By: Rob Brent | April 1, 2019 | 2:25pm
JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets took on the Minnesota Magicians in their final home series of the regular season last Thursday and Friday. The Jets entered the weekend on a losing streak, but it felt like something had to give. The Thursday night game provided a similar result that saw the Magicians eke out a tight victory.
Friday, however, proved to be the breakout the Jets needed, as they got the monkey off their back and buried the visiting team with an offensive onslaught. The exciting night was highlighted by multiple milestones.
THURSDAY – L, 2-4
Thursday night’s contest was very similar to the previous series Minnesota and Janesville had contested the previous weekend. Tight checking early, with very little in the way of offense for either side. Minnesota would be the first to break through when Chris Konin (14:38, 1st) scored for the Magicians. From that point forward, neither team could find the back of the net in the first frame.
The second period got off to a less than ideal start for the home team. Jackson Jutting (0:11, 2nd) scored for the Magicians off the opening faceoff, putting the lead to two. From there, the two sides traded powerplay opportunities that proved to be fruitless attempts. Most important of these was a crucial penalty kill by the Jets that saw the team kill off an extended 5 on 3 deficit. A goal at that point may have sunk the home team’s chances. Halfway through the period, the Jets took another penalty, but this would lead to their break through. Justin Engelkes (13:35, 2nd) scored a short handed goal to cut the Magicians’ lead in half. The period would see no more scoring from there, going into the final frame with a one goal difference.
The Magicians extended their lead five minutes into that final frame. Owen Arfstrom (5:39, 3rd) put the puck into the net on the powerplay. The Jets would not lay down however, as they answered 10 minutes later on a goal from Matt Hanewall (14:10, 3rd). This goal kickstarted a monumental weekend for the forward (see more on that in the Friday recap). From there, Janesville pushed to tie the game but was given a penalty late in the game. The Magicians scored on this powerplay, as the Jets were also playing with an empty net. Jack Jensen (19:57, 3rd) scored the goal to put the game away.
Cole Brady made 23 saves on 26 shots, and his Magicians counterpart made 23 saves on 25 shots. This was another frustrating result against the Magicians. It marked the third game in a row that Minnesota had beaten the Jets by one goal before adding an empty net tally.
FRIDAY – W, 7-4
The scoring started early Friday night (an omen that the red light would be used early and often) when Matt Hanewall (3:26, 1st) scored a dazzling goal while short handed to give the Jets the early lead. The Minnesota Magicians’ lethal powerplay essentially canceled that goal out when Ben Schultheis (4:25, 1st) tallied a goal of his own on the very same powerplay. Minutes later, the Jets would head to a powerplay of their own when the Magicians were assessed a minor and 10 minute misconduct for checking from behind. The Janesville powerplay would strike as well when Matt Hanewall (8:05, 1st) scored his second of the game to give the Jets the lead once again. The speedy forward wasn’t done yet as the first period would continue to be the Matt Hanewall show. Hanewall (17:59, 1st) would end the period by scoring another goal to complete his first career hat trick.
The Magicians brought the game back within reach early in the period when Jackson Jutting (5:56, 2nd) scored another powerplay goal. The period continued on without incident from there. Just as it seemed a close game may be on tap for the third period, the Jets broke out. Janesville converted on a powerplay goal from Logan Ommen (18:41, 2nd) late in the period. One insurance goal wasn’t enough though, as about a minute later the Jets added to their lead again. Nicholas Nardella (19:34, 2nd) was the culprit, extending the lead to three goals.
With a three goal lead going into the third, the game seemed to be in hand. Minnesota had different plans. The team seemed rejuvenated, and they blitzed the Jets in the opening minutes. Jake Hale (1:09, 3rd) put a goal home early, and then another came minutes later from John Keranen (2:41). What seemed like an out of reach lead had been quickly cut to one. Fortunately, the Jets buckled down from there. About 4 minutes later Robbie Newton (6:30, 3rd) scored his first career goal in the NAHL to extend the lead. Newton has been impressive in his first few games and this breakthrough seemed inevitable. Carter Hottman (15:05, 3rd) put the game on ice late in the period, sealing the Jets’ victory.
Sam Metcalf made his first start for the Jets in a while in this game, stopping 24 of 28 shots. Jack Robbel made 18 saves before being pulled at the end of the second period. Ethan Haider stopped 9 shots out of 11 in relief for the Magicians.
AROUND THE DIVISION
Kenai River Brown Bears 1 @ Fairbanks Ice Dogs 3
Kenai River Brown Bears 6 @ Fairbanks Ice Dogs 5
Chippewa Steel 3 @ Springfield Jr. Blues 7
Kenai River Brown Bears 0 @ Fairbanks Ice Dogs 3
Chippewa Steel 1 @ Springfield Jr. Blues 5
MIDWEST DIVISION STANDINGS
|1||x-Fairbanks Ice Dogs||60||37-16-3-4||81|
|3||x-Springfield Jr. Blues||58||32-21-4-1||69|
|5||Kenai River Brown Bears||60||23-31-3-3||52|
The Jets will travel to Springfield for two games in the regular season finale. Both teams will be treating the games as tune-ups as they prepare for the playoffs. The Jets will look to play spoiler as the Jr. Blues could move past the Magicians for 2nd place in the division with a sweep.
Jets @ Jr. Blues | Fri, April 5 | 7:05pm
Jets @ Jr. Blues | Sat, April 6 | 6:05pm