Jets Sweep in Land of Lincoln

By Mason Lyttle (@MasonLyttle) | November 26, 2018 | 5:44pm

JANESVILLE, WI — A pair of Friday goals from Justin Engelkes, a pair of Saturday goals from Jack Vincent, and more consistent goaltending from Cole Brady helped the Jets pick up a road sweep of the Springfield Jr. Blues last weekend, staying above Fairbanks for second place in the Midwest Division.

FRIDAY — W, 3-2

Michigan State recruit Jack Williams coughed up an ugly goal in the second period, but otherwise battled Arizona State commit Cole Brady in a solid night of both skill and goaltending. A pair of goals from Justin Engelkes helped the Jets to victory.

In transition, Nick Nardella found a trailing Matt Doyle (12:21 1st), who sniped his first of the season on goaltender Jack Williams. A high-sticking penalty to Jack Vincent just 18 seconds later gave Springfield an opportunity to strike back quickly, but the Jets’ penalty kill shut it down.

A pair of goals in the second period came only 27 seconds apart, started by Verona native Justin Engelkes (8:01 2nd). Engelkes tipped a breakout pass from Stanislav Dosek between the red line and attacking blue line, and the puck trickled past Williams and in for Engelkes’ third of the season. Springfield answered quickly back on a point shot from Ryan Reid (8:28 2nd) to cut the lead back to one.

Janesville’s lead stayed there for much of the night. The power play checked in late in the third for the eventual game-winner. Jack Vincent opened up a sharp cross-zone pass to Justin Engelkes (14:41 3rd), who made use of the screen from Jordon Halverson to score his second of the night. The Jr. Blues got one back later from Ben Schmidling (17:03 3rd) when the former Jet jammed the puck home, but Brady and the Jets hung on for the win.

Cole Brady improved to 9-5-1-1 on the season with a 29/31 night in net. Jack Williams, his counterpart, made 25 saves in the loss.

FRIDAY BOX SCORE

SATURDAY — W, 3-2

Another 3-2 win on Saturday stole the series for Janesville.

Brandon Puricelli (9:12 1st) opened the scoring, swinging around the back of the Janesville net and putting away a far-side shot. A little over a minute later, Jack Vincent (10:36 1st) found himself on the fortunate side of a goalie turnover when Caleb Hannon ventured far out to the wall and put the puck right on Vincent’s tape.

As the game approached the middle of the second period, it was again Jack Vincent (7:13 2nd) scoring for Janesville. Vincent found some space in the slot, opened his hips, and redirected a shot from Philip Bjorkman for the 2-1 lead. Like they did in Friday’s second period, the Jr. Blues again came storming back after a Jets goal, this time when Max Brainin (7:56 2nd) drove the center lane and roofed a backhand over Cole Brady.

Defenseman Sean Driscoll (2:28 3rd) scored Saturday’s eventual game-winner, stepping into a loose puck and wiring his second of the season. Later in the period, the officials waived off an apparent equalizer when a puck ricocheted off the back wall and into the crease, where it slid past Brady. After conferring with the goal judge, the officiating crew called no goal, and the Jets hung on for the sweep. The shots piled on from there, and Brady responded time after time, preserving the one-goal lead in a 20-5 shot disadvantage.

A stellar third period gave Cole Brady his 10th win of the season, and marked his fifth game in a row in which he’s surrendered two or fewer goals. Caleb Hannon finished with 21 saves for Springfield.

SATURDAY BOX SCORE

Around the Division

WEDNESDAY SCORE

Minnesota Magicians 2 @ Minnesota Wilderness 0

FRIDAY SCORES

Chippewa Steel 3 @ Austin Bruins 1

Fairbanks Ice Dogs 2 @ Kenai River Brown Bears 1 (OT)

SATURDAY SCORES

Minnesota Wilderness 4 @ Minnesota Magicians 3

Austin Bruins 3 @ Chippewa Steel 1

Fairbanks Ice Dogs 4 @ Kenai River Brown Bears 3 (OT)

STANDINGS

Place Team GP Record Pts
1 Minnesota Magicians 24 18-6-0-0 36
2 Janesville Jets 24 13-8-2-1 29
3 Fairbanks Ice Dogs 23 12-8-1-2 27
4 Kenai River Brown Bears 23 9-11-2-1 21
5 Springfield Jr. Blues 23 9-11-2-1 21
6 Chippewa Steel 25 6-17-1-1 14
Coming Up

The Minnesota Wilderness visit the Jets this weekend to wrap up the former division rivals’ four-game season series. Last month, the Jets split a pair of games in Cloquet, headlined by a 37-save shutout from Cole Brady on the Friday game. Head coach Dave Boitz’s group are coming off a home-and-home split with the Minnesota Magicians, and are two points from a playoff spot and just four points from second place in the tight-as-a-drum Central Division.

Friday night is another Free Kids Night, presented by BMO Harris Bank, as the Jets help downtown Janesville kick off its holiday Jolly Jingle weekend. One lucky fan at Saturday night’s game, presented by Morgan Corp, will take home a game-used stick signed by Jets co-owner and San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski.

Both games will be broadcast on HockeyTV.

Wilderness @ Jets | Fri Nov 30 | 7:00pm CST

Wilderness @ Jets | Sat Dec 1 | 7:00pm CST