fairly pedestrian, but looks all the more impressive considering a -7 differential in first periods this season.
  • O BROTHER, HERE ART THOU: Nieto’s injury meant the Jets came calling on Jacques Semandel, Alec’s brother, to fill the role of emergency goaltender tonight. “It’s pretty cool, I’ve never played with Jacques,” said Alec of his brother, who plays with the Madison Capitols of the NAPHL’s 18U division. “I got to play with my older brother in high school back in Waunakee, but I left before my little brother arrived. To be able to now play on the same team together will be cool. I’ll make sure to get a picture for mom and dad.”

MILESTONE ALERT

  • Kip Hoffmann is 9 points away from 100 in his NAHL career
  • John Pesek is 1 game away from 75 in his junior hockey career (USHL, NAHL)
  • Carter Ekberg is 5 games away from 75 in his NAHL career
  • Alec Semandel is 9 games away from 75 in his junior hockey career (USHL, NAHL)
  • TJ Polglaze is 13 games away from 75 in his NAHL career
  • Kip Hoffmann is 15 games away from tying Cullen Munson’s Jets record of 175 regular season games

CLIMBING THE LADDER

Current Jets, ranking among the franchise all-time leaders:

GAMES PLAYED (regular season)

RANK Player Pos GP
1 Cullen Munson F 175
2 Adam Winborg F 170
3 Kip Hoffmann F 160
4 Adam Roeder D 147
5 Bryan Kronberger D 137
6 Jeff Alderfer D 120
7 Jordan Himley F 120
8 Alex Smith D 118
9 Lordanthony Grissom D 115
T-10 Ross Mauermann F 113
T-10 Connor McBride F 113

 GOALS (regular season)

 RANK Player Pos G
1 Adam Winborg F 62
2 Connor McBride F 48
3 Cullen Munson F 43
4 Jordan Himley F 40
5 Ross Mauermann F 39
6 Kip Hoffmann F 37
7 Cole Paskus F 35
8 Drew Callin F 34
9 Jordan Bancroft F 32
T-10 Brandon Schultz F 30
T-10 Pijus Rulevicius F 30

 POINTS (regular season)

RANK Player Pos Pts
1 Adam Winborg F 145
2 Cullen Munson F 113
3 Ross Mauermann F 99
4 Connor McBride F 92
5 Kip Hoffmann F 91
6 Jordan Himley F 77
7 Cole Paskus F 74
8 Evan Feno F 73
T-9 Jordan Bancroft F 72
T-9 Alex Smith D 72

COULEE REGION CHILL OVERVIEW:

Record: 6-7-1-4 (5th, Midwest)
Home Record: 4-2-0-1
Goals For/Goals Against: 54GF/59GA
Power Play: 29.0% (3rd in the NAHL)
Penalty Kill: 78.0% (11th in the NAHL)
Top ScorersNick Bowman (14GP—8G-8A—16PTS), Brandon Koch (18GP—2G-14A—16PTS); Tomas Vochozka (15GP—2G-11A—13PTS)

WHO’S UP FRONT:

Nick Bowman: The veteran leads the way offensively for Coulee Region, and recently earned the Bauer Midwest Division Star of the Week for his six-point weekend in Springfield.

Connor Zilisch: The Appleton United product collected an assist in Friday’s 7-1 “point night” versus Springfield, and followed that up with a goal on Saturday, capping a great weekend for a role player who carried just three points into the series.

WHO’S ON D:

Brandon Koch: The Air Force recruit leads Chill defensemen in scoring with 16 points, a mark bested only by two other NAHL blueliners.

WHO’S IN GOAL:

Emil Zetterquist: Zetterquist continues to impress in net for the Chill. The Swedish goaltender recently committed to St. Lawrence  University and has posted a .943 save percentage or better in each of his last four starts.


JANESVILLE JETS

OVERVIEW:

Record: 13-6-1-0 (1st, Midwest)
Road Record: 5-2-1-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 57GF/51GA
Power Play: 23.3% (7th in the NAHL)
Penalty Kill: 77.4% (15th in the NAHL)
Top ScorersJakov Novak (18GP—9G-13A—22PTS); Kip Hoffmann (20GP—7G-17A—22PTS); TJ Polglaze (20GP—1G-12A—13PTS)

WHO’S UP FRONT:

Hoffmann. Photo credit Shelley Schmidt, Shelley Schmidt Photography

Kip Hoffmann: The captain scored twice in Saturday’s loss, and added an assist on Novak’s goal for a three-point night. His first goal was on a breakaway, and his second came from finishing a beautiful backhand move on a 2-on-1 with Novak. Hoffmann’s Saturday gives him seven points in his last five games.

Novak. Photo credit Shelley Schmidt, Shelley Schmidt Photography

Jakov Novak: The future Bentley Falcon has a deep arsenal and can beat defenders with his size, skill, or speed. Novak’s 1-2—3 night on Saturday was his second three-point night in as many games. He’s displayed comfort on the wing and at center this season, giving coach Gary Shuchuk more flexibility in juggling lines when situations call for it.

WHO’S ON D:

Bjorkman. Photo credit Shelley Schmidt, Shelley Schmidt Photography

Philip Bjorkman: An often underrated defenseman on this Jets team, the Swedish rookie is showing signs of acclimation to the North American game. All three of his points have come this month, and he managed a +2 mark in Saturday’s 5-3 loss, pairing well with Grant Anderson.

WHO’S IN GOAL:

Lebedeff. Photo credit Shelley Schmidt, Shelley Schmidt Photography

Daniel Lebedeff: Garrett Nieto’s return Saturday was cut short after suffering a lower body injury midway through the second period. Lebedeff filled in well, stopping 17 of 18 Blizzard shots, and sees the pipes again tonight.


JANESVILLE JETS at COULEE REGION CHILL — Green Island Ice Arena
Wed 11/17  |  7:00pm  |  La Crosse, WI

LIVE STREAM: HockeyTV  |  TWITTER: @JanesvilleJets1