At the 7:30 mark of the opening period and on the power play, Hunter Newhouse scored the game’s first goal to give Kenai River a 1-0 lead. The Jets handled things from there on out.
With just under two minutes left in the period, Jack Larrigan picked up a puck in the far corner of Kenai’s zone, skated it to the net and jammed home his second goal of the season to tie the game. The score was a result of some great zone time and grit to keep a cycle going, and “Larry” finished the job.
The eventual game-winning goal came three and a half minutes into the second period, courtesy of Jack Ford, his second goal of the year as well. Following a great series of moves into the slot from Cal Mell, the defenseman sent a wrist shot in on Brown Bears’ goaltender Cole Wheaton, who allowed a rebound in front of the net that Ford pounced on to give the Jets a 2-1 lead.
On the Jets’ third power play of the night and halfway through the third period, it was Jan Lasak skating in from the point and firing home a rebound in the slot to pad the lead to 3-1. After a blocked shot off the stick of Cy LeClerc, Zigi came flying in to one-time his 16th goal of the year.
Already up two, the Jets added one more to their count with five minutes left to play. Jimmy Doyle capped off a great passing play to record his first goal as a member of the Jets. The birthday boy Jonah Aegerter dished a pass to Doyle, who gave it off to Larrigan on the right wing, complete with a pass to the slot where Doyle was waiting with a yawning cage. The goal capped off two-point nights for both Doyle and Larrigan.
“It felt great to get that first one as a Jet,” said Jimmy Doyle. “We were playing well all night, made some nice passes and just kept playing our game.” The Jets have scored at least three goals in each game during their six-game winning streak.
To continue their winning ways while away from home, and on the heels of a gutsy road win over the Chippewa Steel, was of high importance at the start of their journey in Alaska. “It was a huge win for us,” Doyle reiterated. “To start off the weekend with a win and set ourselves up to get some big points on the road was crucial. These trips are never easy and no game is either, but we did what we needed to do Friday and we need to keep it up going forward.”
The Jets rebounded with authority after giving up the games opening goal, and controlled most of the action for the next two and a half periods, allowing only 16 shots in the final two periods of play.
Owen Millward made 28 saves on 29 shots and registered his fifth consecutive victory, and sixth in seven games. In their last series against the Brown Bears, Millward started the final two games of the series, including a shutout in game two, and a 4-3 overtime win in the finale. Mike D’Orazio got the start in the opener on January 6 and made 42 saves in a heroic effort in net.
With losses from the Chippewa Steel and Minnesota Magicians on Friday night, the Jets are now just three points outside of fourth place, the final playoff spot, in the division. The Steel take on the Jr. Blues again tonight, as do the Minnesota Wilderness and Magicians from Richfield.
Game two of the three game series will start once again at 10:30 PM CT, and can be viewed on HockeyTV. Otherwise, you can always try and stay awake and follow along on the Jets’ Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. Get the coffee/energy drinks/smelling salts ready for another night of midnight hockey!