By Mason Lyttle and Kevin Meegan
Wednesday, September 21: Aston Rebels 4, Janesville Jets 0
Shots: Rebels 37, Jets 29
PP: Rebels 0-2, Jets 0-5
The Janesville Jets (2-1-0) came out flat in their NAHL Showcase opener, dropping a 4-0 contest to lasts year’s East Division champion Aston Rebels (3-0-0).
A relatively eventless first period saw its only ink when Aston’s Andreas Maier (4:34 1st) beat Derek Schaedig to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead.
Aston jumped out early in the second when Dom Garcia (1:48 2nd) doubled the Rebels’ lead on a feed from Maier. The Jets were unable to strike on a pair of power play opportunities midway through the frame, while Aston squandered its own man advantage chance late in the period.
After Carter Dwyer (9:26 3rd) scored Aston’s insurance goal, the physicality and chippy play arose, with Janeville’s Alec Semandel receiving a 20 minute game misconduct for removing his helmet in an altercation with an Aston player. Later, with Dwyer serving a minor, Aston would add a short-handed marker from Drew Blackmun (17:22 3rd).
Jets goaltender Derek Schaedig (2-1-0) lost his first NAHL contest, stopping 33 of 37 shots. Opposite him, Aston’s Mareks Mitens (1-0-0) won his season debut with a 29-save shutout.
Thursday, September 22: Janesville Jets 6, Shreveport Mudbugs 5
Shots: Wilderness 28, Jets 28
PP: Wilderness 0-3, Jets 2-4
The Janesville Jets (3-1-0) again rode strong special teams play to complete the sweep of the Minnesota Wilderness (0-2-0) at the Janesville Ice Arena.
The Jets found themselves down early when Shreveport tallied the game’s first goal 12 seconds in. Mudbugs forward Frankie Melton buried a rebound off of a faceoff. Shortly after, Brendan Aird would take the game’s first penalty, setting up Shreveport’s power play marker to double their lead. The Jets’ new pair of twins started the comeback as David Schmidling found his brother Ben Schmidling (6:53 1st) with a pass from the corner to put the Jets on the board. Cole Paskus (12:05 1st) tied things up a few minutes later, picking up a puck in the corner and walking in front with a backhand shot.
The second frame was considerably less exciting, with a few unsuccessful power plays for Janesville and the only goal coming from a bouncing puck that found its way behind Schaedig.
The third period ripped open quickly, with Janesville striking three times in 1:45 to steal the lead. It started when Cullen Munson found Michael Maloney (0:12 3rd) with a backdoor pass for a powerplay goal. David Schmidling (1:22 3rd) joined his brother on the scoresheet with a goal off the rush, and 23 second later it was Jack Gates (1:45 3rd) with his first of the night, picking up a rebound and putting home a turnaround wrist shot. Gates’ second of the night, midway through the period, was the eventual game-winner. He buried a cross-crease pass from Adrian Holesinsky for a marker that looked identical to Maloney’s goal at the start of the frame. Shreveport would come storming back in the last few minutes, with tallies from Steven Mather (17:28 3rd) and Erik Zohovs (19:12 3rd), but Schaedig and the Jets defense survived the scare to hang on for the win.
With 27 saves on 32 shots, including a stretch of 55:15 allowing just one goal, Schaedig (3-1-0) picked up the win. Shreveport’s Dario Latessa (0-1-0) took the loss for the Mudbugs, stopping 23 of 29.
Friday, September 23: Janesville Jets 3, Northeast Generals 0
Shots: Jets 48, Generals 14
PP: Jets 0-3, Generals 0-4
The Janesville Jets (4-1-0) completely dominated the expansion Northeast Generals (0-5-0) Friday night, possessing the puck almost all night on the way to a 3-0 victory.
The tilted ice began in the first period, with Janesville outshooting the Generals 17-5 in the frame. Shortly after Joey Abate rang one off the crossbar, David Schmidling (18:15 1st) buried a rebound from Peter Bates and put Janesville on top by one.
