By: Rob Brent | March 2, 2019 | 10:45am
JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets took care of business Friday night, defeating the Chippewa Steel by a score of 5-2. Goaltender Cole Brady continued his run of solid play in net for the team, and the offense produced quality chances and capitalized on them. It was not a perfect effort, especially early on, but by the end of the game the Jets had rounded into form and gained two important points in the standings.
JETS RECOVER FROM SLOW START
The Jets got off to a sluggish start Friday night. Janesville was outshot 12-8 in the opening period, which was especially the case during the opening minutes of the contest. The Jets had a hard time getting out of their own end, as well as entering the attacking zone. Chippewa capitalized the slow start, scoring five minutes into the game on a powerplay goal. Goaltender Cole Brady was vital during this portion of the game, as he kept Janesville in the contest early.
However, the game would not continue this way. Janesville would turn it on, scoring twice to take the lead before the end of the period. From that point on, the offense controlled large portions of the game. The Jets scored five goals in regulation, a feat they accomplished for the first time since December 15th, 2018 (a 5-2 over the Minnesota Magicians).
Last Saturday, a game in which the Jets lost to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, a slow start doomed Janesville. Tonight the team regrouped, recovered, and responded to the tune of an offensive breakout. The Jets calling card this season has been winning close games, which is an important skill to have. At the same time, it is nice to win games by multiple goals, and the Jets could use more performances like this as they head into the playoffs.
OMMEN SHINES IN RETURN
Jets forward Logan Ommen returned to the lineup Friday night after missing the last three series with an injury which he had suffered February 8th against the Steel in Chippewa.
Ommen wasted no time making his presence felt, as he was instrumental in the Jets’ win. Ommen registered both an assist (on Tommy Middleton‘s first period goal that put the Jets up 2-1), as well as a goal of his own (on the powerplay, midway through the third period). This third period goal may have been his most important contribution. The Jets’ powerplay has been struggling as of late, and the return of Ommen may help those struggles if he continues to produce with the man advantage.
POWER PLAY CONTRIBUTES
As previously mentioned, Logan Ommen struck on the powerplay in the third period. However, this was not the only time the Jets’ special teams produced a goal. The first period saw Jack Vincent score with the extra attacker for his 13th goal of the season; A number that brings him into a tie with Matt Hanewall for team lead in goals scored. Hopefully this marks a turn around for the Jets’ special team efforts. Janesville has struggled with the man advantage for much of this season. Before tonight’s game, the Jets ranked third to last in powerplay percentage in the entire NAHL.
NAHL POWERPLAY PERCENTAGE RANKINGS
This was an especially encouraging performance because Chippewa has been killing penalties at an efficient rate this season. Although the Steel have struggled this season, their special teams have not been the reason for that. The Steel have been killing penalties at a rate of 82%, good for third in the Midwest division.
The Jets will take on the Chippewa Steel once again tonight in the series finale. Janesville sits third place in the Midwest division and is 2 points ahead of Springfield, and 6 points behind both Fairbanks and Minnesota who are tied for first place. Chippewa will look to break a 4 game losing streak, while the Jets try to improve upon their recent run of success that has seen the team win 7 of it’s last 10 games.
MIDWEST DIVISION STANDINGS
Tickets for tonight’s game can be bought online or at any Lion’s Quick Mart Location.