Similar to last night, the Jets struck first after some time in the opening period, a seeing-eye wrist shot from the blue line from Will Troutwine, his fourth of the season. Spencer Kring and Jimmy Doyle added assists on the play. It was Doyle’s first point as a Jet since joining the team before their home series against Anchorage.
After nearly a period and a half of scoreless action, the Jets went on the power play in the final minutes of the second period, and with 59 seconds left, managed to cash in on a UW-connection. Grayden Daul sent a nice pass down to the left circle, who some would call Ovi’s Office, to his future Badger-teammate Robby Newton who labeled a one-timer just past the near post and in. AJ Casperson picked up his 16th assist on the play.
“I got a great feed from Grayden [Daul] on that first one, he put it on a tee and I just had to hammer it home” said Newton. “It was great to get the power play going and set things up going into the third.”
The Jets made up for the lull in scoring between periods one and two and got on the board two and a half minutes into the third after Troutwine again found the back of the night for his second goal of the night and fifth of the season. What was seemingly a harmless toss to the Brown Bears’ net from the Eveleth, Minnesota native turned into a goal that resulted in a goaltending change for Kenai River.
“Playing hard defense is what I tried bringing first tonight and the goals came along as a plus,” Troutwine said. “It’s certainly nice to get some goals here and there, and it was great to get the win and keep them off the board. Lot’s of thanks to Owen [Millward] for that.” Troutwine’s two goals on the night brought his point total to 23 this year, the most on the Jets and fourth in the NAHL for defensemen.
Two and a half minutes after Troutwine’s goal, another d-man in AJ Casperson got on the board, making it consecutive games he found twine. While Cy LeClerc circled behind the net and back up towards the blue line, Casperson snuck down to the right-side faceoff circle and received a tape-to-tape pass from LeClerc and fired a one-timer past Bryant Marks. “We came in after the second in a tight game, and coach [Burgess] reiterated it’s a 0-0 hockey game, don’t take them lightly,” said Casperson. “We got some good bounces, put a few in the net, and got some more great goaltending from Milly for a nice win.”
At 8:14, Newton scored his second goal of the night after a puck that was thrown from the icing line leaked through the pads of Marks to get goal number five of the night and secure Culver’s cards for the fans. “It felt great getting those two in the back of the net, it really helped the confidence,” said the assistant captain Newton. “A little bit of luck with that second goal, but that’s why you throw it to the net. We worked together really well in that third period, made some good passes, and played some real Jet hockey that got us the win.”
Already up 5-0, Mack Keryluk poked a loose puck into the net out of a netmouth scramble that added one last goal to the Jets’ count. It was Keryluk’s eighth goal of the year, and LeClerc and Doyle both received credit for helpers, making it two on the night for them both.
After a stellar outing the night before from Michael D’Orazio, it was Owen Millward picking up where he left off and making 24 saves on 24 shots to record his third shutout of the season. It was the second shutout in the last three starts for the Californian netminder.
“The boys made it pretty easy for me, they were blocking a lot of shots, the PK was great, we did a great job shutting them down,” Millward said. When asked about the mentality going into the third and final game of the series, Milly explained that they would just need to keep things simple and play their own game. “We just have to come out and do what we did tonight; we didn’t give them any room, were firing on all cylinders, if we come out and play that same game we’ll get things done.”
The 6-0 victory was the largest winning margin of the year for the Jets, who moved up to just five points behind the fourth-place Minnesota Magicians in the Midwest division standings. The Magi host the Anchorage Wolverines, and the Minnesota Wilderness will have the Chippewa Steel in town tonight in two games that are certainly relevant to the Jets. Regardless of how the other games go, the Jets have a job to do, and that is finish the homestand on a high note, get all six points this weekend, and send the fans home happy in the last game from the Janesville Ice Arena for another six weeks.
One more game is on deck for the weekend, a Saturday night showdown to round out the homestand before another long trip away from the Hangar. Tonight is also American Cancer Society Night, featuring a ceremonial puck drop before the game from cancer survivors. If you’ve got some purple apparel, be sure to flaunt it at the game tonight! If you’ve won your battle with cancer, 1) we salute you, and 2) you can participate in the puck drop for tonight by signing up HERE. Doors open at 6 pm, followed by puck drop at 7. Tickets can be purchased on our Facebook page, at the entrance of the arena, or any Lions Quick Mart around Janesville.