Janesville opened the second with fresh legs, with Kip Hoffmann (1:14 2nd) snapping one in short side on Vinal. Three minutes later, it was Badger commit Joey Abate (4:21 2nd) putting home his own rebound with a trickling backhand to triple the Jets lead.
Period three’s scoresheet was empty in the scoring column, with each team receiving a few minors and double minors for roughing following scrums.
Rookie Jacob Barczewski (1-0-0) picked up a shutout in his first NAHL appearance, while Northeast’s Gabe Vinal (0-2-0) did all he could, stopping 45 of 48 shots his way in the losing effort.
Saturday, September 24: Janesville Jets 4, Amarillo Bulls 3 (OT)
Shots: Jets 40, Bulls 39
PP: Jets 0-3, Bulls 1-4
The Janesville Jets (5-1-0) pulled out a 4-3 win in a nail-biter over the Amarillo Bulls (4-2-1) in their fourth and final NAHL Showcase game on Saturday.
The Jets and Bulls both came out strong in the first period. NAHL scoring leader Kosta Likourezos (7:39 1st) put his Bulls up early with his seventh of the season. From there, the Jets relied on strong goaltending from Derek Schaedig to end the frame down 1-0.
Early in the second period, Janesville’s Joey Abate (4:03 2nd) finished a beautiful two-on-one pass from Kip Hoffmann. Jets defenseman Frankie Sullivan saved a potential Amarillo breakaway midway through the frame, and the Jets successfully killed his minor tripping penalty to finish 40 minutes of hockey tied at one goal each.
The third period saw the flood gates open, as both teams combined for four goals in the a little over 13 minutes of play. Following Amarillo’s go-ahead goal, Adrian Holesinsky (8:07 3rd) finished a breakaway goal with a nice move to tie the game, 2-2. The Jets surrendered the third lead of the game when Bulls forward Charlie Singerhouse (17:32 3rd) scored with less than three minutes to play. It was Jets captain Adam Roeder (19:31 3rd) who came in clutch, tying the contest again with a shot from the point with less than 29 seconds in the game.
The back-and-forth battle continued in the three-on-three overtime period, where each goaltender made several saves on high-percentage scoring chances. Edina native Cullen Munson (2:12 OT) was the Jets’ hero with a wonderful individual effort, putting the puck through the Bulls defenseman’s legs and into the back of the net, securing the Jets’ win.
Goaltender Derek Schaedig (4-1-0) played well, making 36 saves in the extended effort, beating out rookie Kyle Madore (1-3-0) of the Bulls, who also had 36 saves.
Friday, September 30, 2016 vs. Brookings Blizzard – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 1, 2016 vs. Brookings Blizzard – 7:00 p.m.
The Janesville Jets return from the 2016 NAHL Showcase Tournament with six of a possible eight points, and will host the Central Division’s Brookings Blizzard. The Blizzard opened their season with a 3-1 record at Blaine’s Showcase Tournament, defeating the Kenai River Brown Bears, Corpus Christi IceRays, and the Springfield Jr. Blues in three straight games. Blizzard returning defenseman Brett Callahan leads his position in scoring on the team with three assists, while forward Cade Bordchardt leads all skaters with three goals and five points. Goaltenders Josh Boyko and Nick Althaus split the load at the Schwan. Althaus won each of his starts with a .932 save percentage, while Boyko took the shootout loss to Amarillo, posting a .979 save percentage in his two contests.
Midwest Division Recap:
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs took their first two losses, one in the shootout, but still took five points back to Alaska to maintain the division lead. From nearby Richfield, the Minnesota Magicians nearly swept their Showcase schedule, with their only two losses each coming in sudden death overtime. The Coulee Region Chill also split their wins and losses evenly but allowed 13 goals in their two losses. The Springfield Jr. Blues gained two points on a 1-3 Showcase record, while the Kenai River Brown Bears couldn’t muster a win.
Midwest Division Standings:
Fairbanks Ice Dogs 5-1-1, 11 points
Janesville Jets 5-1-0, 10 points
MN Magicians 3-1-2, 8 points
Coulee Region Chill 2-2-0, 4 points
Springfield Jr. Blues 2-4-0, 4 points
Kenai River Brown Bears 0-3-1, 1 point