SOLDOTNA, AK — Despite a late rally in the third period, the Jets dropped their series finale against the Kenai River Brown Bears on Sunday to hit their first streak of two losses in over a month. The Brown Bears scored eight power-play goals in 15 opportunities in the three-game series win, and a total of 89 penalty minutes were shared between the two in three games. The Jets managed a power-play goal in each game during the weekend.
The Brown Bears scored the game’s opening goal all three nights, and Sunday featured them getting ahead going into the second period following two PPGs from Nick Stevens and Hunter Newhouse at 12:10 and 18:08, respectively.
At 4:48 of the middle frame, Jonah Aegerter got the Jets on the board with his 11th goal of the year, with Cal Mell and Jimmy Doyle adding assists.
The one-goal deficit disappeared quickly after Kevin Marx Noren deposited his 13th goal while on the power play four minutes later that gave Kenai River another cushion heading into the third.
Attempting to seal the deal, Carter Cloutier added the Brown Bears’ final goal halfway through the third, making it 4-1.
Janesville found themselves on the power play just a minute later, and Robby Newton found the back of the net to keep the game within reach. Newton’s 11th goal of the year had helpers from AJ Casperson and Aegerter.
The remaining seven and a half minutes saw clean play with surprisingly no penalties called, a shock with how the previous two contests played out, and no other goals scored. The Jets made a strong push with 17 shots on net in the third period and 47 total over 60 minutes, but couldn’t find a breakthrough and fell 4-2.
The consecutive losses are the first for the Jets since December 17-18, a pair of home games against the division-leading Fairbanks Ice Dogs with losses of 6-4 and 4-1.
Other than the Jets’ winning streak of six games coming to an end, the story of the weekend was relatively clear: penalties. As mentioned above, a total of 89 penalty minutes headlined the three-game series, with the league’s best power play in the Kenai River Brown Bears taking full advantage of the extra opportunities.
It certainly wasn’t the cleanest outing for either squad, but it provides a bit of a humbling experience for the Jets at least, heading into one more series in Alaska this season.