By: Rob Brent | February 24, 2019 | 1:30pm
JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets did not get the effort they were looking for in Saturday night’s contest, falling to Fairbanks 2-0. The disappointing effort is made worse by the fact that it came off the back of a strong performance the night before.
The offense failed to threaten the Ice Dogs defense, and the defense allowed too many high quality chances. Read more about how the game played out in our three keys to the game.
The Jets may not be able to find many positives coming away from Saturday’s contest. However, one aspect that can be looked too as a plus was the Jet’s goaltending. Cole Brady was peppered all night and, for the most part, was up to the task.
The Pickering, Ontario native was solid throughout the game, and kept Janesville close in a contest that could have gotten ugly. Although the goaltender would likely like to have the first goal scored on him back, he still stood tall in net in Saturday’s contest.
Brady made 30 saves on 32 attempts, many of which were from high danger areas. The Fairbanks offense consistently broke down the Janesville defense, and pumped shot after shot into Brady. Teams have bad nights, and it is important to get strong performances from the goaltender on off nights. Brady did his job in net, but unfortunately the rest of the team could not match his efforts. If there are any positives to be taken from this game, it could be that the vaunted goaltender prospect may have righted the ship in net, as he has turned in three solid performances in a row after a stretch of inconsistency.
In complete contrast to the Ice Dogs side, the Janesville Jets were unable to produce much offense. Through two periods, the Jets had only tested Fairbanks’ goaltender, Matias Sholl, with eight shots. The offense would more than double their output in the third period alone, putting ten pucks on net, but a final total of 18 shots on goal is simply not enough to challenge opposing goaltenders.
Apart from their total output, the Jets offense was unable to capitalize on a few powerplay opportunities. The Jets went 0-3 on the powerplay, failing to take advantage of their chances to get back in the game. A strong penalty kill has become a staple of Fairbanks’ success, so it is especially important to take advantage of a power play when the opportunity presents itself. The Jets were able to do this Friday night, as they scored on their only powerplay opportunity (this was also the goal that sent that game into overtime). However, they could not do the same Saturday night, coming away empty handed.
The Jets offense has been sputtering as of late, even in wins, and they must be able to get more shots towards the net if they hope to win more games in the future.
EARLY PERIOD WOES
When the Jets have lost recently, they have followed a pattern of allowing goals at the very beginning and end of periods. This trend continued in this game. The Fairbanks Ice Dogs scored two goals in this game, the first of which came 1:02 into the second period. Their second goal was scored just 28 seconds into the third period.
The beginning and end of periods are crucial moments of the game, as it can set the tone for the rest of the frame. Too often in recent weeks, the Jets have started periods lackadaisically, which has lead to goals being scored against them. Tonight, the opening minutes of the second and third period sunk the Jets and ultimately lost them the game.
The Jets will look to improve upon the issues that cropped up in tonight’s game as they stay in Janesville next weekend. The Jets will take on the Chippewa Steel in a battle of Wisconsin. Chippewa sits at the bottom of the division, and have lost their last three games. Janesville will have to hope they can take advantage of this series as an opportunity to refine their game. This is not to say the Steel should be overlooked (the two teams played a very tight series in Chippewa recently), but it should be a chance for the Jets to get back into winning habits.
MIDWEST DIVISION STANDINGS
Tickets to the next weekend’s series against Chippewa can be bought ONLINE or at any Lions’ Quick Mart Location