To say it was a tough weekend for the Jets (3-8-0-1) would probably be an understatement; Friday night stayed close until the third when the Wilderness (8-3-1-0) scored three straight goals, while Saturday saw Minnesota score six goals and go a whopping five for five on the power play. It was a weekend to leave in the rearview mirror.
Friday, 10/22: L, 2-5
The opening contest of the series remained tight for the first two frames. Forward Ethan Begg recorded his second goal of the year at the halfway point of the opening period, a strange goal that saw the Colorado native shovel the puck to the crease and sneak it five-hole. The Wilderness took no time in responding, getting the tiebreaker just a few minutes later. The opposition got the first goal of the middle period to go up, but the Jets got a timely score from Mack Keryluk (5) after a nifty steal in the neutral zone and perfectly-placed shot on a breakaway to tie it.
Steal. Skate. Snipe. Celly. @mkeryluk‘s fifth of the year was a beauty 😳#WheelsUp✈ pic.twitter.com/ewraJsK6AZ
— Janesville Jets (@JanesvilleJets1) October 23, 2021
The goal from Keryluk was a shot to the arm heading into intermission, but the Wilderness exploited the Jets’ defensive efforts and scored three goals on just eight shots to pull away with the victory. Janesville came up empty on the power play (0/5) and recorded 43 shots on net in the loss.
Saturday, 10/23: L, 3-6
Saturday night’s chance for a third consecutive split series fell short for Janesville, who kept it close again through the first 40 minutes but succumbed to another rough third period. After Minnesota opened the scoring, the Wisconsin kid Robby Newton (2) capitalized on a big rebound and threw the puck into a yawning cage to tie it at one. The Wilderness got the following two goals to take a two-goal advantage, but the Jets stayed in the back pocket of their opponent. William Gustavsson (4) scored the final goal of the second period to make it a one-goal game again.
The game had the looks of going down to the wire thanks to Jan Lasak scoring his team-leading seventh goal just 42 seconds into the final period of regulation to tie it, but it was all Minnesota from there. Backed by two power-play goals and an empty-net goal, the Wilderness scored three straight in the third to get the 6-3 win. Unfortunately, the Jets’ league-worst penalty kill did not improve, as they allowed the Wilderness to score on all five of their power play opportunities in the loss.
The Jets will lick their wounds this week before they travel further north to set up shop in Alaska and take on the Anchorage Wolverines this upcoming weekend.
Around the Division
Chippewa Steel 2 @ Kenai River Brown Bears 4
Springfield Jr. Blues 3 @ Fairbanks Ice Dogs 4
Chippewa Steel 3 @ Kenai River Brown Bears 1
Springfield Jr. Blues 4 @ Fairbanks Ice Dogs 3
|1||Springfield Jr. Blues||15||10-5-0-0||20|
|2||Fairbanks Ice Dogs||14||9-4-0-1||19|
|8||Kenai River Brown Bears||13||2-11-0-0||4|
Jets @ Wolverines | Fri Oct 29 | 10:07pm CST
Jets @ Wolverines | Sat Oct 30 | 10:07pm CST