By: Rob Brent | March 25, 2019 | 5:35pm
JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets returned to the continental United States after a short spell in Alaska, but were given a rude welcome in Minnesota.
The Jets fell to the Magicians twice over the weekend. However, both Friday and Saturday ended in one goal games before Minnesota added empty net goals.
FRIDAY – L, 3-1
The first period of Friday’s game did not start out the way Janesville would hope. The Magicians consistently peppered shots into goaltender Cole Brady. Brady, however, was up to the task as he put in a sparkling performance in that period. The Jets could not hold off the Magicians forever though. At 8:41 of the first period, Sean Driscoll took a penalty that sent Minnesota to the powerplay. This proved to be the icebreaker of Friday night’s contest as the Magicians put home a goal on the powerplay. Jackson Jutting (9:27 1st) scored the goal for the Magicians that put them ahead going into the second period. The shots ended with a lopsided result of 18 for the Magicians, 11 for the Jets.
The second period started much as the first had, with Minnesota sustaining pressure in the Jets’ zone. Minnesota would once again gain a man advantage early in the period. Carter Hottman was called for elbowing at 3:17 of the second period. The Magicians once again capitalized with the extra attacker when Jack Jensen (3:47, 2nd) put home a goal that gave the home team a 2 goal lead. This was Jensen’s first goal on a night he had debuted for the Magicians. The Jets have struggled all season long when facing off against the Magicians powerplay. This inability to kill penalties against Minnesota has been a central theme to many of Janesville’s losses against the club. Towards the end of the second period momentum started to shift, and Janesville began experiencing more time in the Magician zone, but the score held at 2-0.
The third period saw the Jets continue to push, and they were finally rewarded midway through the final period. Nicholas Nardella (7:49, 3rd) scored his 10th goal of the season to get Janesville back into the game. Unfortunately, the Magicians held steady, playing solid team defense. The Jets pushed but finally bowed out when Jackson Jutting (20:00, 3rd) put the puck into an empty net.
The final shots on goal count favored the Magicians as they held a 36-29 advantage.
SATURDAY – L, 2-0
The first period of Saturday night’s contest was a tight checking affair where both teams seemed to feel each other out. Both goalies played well, but other than that, there simply was not a lot of notable action. Both teams were sloppy on offense, but solid on defense. No goals were scored, and the shot tally of the first frame was 7-6 in favor of Minnesota. The most notable event in the first period was nothing that happened between the whistles, but what happened after them. Jets forward Erik Palmqvist got into a heated scrap with Magician Owen Arfstrom that resulted in matching fighting majors and misconducts.
The second period saw the offense open up, but with little results. The lone goal of the period was scored by Minnesota. Jackson Jutting (9:49, 2nd) scored a flukey goal when he put a low danger wrist shot on net. Cole Brady handled this shot easily, but did not get enough of the shot to block it away. Instead it softly bounced in the Janesville net to give the Magicians the lead. Both teams had powerplay chances, but neither could convert, which lead the game going into the third period with the Magicians up 1-0.
The Jets were given a penalty early in the third period in what was a pivotal penalty kill. They handled this, as well as another man down situation later in the period. This gave Janesville a chance, and they started to rattle off scoring chances that were warded away by Jack Robbel. Late in the period, the Magicians took a penalty of their own which gave the Jets a chance to tie the game in the dying minutes of the contest. It was not to be, as once again Jackson Jutting (19:30, 3rd) put the game out of reach with his fourth goal of the weekend (two of which were on an empty net).
The shot totals once again favored Minnesota at a final count of 31-28
The weekend did not yield the results the Jets were looking for. However, Cole Brady once again turned in two quality performances and the team around him battled back into both games. Janesville was close to tying both Friday and Saturday night’s game before the empty net goals were put in. The weekend also saw the Jets debut of Robbie Newton. Though Newton did not score, he threatened offensively all weekend long, and will look to be a key contributor to the Jets down the stretch run, and into the playoffs.
AROUND THE DIVISION
Fairbanks Ice Dogs 5 @ Kenai River Brown Bears 2
Springfield Jr. Blues 4 @ Chippewa Steel 5 (OT)
Fairbanks Ice Dogs 2 @ Kenai River Brown Bears 4
Springfield Jr. Blues 3 @ Chippewa Steel 2
Fairbanks Ice Dogs 5 @ Kenai River Brown Bears 1
MIDWEST DIVISION STANDINGS
|1||x- Fairbanks Ice Dogs||57||35-16-3-3||76|
|2||x- Minnesota Magicians||56||34-20-2-0||70|
|3||x- Springfield Jr. Blues||56||30-21-4-1||65|
|4||x- Janesville Jets||56||27-24-2-3||59|
|5||Kenai River Brown Bears||57||22-29-3-3||50|
The Janesville Jets will have the chance to exact revenge on the Magicians as the two clubs will renew their rivalry this Thursday and Friday in Janesville.
The Jets have had trouble figuring the Magicians out this season. The current series stands at 2-6-0-2 for the Jets, but both games in the last series were close affairs, a sign that the two teams are closer than it may seem. After a long time away from home, the team may be able to turn their fortunes in front of an energetic home crowd.
Magicians @ Jets | Thur, March 28 | 7:00pm
Magicians @ Jets | Fri, March 29 | 7:00pm
Tickets are available online or at any Lions Quick Mart location.