By: Rob Brent | April 22, 2019 | 1:25pm
JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets took on the Fairbanks Ice Dogs last Friday night in game 3 of the opening playoff round. The Jets needed a win to keep their season alive, but unfortunately came up short.
Despite the result, Friday felt like a celebration of Jets’ hockey, and another successful season. Fans packed the Janesville arena to capacity, many coming early to enjoy a pre game tailgate. Although this game marked the end of this season, it also served as a beginning. This team built a foundation of which future years can build off of as the Jets continue building towards a culture of excellence.
FRIDAY – L, 4-1
The first period did not get off to a positive start for the Jets, as the visiting team carried play early. The early jump resulted in a goal for the Ice Dogs when Matt Koethe (2:08, 1st) found the back of the net for an early goal. The Jets would fight back later in the period scoring a goal of their own. The tally was facilitated by a 5 on 3 powerplay opportunity for Janesville. Two Fairbanks players were called for penalties just 10 seconds apart, giving an extended two man advantage. The Jets got right to work on this chance, setting up in the Fairbanks zone. The puck came to Nicholas Nardella along the boards, who surveyed his options. Nardella slid the puck to Justin Engelkes, who was situated at the point along the blue line. Engelkes considered shooting but then passed the puck to a waiting Brenden Olson (17:09, 1st) who fired the puck into the net from the top of the faceoff circle. The first period would end with a tie game.
After this, the Jets could not produce much offense as Fairbanks played a stifling contest. The Ice Dogs added two goals in the middle of the second period and closed the game out from there. The loss on Friday marked the end of the Jets’ season, falling to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Jets fell to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in a series in which they could never seem to get the offense going, scoring just twice in the series. This does not mean the playoffs were without positives though. The Jets penalty kill played their best hockey of the season, completely holding Fairbanks off the board. The PK unit killed off a perfect 11 out of 11 penalties.
Though the Jets did not go as far as we hoped, this was another season in which the team made the playoffs. A feat that has become a certainty for our club over the last half decade. This season also marked the Jets continuing the tradition of moving our players onto the next level. The Jets’ playoff roster included eight players who have already secured NCAA D1 commitments. There are many reasons for optimism going forward in Janesville as we continue to expand upon this culture of excellence.
We would like to thank our loyal fans for another season of support. You are the truly the best fans in the NAHL, and that has made the club’s 10 years in Janesville a special experience for all involved. We will have more coverage throughout the offseason, giving an inside view into our mission to improve upon the foundation built this year.