By Mason Lyttle
Thursday, October 6: Minnesota Magicians 2, Janesville Jets 1 (SO)
Shots: Magicians 28, Jets 36
PP: Magicians 0-1, Jets 0-0
The Janesville Jets (7-1-1) rode great defensive play and a strong outing from Derek Schaedig, but were unable to beat Minnesota’s Jacob Dittmer more than once, ultimately falling to the Magicians in the shootout.
The first period of divisional play between these two teams was a largely uneventful period. Each team put six pucks on the opposing goaltender, but neither so much as took a penalty in the period.
Minnesota struck first when Nathan Nelsen (12:38 2nd) scored his third goal of the season on a wild, seemingly set play from defenseman Hunter Lellig. Lellig corralled the puck at the right point and bombed a slapshot to Schaedig’s left. The puck caromed off the end board and found Nelsen’s tape, who was wide open backdoor. Less than four minutes later, Chris Dodero (16:00 2nd) scored his first NAHL goal when a puck dumped in from Lordanthony Grissom found its way to his tape.
The third period opened up a bit more in play, with better chances on each end, but both goaltenders again stood tall. Schaedig made 11 saves, and Dittmer stopped 12 pucks to send the game to three-on-three overtime.
It wasn’t until the overtime period that the penalty boxes would receive their first visitor, when Adam Roeder took a holding minor 27 seconds into the period. Janesville would kill the captain’s penalty, and following some good chances each way, would hold on for the shootout.
While the Jets would snag the early lead in the shootout with goals from Adrian Holesinsky and Chris Dodero, the Magicians battled back with three goals in four chances.
Derek Schaedig (6-1-1) made 26 saves on 27 shots in the losing effort, opposite Dittmer, who won with 35 saves of 36 Jets shots.
Saturday, October 7: Minnesota Magicians 5, Janesville Jets 4
Shots: Magicians 31, Jets 25
PP: Magicians 1-7, Jets 1-7
The Janesville Jets (7-2-1) squandered a third period lead in a high-scoring affair that left the Jets without a point in the second half of a Magicians sweep.
Janesville’s Keegan Miller (8:01 1st) opened the scoring with a shot through a Magician defender’s legs that beat Minnesota goaltender Matt Ladd. The Magicians tied things with a marker from Timo Walther (13:10 1st) before Janesville would snap back with a rebound goal from Peter Bates (16:09 1st).
Brown commit Michael Maloney (6:36 2nd) doubled Janesville’s lead, but Minnesota struck twice in 2:59 to tie the game again. Minnesota threatened to steal the lead with three chances on the man advantage, but Janesville’s penalty kill unit stood tall to take the tie into the third period.
In the final frame, Chris Dodero (1:52) struck on the power play, scoring his second in as many nights to regain the lead for Janesville. Minnesota again battled back to tie the game at four with their own power play goal from captain Travis Brown (3:37 3rd). After his game tying goal, it was again Brown (10:47 3rd) with the eventual game winner. Janesville pulled Schaedig for an extra attacker in a 6-on-4 situation late, but was unable to generate a last minute tying effort.
Schaedig (6-2-1) hung in for Janesville, but took the loss in a 26-save effort opposite Ladd, whose 21 saves on 25 shots earned him the win.
Saturday, October 15, 2016 vs. Coulee Region Chill – 7:00 p.m.
The Janesville Jets return home for a one-game weekend against their in-state rivals, the Coulee Region Chill, on Saturday. The first matchup between these two teams will determine who holds the Blain’s Dairyland Milk Can Trophy until their next meeting in late November. With a win and a shootout loss in a home-and-away series to end last year’s regular season, the Jets kept the seven year-old trophy in Janesville all summer.
Under new head coach Ryan Egan, the Chill have won five of their eight contests, with plenty of goals both for and against them. Their 3.63 goals per game place them just behind the Magicians for second best in the Midwest Division, but have allowed an even four goals against per game. Former Jet forward Kevin Dineen leads the charge offensively, with 10 points in eight games. Their pair of ’97 goaltenders, Joe Marcoullier and Artur Pavliukov, have combined for a .889 save percentage.
Midwest Division Recap:
It was a weekend of sweeps in the Midwest Division. After sweeping Janesville in a Thursday/Friday series, the Minnesota Magicians defeated the Minnesota Wilderness on Saturday, 4-1, for a six-point weekend, moving them to the top of the division standings. The Robertson Cup Champions, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, suffered a rare home sweep at the hands of the New Jersey Titans, while the Johnstown Tomahawks handed a similar pair of home losses to the Kenai River Brown Bears. The Coulee Region Chill also stormed in on the Springfield Jr. Blues in a pair of wins.
Midwest Division Standings:
MN Magicians 7-2-2, 16 points
Janesville Jets 7-2-1, 15 points
Fairbanks Ice Dogs 5-4-1, 12 points
Coulee Region Chill 5-3-0, 10 points
Springfield Jr. Blues 3-7-0, 6 points
Kenai River Brown Bears 0-8-1, 1 point