The Janesville Jets welcomed their divisional rival, the Kenai River Brown Bears, for a trio of games over the weekend and finished the slate with a 1-2 record.
The Sunday series finale saw the Jets score the opening goal for the first time all weekend as Max Itagaki netted his second of the slate at 7:17 for a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Brown Bear offense exploded in the second period, and Kenai River scored four goals in less than six minutes and went up 4-1. The goals would go unanswered in the third, and the visiting team tallied another, shorthanded, to secure a 5-1 victory.
The middle outing between the two teams was close after one period. While the Brown Bears scored first, the Jets responded twice. Nick Leyer scored his debut goal as a Jet on the power play to put Janesville on the board, while veteran captain Carter Hottmann added his third career shorthanded tally to put the home team up 2-1.
The Jets kept their foot on the gas in the second and added goals from Charlie Schoen and Jake Sacratini. Kenai got one of their own to bring the score to 4-2 after 40 minutes.
Defenseman Spencer Kring joined the first goal club of the evening with a power play tally at 18:47 of the third period and Max Itagaki added an insurance empty-netter for the 6-3 win. Owen Millward earned the win in net for Janesville, his fifth of the season, and 12 different Jets contributed points on the night.
Friday’s game one was an uphill climb from the start as the Brown Bears got on the board with a shorthanded goal halfway through the first period, and padded their lead to 2-0 after 20 minutes.
Kenai added another for a three-goal lead early in the second, and while Cade Destefani scored his 10th of the season, the Brown Bears answered back twice for a 5-1 advantage through two periods. They scored once more in the final frame and came away with the 6-1 victory.
Janesville is now 8-6-2-0 on the season and in second place in the Midwest Division with 18 points.
The Jets have a home-and-home series with the Chippewa Steel this week. Game One is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 4 at 7:10 p.m. at Chippewa Ice Arena, and Game Two will be back in Janesville on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.