The Janesville Jets will play their third home series in three weeks as a cross-division rival, the Minnesota Wilderness, comes to town this Friday and Saturday.
While the Jets have already played in 11 NAHL games so far this year, the Wilderness have only been able to fit in three, their last coming on November 20. Through those three games, the Wilderness are 1-1-0-1.
The two teams last met in what would be their last action of the 2019-20 season on March 6-7. The series ended in a split that was action-packed: game one ended in a 2-1 shootout in Minnesota’s favor, while Janesville took a 2-1 victory of their own in overtime in the series finale.
The Jets will be looking to win a series for the first time since they swept the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in their series opener Nov. 5-6. Janesville still holds on to its lead atop the Midwest Division standings with 12 points and the division’s best power play and penalty kill.
Season ticket holders will get to enjoy their second weekend of 2021 with the Jets again with the reintroduction of the pod seating system. While general admission tickets are still not for sale in accordance with city regulations, fans that would like to catch the games can watch on HockeyTV, through the NAHL Scoreboard, or by following the Jets on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates. Both games are set for 7 p.m. CST.
Last Time Out
The Jets hosted the Kenai River Brown Bears last weekend and came away with a series split. The home team won Friday’s tilt 6-3 for its first victory of 2021, highlighted by Riley Sims’ second win in net on the season, two power play goals from forward Charlie Schoen and a 3-for-5 rating on the man advantage. On Saturday, the Brown Bears jumped out to an early 3-0 lead that the Jets matched with an offensive push in the second period, but Kenai continued to add to their edge for a final score of 9-5.
While the series finale with Kenai wasn’t ideal on the scoresheet, it was an exciting night for rookie AJ Casperson, who scored his first junior goal and had his first multi-point game with an assist as well. Additionally, Casperson is also second-best on the team this season with a +3 rating. His accomplishments garnered him Diamond Player of the Week honors, a weekly award sponsored by The Diamond Center. The Jets also saw their dedication to advancement rewarded again this week as forward Jake Sacratini announced his commitment to play college hockey at AIC. It is the fourth Division I commitment this season for Janesville, and the fourth under head coach Parker Burgess.
The Wilderness series concludes a slate of nine games in three weeks for the Jets. They’ll have next weekend off before returning to action Jan. 29-31 with a set of three games at home against Kenai.