By Mason Lyttle
Thursday, March 23: Coulee Region Chill 1, Janesville Jets 0
Shots: Chill 18, Jets 40
PP: Chill 0-3, Jets 0-4
The Janesville Jets (38-11-0-4) threw everything they had at Joe Marcoullier, and thought they had a tying goal in the waning seconds, but ultimately fell, 1-0, to the Coulee Region Chill (28-24-2-0), extending their winless skid to three games. A franchise record crowd of 1,211 fans, a completely sold out building, roared from the puck drop through the controversial finish.
The Jets had two power play opportunities in the scoreless first period. Like their last weekend in Richfield, it was evident from the start that an opposing goaltender was going to be tough to beat. Janesville outshot Coulee Region 12-5 after 20 minutes.
The Chill picked up the game’s only goal early in the second, when Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup (5:01 2nd) cut to the net and buried a quickly-arriving pass.
Despite killing more than two minutes of Chill power plays, the Jets ramped up the attack in the 3rd period, desperate for a goal. Janesville outshot Coulee Region 18-4 in the final frame, with no better chance than the one they got at the very end. With 11 seconds left on the clock and the Jets’ net empty, Adam Roeder stretched out at the attacking blue line to just barely keep a puck in play. Roeder walked the line and threw the puck on net, where it bounced through traffic and sat on the doorstep for Kip Hoffmann to score on a diving Marcoullier. The sellout crowd, which had waited three hours for a goal to celebrate, erupted. With the goal lamp on, the horn sounding, and the Jets celebrating, the officials conferred and disallowed the goal due to goaltender interference.
Jake Barczewski (25-4-0-0) was nearly perfect, stopping 17 of 18 shots, but the one goal was all Joe Marcoullier (13-4-0-1) needed as he turned in a clean sheet and 40 saves.
Midwest Division Recap
The Minnesota Magicians could only take one point out of Springfield, losing a Friday contest 3-2 in the shootout before dropping Saturday’s game, 4-1. Their stutter allowed the Fairbanks Ice Dogs to edge closer to home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, as the Ice Dogs swept the South Division’s Topeka RoadRunners, 9-2 and 2-1 in Fairbanks. After beating Janesville on Thursday, the Coulee Region Chill split a home-and-home series with the Central’s Austin Bruins, each home team picking up the win. The Kenai River Brown Bears also played an interdivisional series, splitting the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights at home.
Midwest Division Standings:
|3||Fairbanks Ice Dogs||57||30-24-2-1||63|
|4||Coulee Region Chill||54||28-24-2-0||58|
|5||Springfield Jr. Blues||55||25-26-3-1||54|
|6||Kenai River Brown Bears||57||12-43-2-0||26|
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 @ Springfield Jr. Blues – 7:05 p.m. CST
Thursday, March 30, 2017 @ Coulee Region Chill – 7:00 p.m. CST
Friday, March 31, 2017 @ Minnesota Wilderness – 7:05 p.m. CST
Saturday, April 1, 2017 @ Minnesota Wilderness – 7:05 p.m. CST
This week, the Jets face a bear of a schedule, traveling 1,300 miles and visiting three rinks for four road games in five nights. The action starts Tuesday with the final regular season meeting with the Springfield Jr. Blues in Illinois. The team will catch its breath Wednesday, and pack up the bus on Thursday, when it will stop in Onalaska for another Battle of Wisconsin with the Chill. The Jets then play an interdivisional, Friday/Saturday series in Cloquet, Minnesota, against their playoff rivals, the Minnesota Wilderness. All four games will be broadcast live with Mason Lyttle’s call on www.HockeyTV.com.
The record crowd also marked the first back-to-back sets of 1,000+ crowds in franchise history…Nearly 500 of Thursday’s fans came from Marshall Middle School, who planned a schoolwide partnership with the Jets, capped off by a pep rally and Thursday’s game…Cole Paskus got the start and registered three shots in his 100th NAHL game, all with Janesville…Barczewski’s solid 17/18 performance extends the Jets’ hot goaltending streak, which has performed to a .922 save percentage over its last 11 games…Kip Hoffmann’s disallowed goal would have been his 28th as a Jet, and would have tied him with Dan Kucerovy for 11th all-time…