Friday, February 3: Springfield Jr. Blues 2, Janesville Jets 1
Shots: Jr. Blues 24, Jets 43
PP: Jr. Blues 1-2, Jets 0-3
Goaltending shone strong Friday night at the Janesville Ice Arena, as the Janesville Jets (31-8-0-3) nearly doubled the shots on the Springfield Jr. Blues (19-18-1-1), but were stymied in a 2-1 loss.
The Jets dominated possession in the first period, outshooting Springfield 14-5, but Mike Robinson was perfect through twenty and kept things knotted at zero through the first intermission.
Four minutes into the second, Max Nylander (4:22 2nd) finally broke the ice, putting home a rebound for a power play goal. Just twenty seconds later, Peter Bates (4:41 2nd) stole an errant pass in the Jr. Blues’ zone and struck twine for his 19th of the season. Late in the period, Fabio Hollenstein (18:25 2nd) scored on a low angle shot to regain the lead on what would become the game-winning goal.
Robinson, a third round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2015, stood tall for Springfield and turned away 11 shots in the third period to seal the win.
Tested with double-digit shots every period, Mike Robinson (8-5-0-0) was spectacular for Springfield, making routine and difficult saves en route to a 42/43 winning line. Derek Schaedig (13-6-0-0) played well, but not well enough, stopping 20 of 22 shots his way.
Saturday, February 4: Springfield Jr. Blues 0, Janesville Jets 2
Shots: Jr. Blues 23, Jets 47
PP: Jr. Blues 0-3, Jets 1-2
The Janesville Jets (32-8-0-3) this time were on the winning end of another great goaltender duel, as they rode a shutout to a big two points for a weekend split versus the Springfield Jr. Blues (19-19-1-1).
For the second straight game, both goaltenders were perfect through the first period, and the Jets again racked up the early scoring opportunities. After 20 minutes, Janesville outshot Springfield 21-9.
Early in the second, Janesville converted its second power play opportunity to break the shutout. Jack Gates (5:07 2nd) cheated down and buried a nice passing play from Cullen Munson and Joey Abate for his eighth goal of the season.
Magic visited the Janesville Ice Arena early in the weekend’s final period, when alternate captain Lordanthony Grissom (6:48 3rd), celebrating his 21st birthday, slide one five-hole to double his season goal total and double the Jets’ lead. The jam-packed arena exploded in celebration with several fans waving signs wishing the fan favorite a happy birthday. The Jets tightened up on Springfield and allowed just six shots in the entire third period to preserve the win.
In his debut with the Jr. Blues, Jordan Greenfield-Flemon (0-1-0-0) was stellar despite a loss, making 45 saves on 47 shots. Opposite the Edmonton native, Janesville’s Jake Barczewski (19-2-0-2) recorded his second shutout of the season with a perfect, 23-save sheet.
Midwest Division Recap
It was an entirely divisional weekend for the Midwest, featuring two splits and one three-game sweep. In La Crosse, the Minnesota Magicians failed to take advantage of Janesville’s split and gain ground on the division-leading Jets. The Magicians dropped Friday’s contest, 5-4, to the Coulee Region Chill before rebounding Saturday for a 3-1 win. For Coulee Region, a split series gave the Fairbanks Ice Dogs a chance to leapfrog the Chill for the fourth and final playoff spot. The Ice Dogs did exactly that with a Thursday/Friday/Saturday sweep of the Kenai River Brown Bears in Soldotna, edging Kenai River in close contests, 1-0, 2-1, and 3-1. The Chill, for the first time in a while on the outside looking in, now trail Fairbanks by three points, but hold four games in hand on the defending Robertson Cup champions.
Midwest Division Standings:
|3||Springfield Jr. Blues||19-19-1-1||40|
|4||Fairbanks Ice Dogs||18-22-2-1||39|
|5||Coulee Region Chill||17-20-2-0||36|
|6||Kenai River Brown Bears||10-30-2-0||22|
The Jets will enjoy some much-needed rest with a couple of blank squares on the calendar this weekend.
IN THE COMMUNITY…
Early Wednesday morning, Cole Paskus, Peter Bates, and Jack Gates will join Chilly, the Jets mascot, at Madison Elementary School for a visit organized through the Jets’ BMO Harris Bank Reading Club. Players will greet students in the carpool loop before heading inside to read to a class. Students at Madison Elementary start the Jets Reading Club program this week and will turn in completed reading trackers for complimentary tickets, courtesy of BMO Harris Bank, at the Reading Club Night on Thursday, March 23rd. To find out if your child’s school is participating in the free program, please contact your school administrators.
Also on Wednesday, Brenden MacLaren, Colin Felix, and Jake Barczewski will begin a four-week partnership between the Jets and Riverfront, a community organization who provides employment, independent living, and leisure opportunities to adults with disabilities in Rock County. Jets players will visit every Wednesday morning in February to work on activities and play games with participants.
After surrendering just two goals this weekend, Janesville now owns the Midwest Division’s best goals against average (2.58), in addition to the NAHL’s best goals per game (3.95)…Cullen Munson’s assist on Friday’s lone goal was his 100th career point with the Jets, giving him sole possession of second place in franchise scoring as he passed Ross Mauermann…The assist gave him a tie with Mauermann for 60 career assists with the Jets, a tie that would last less than 24 hours as he added two assists on Saturday…With Saturday’s shutout, rookie Jake Barczewski now has as many shutouts (2) as regulation losses (2), a feat matched only by Aston’s Mareks Mitens (10 shutouts, 7 regulation losses)…Grissom is now the second Jets player to score a goal on his birthday in the last 12 months, dating back to a two-goal performance from Kip Hoffmann in a 7-1 win over the Minnesota Wilderness on his 19th birthday on Saturday, March 5th, 2016…TJ Polglaze (Feb 17 @ Coulee), Jack Gates (Feb 24 vs Kenai River), Frankie Sullivan (Feb 28 Top Prospects), and David and Ben Schmidling (March 10 vs Minnesota) could have opportunities to match the feat.