The Janesville Jets returned to action with back-to-back-to-back games versus Fairbanks and finished with a 0-3 record as Midwest Division play resumed.
The series began on New Year’s Eve with a 4-2 loss for the home team. Fairbanks quickly grabbed a 2-0 lead in the opening frame, but goals from Cade Destefani and Charlie Schoen evened the score.
The Ice Dogs added another before the second period finished to reclaim a 3-2 lead. The Jets weren’t able to catch up in the third and despite outshooting their opponent 40-20, the Ice Dogs added an empty-net goal for the 4-2 victory.
The second game of the series and first of 2021 was more of the same: another 4-2 outcome in favor of Fairbanks. Following a quiet first period, the Jets earned the 2-0 lead this time, off of a shorthanded goal from captain Carter Hottmann and another from Max Itagaki.
The Ice Dogs then scored three unanswered goals over the next 35 minutes and tacked on an empty-netter for the win.
Hottmann jump-started Janesville’s offense yet again in the series finale and scored the first goal of the game, his second of the weekend, to put the home team up 1-0 after one period of play.
Fairbanks quickly closed the gap less than three minutes into the second to tie it, but Cade Destefani’s second power play goal of the series gave Janesville the edge back. Alex Lucken added another for the Jets shortly after, but the tricky two-goal lead was erased by Fairbanks by period’s end for a 3-3 tie, including a last-second goal by Brendan Murphy.
Jake Dunlap broke the tie just over halfway through the third period, his first goal of the season, to put Janesville up 4-3, but Fairbanks had another late surge and made it 4-4 with 30 seconds left. The Ice Dogs capitalized on that momentum and Scott McKenzie scored at 2:57 of overtime for the 5-4 win.
The Jets are now 4-3-2-0 and hold on to their lead in the Midwest Division standings with 10 points. Fairbanks quickly moved up to third place with their six points on the weekend, with Kenai in second.
The Jets will face their other divisional Alaskan foe, Kenai River, for a pair of games next weekend, Jan. 8-9, at home.