By Mason Lyttle
AUSTIN, MN — The comeback kids did it again.
Six days and two games after a thrilling comeback victory over the Minnesota Magicians in their home opener, the Jets again had to dig deep for a late tying goal, and finished off the Austin Bruins in overtime.
The Bruins got their home crowd engaged early with a goal less than two minutes into action. Evan Cholak centered a puck from behind the net to Travis Kothenbeutel (1:28 1st), who beat Daniel Lebedeff from three feet out. The rest of the period was much quieter, with just 10 total shots between the two teams.
In the second, after early coinciding penalties expired, the Jets earned their third opportunity on the power play and finally struck. Kip Hoffmann (3:46 2nd) collected a rebound from a point shot and put home his second effort to tie the game at 1-1.
Midway through the third, Austin regained the lead on the stick of Dante Zapata (9:31 3rd), who scored his first of the season on a feed from Valdemar Ahlberg. For the second time in three games, the Jets found themselves down a goal late in the third period, and for the second time in three games, they fought and stayed alive. With less than four minutes to play in regulation, former Corpus Christi Ice Ray Regan Cavanagh (16:37 3rd) scored his first Jets goal in his first NAHL game since the 2015-16 season. Cavanagh started in his own zone, beat a man wide at his defending blue line, lost and stole the puck back at center ice, and sniped a shot far side past the Austin netminder to tie the game at 2-2.
In the overtime period, Hoffmann found a streaking Erik Palmqvist (2:16 OT), who strode past the Bruins defender for a partial breakaway and snapped home the winner to extend his goal streak to three games and steal the extra point for his Jets.
Lebedeff earned the win for Janesville, making 31 saves on 33 Bruins shots, while fellow European Mats Sogaard took the loss for Austin, stopping 25 pucks but allowing the overtime difference-maker.