By Mason Lyttle
LA CROSSE, WI — The Jets completed another comeback Sunday afternoon, surviving a crazy second period and popping the Coulee Region Chill in the mouth in the game’s final two minutes to steal the win and finish the series sweep of their in-state rivals.
After going 0-6 on the man advantage Saturday, the Jets converted an early opportunity when defenseman Grant Anderson (2:13 1st) wired a shot bar-down for his first goal as a Jet. Later in the period, the Chill’s Jackson Decker (18:18 1st) was credited with a goal that took a strange bounce off goaltender Daniel Lebedeff and trickled in to tie the game.
A sleepy Sunday matinee took a wild turn midway through the second period. With Jakov Novak already in the penalty box for roughing, John Pisek was assessed a cross checking minor, sending the Jets to a 3-on-5 kill for 1:25. Coulee Region’s Marshal Plunkett (9:10 2nd), who scored each of the Chill’s goals yesterday, found the back of the net on a wrister from the point. Just 47 seconds later, working on Pesek’s minor, the Chill struck again on a shot from Nick Bowman (9:57 2nd). Alternate captain Alec Semandel (15:39 2nd) cut the deficit to 3-2, walking in from the high slot and ripping a shot off the post and in. The momentum wouldn’t last. On another power play opportunity, Nick Bowman (17:40 2nd) again doubled the Chill’s lead. The Jets got the last shot in of the wild period, with Kip Hoffmann (19:52 2nd) scoring on a breakaway with eight seconds left in the frame.
Much of the third period was extremely tight defensive play from both teams, with very few shots getting through to either goaltender for the first 15 minutes. With less than two minutes to go, the Jets popped the Chill in the mouth and stole the game. Jakov Novak (18:10 3rd) scored the game-tying goal, picking up a loose puck following a blocked shot and sniping his sixth of the season. Only 40 seconds later, John Pesek (18:50 3rd) scored the game-winner on a one-timer for his first goal as a Jet, and Carter Ekberg (19:12 3rd) sealed it with an empty-netter.
Daniel Lebedeff (4-1-0-0) bounced back from a shaky second period and shut out the Chill in the game’s final frame, making 31 total saves on 35 shots in the victory. Chill rookie Josh Graziano (0-3-0-0) took the loss, turning away 25 of 30 Jets shots.
The Jets come home for another week of fine-tuning before making the same road trip next Saturday, October 27, for another showdown with the Chill.