The North American Hockey League (NAHL) released the regular season schedules for each of its 29 teams playing in the 2022-23 season Tuesday afternoon.
The Jets will play 60 regular season games, four of which will occur at the annual NAHL Showcase in September. The Jets will begin play in their 14th season from home ice against the Kenai River Brown Bears on Thursday, September 22.
Also included in the Jets schedule is the NAHL Top Prospects tournament, set for February 5-7, 2023.
The 2022-23 campaign will feature all 60 games against the Midwest Division, with the relocated Minnesota Magicians, now known as the Wisconsin Windigo, opening their first year in Dairyland. The relocation adds a little extra spice to the Blain’s Farm and Fleet Battle of Wisconsin, which featured just the Jets and Chippewa Steel previously, and will make it a three-way competition for the jug.
The Anchorage Wolverines will be the team with the target on their backs after a great inaugural season that saw them make it to the Robertson Cup Final in their first year in the league. The Fairbanks Ice Dogs will enter the season as the reigning Midwest Division champions, and will be on a revenge tour after getting reverse swept and bounced in the opening round of the playoffs by the Minnesota Wilderness. Janesville missed out on a playoff spot by the skin of their teeth after falling in the final game of the regular season to the Springfield Jr. Blues.
Like the 2021-22 season, the Jets won’t have the luxury of home cooking in the early weeks of the year, and will play just one series in September at home, that lone homestand being the season opener against Kenai River, a three-game series Sept 22, 23, and 24.
Also similar to the year before, Janesville will be on the road for the entire month of October, with the exception of one week, and the first week of November with a Midwest tour against the Chippewa Steel (Sept 30-Oct. 1), followed two weeks later with the first matchup against their new in-state rival Wisconsin Windigo (Oct. 14-15). The team will then pack their bags and head to Alaska to face off against the Anchorage Wolverines (Oct. 21-22) and a three-game slate with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (Oct. 27-29). The road trip will wrap up in Illinois against the Springfield Jr. Blues (Nov. 4-5), who were eliminated from the Robertson Cup Playoffs via a sweep by the Wolverines.
The Jets will enjoy one week from home after their long expedition away on Nov. 11 and 12 when they host the Windigo for the first time. They’ll head back onto the bus and leave for Appleton to play the Windigo again (Nov. 18-19), followed by their first series of the season against the Minnesota Wilderness in Cloquet (Nov. 25-26). The team will finally get the opportunity to settle in at home thanks to a month-long stretch of games from Janesville in the entire month of December. Janesville will open the post-Thanksgiving resumption against the Wilderness (Dec. 10-11) and Fairbanks Ice Dogs (Dec. 16-17) before the holiday break. In similar fashion to December of 2021, the Jets will return on December 30, 2022 and host the Anchorage Wolverines, and another on New Years Eve on December 31. Instead of playing on New Years Day like last year, both teams will take a few days off before returning to the Janesville Ice Arena on January 4 to wrap up their three-game set. Janesville will host the Chippewa Steel just two days later (Jan. 6-7) to end their lengthy stretch from home ice.
Back-to-back series against the Springfield Jr. Blues follow, with the first on the road (Jan. 13-14), and second (Jan. 20-21) the first of three weeks in Janesville. Two two-game sets against the Chippewa Steel (Jan. 27-28) and Ice Dogs (Feb. 3-4) take the team into the annual NAHL Top Prospects Tournament (Feb. 5-7).
Another trip to Alaska awaits the Jets after the league tournament, the first against the Wolverines (Feb. 17-18), and the second a three-game matinee with the Brown Bears (Feb. 23-25). The team will make their way back to the Lower 48 and skate in two games against the Chippewa Steel to open the month of March (Mar. 3-4).
After concluding their final regular season series against Chippewa the week prior, Janesville will play two of their three games from home ice in March against the Windigo (Mar. 10-11) before also playing the final series of the regular season with their new rival on the road on March 17 and 18. The team will stay in the northern region and head West to take on the Wilderness (Mar. 24-25).
Unlike last year, the Jets will get to close out the regular season from home ice with two straight weekends of hockey from the Hangar. The Minnesota Wilderness will make the trek down to Janesville for games on March 31 and April 1, and the Springfield Jr. Blues will instead be the visitors for the last set of games of the 2022-23 season (April 7-8).
The Jets will, fittingly, see their (now two) in-state rivals Wisconsin Windigo and Chippewa Steel the most in regular season action, with 10 meetings each on the schedule.
Two road trips to Alaska are again on the schedule for the Jets, each two weeks long, in late October and in late February. The Jets went 5-5 in ten games in Alaska last year. The lengthiest road stretch for Janesville will be spread over just under one month, 9 games Oct. 14-Nov. 5, and the longest home streak is nine games from Dec. 10-Jan. 7.
A full promotional schedule is soon to come. All NAHL games will be broadcast live on HockeyTV.com, and fans can contact the Jets front office at 608-752-5387 for more information regarding the upcoming season, including tickets.