SPRINGFIELD, IL — For the third time in four years, the Jets have won their opening playoff series, advancing to the Midwest Division Finals Friday night with a 1-0 win over the Springfield Jr. Blues. The tight-checking win capped Janesville’s 3-0 series sweep of their bitter division rivals.
Jakov Novak (1:24 1st) scored a backdoor goal in the opening 90 seconds of Friday night’s game, and the league-leading scorer’s tally was all Janesville needed. The penalty kill answered the bell three times and Garrett Nieto was perfect for his second shutout of the series, stopping all 20 shots in the winning net.
The Jets built their series lead with a home sweep last weekend, starting with a 3-0 shutout win on Friday and followed up with a 3-2 win on Saturday. Garrett Nieto began and ended the series with shutouts, finishing with 72 saves on 74 shots against for a .973 save percentage.
Janesville will travel to Fairbanks this week to play the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, who completed their own sweep of the Minnesota Magicians tonight with a 4-3 win in Richfield, MN.
An official Midwest Division Finals series schedule will be released following the completion of this weekend’s opening round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs.