By: Rob Brent | February 23, 2019 | 12:00pm
JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets and Fairbanks Ice Dogs faced off Friday night in an important divisional matchup. The game turned into an absolute barn burner as the two teams traded blows; but it would be the Jets who came out on top in a thrilling conclusion that saw Janesville tie the game with 30 seconds left in the game before winning in the shootout.
JETS GET PRODUCTION FROM KEY PIECES
Washington Redskins Wide Receiver Santana Moss once said “Big time players make big time plays in big time games.” This adage rang true for the Jets in Friday night’s contest. Janesville got clutch performances from it’s three top scorers that lead to an important win against a divisional rival.
Jack Vincent put in an electric performance for the Jets, which earned him the first star of the game honors. The forward, who is the Jets leading scorer, netted the Jets’ first goal of the game on a highlight reel play that saw Vincent dangle around an Ice Dog defenseman before roofing the puck past an unsuspecting goaltender. Vincent played in an important role in the Jets’ lone powerplay of the night, which also served as the game tying marker. Vincent’s banner night was capped off when he scored the game winning shootout goal, going forehand to backhand to beat the Fairbanks’ goaltender.
Matt Hanewall continued his streak of clutch play, putting in the game tying goal with 30 seconds to play. Hanewall has been on fire for the Jets, and has played an important role in the teams’ recent turnaround. The forward also assisted on the first goal of the game to turn in a two point performance.
Nicholas Nardella also turned in a solid performance notching two assists, including one on the game tying goal. He was a key piece of the offense all night. The Michigan Tech commit now has four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in his last four games.
Apart from the forwards, goaltender Cole Brady was sterling in crucial moments. This was no more prevalent than in the shootout where Brady successfully stopped all three Ice Dogs’ attempts. This included the game winning save on former Jets’ captain Brenden MacLaren to seal the comeback win. Brady ended the night with 28 saves on 32 shots, but that doesn’t tell the full story as the goaltender was unbeatable when he had to be.
NEW LINE FINDS CHEMISTRY
The chemistry of lines on a team can be an important part as to whether the offense sputters, or lights the scoreboard up. Tonight, the Jets tinkered with the lineup and may have found a new effective line combination. This line consisted of three of the youngest players on the Jets’ roster (Erik Bargholtz, Carter Hottman, and newcomer Parker Lindauer). The three young forwards generated chances all night, which ultimately resulted in a goal for the Jets.
In his first game in junior hockey, Parker Lindauer scored in the second period on a tally that was assisted by Bargholtz and Hottman.
Lindauer was tendered by the Jets in November, but made his debut for Janesville last night after finishing up his senior high school season. A season that saw him score 70 points in 22 games.
The Madison, WI native is committed to play D1 hockey at Northern Michigan University in the WCHA conference.
Hottman, Bargholtz, and Lindauer seemed to click as a trio and if the solid play continues, their line combination could contribute every single night. Apart from the goal they produced, all three players also worked hard battling in the corners and played solid team defense. The trio all ended the game with a plus 1 rating, as their line produced a goal and did not give up any while on the ice.
Janesville found themselves down in the game twice during this game. They entered the second period with a one goal deficit at a score of 2-1. They followed through in the second period with two goals from Erik Palmqvist, and Parker Lindauer. Holding onto a lead going into the third, the Ice Dogs showed mettle of their own, scoring two quick goals to give them the lead in the third.
This was an important turning point in the game. The Jets had not been able to get much offense going in the third, and it seemed as if the game may be over. However, with a minute left in the contest, Fairbanks took a penalty that gave the Jets one last chance. With the two man advantage, due to the powerplay and pulling the goalie, Janesville converted to tie the game with just 30 seconds left in the game.
As we head towards the playoffs, dealing with adversity becomes a crucial part of a team’s fortunes. In recent games, the Jets have been dealing with this adversity better than they have all season. The ability to battle back against a team of Fairbanks’ quality is a strong indication of the Jets mental toughness at this point in the season.
Janesville will face off against Fairbanks in a rematch tonight. The Jets are still chasing the Ice Dogs in the Midwest Division standings, but they were able to gain a point with the shootout win. Janesville will look to improve upon the solid foundation they built in Friday night’s contest.
MIDWEST DIVISION STANDINGS
Tickets for tonight’s crucial rematch can be bought online or at any Lion’s Quick Mart Location.