The Janesville Jets traveled to Plymouth, Mich. over the weekend for a rematch with the USA National Development Team Program Under-17 team.
Friday’s series opener was a heartbreaker for the Jets, as a tightly-fought battle came down to the final six seconds and Team USA grabbed the 5-4 win.
Janesville controlled the pace of the game in the first period and Charlie Schoen and Gunnar Williams scored back-to-back goals in less than two minutes for an early lead. Blake Dangos added his first goal of the year on the power play toward period’s end to put the Jets up 3-0.
Team USA scored three unanswered goals in the second period, but Mack Keryluk immediately broke the tie with his fifth goal of the season to keep the Jets on top, 4-3 through two periods.
With 12 minutes left on the clock, Team USA tied the game at four apiece. Janesville held strong defensively and killed a 5-on-3 opportunity for the home team as time ran down, but Logan Cooley was able to sneak the puck past Owen Millward in the final seconds for the win.
Saturday’s game began identically to the night before, but this time Team USA grabbed the three-goal lead. They would add another before Jaxson Ezman scored his second goal in as many weekends against the national team to put the Jets on the board. Team USA then answered with a pair of their own to make it 6-1 after one period of play.
The middle frame went by quietly, with just one goal scored by the home team for a 7-1 advantage. Riley Sims took over in net for Janesville, to back up Owen Millward.
The National Team was able to tack on two more goals in the third, but the highlights for Janesville were two scored by newcomers Max Smolinski and Brendan Doyle to bring the final score to 9-3.
The Jets now have almost three weeks off for the holidays. Game action is scheduled to resume on Dec. 31 with a three-game slate against division rival Fairbanks at home.