Overtime Madness Ends with Jets Victory Friday Night

By Calvin Bush (@calvin_bush24) | Jan 30, 2022 | 5:45 pm

ANCHORAGE, AK — After scoring their only two goals in regulation in the first period, the Jets took a 2-2 tie into one of the most entertaining overtime periods of the season, and scored the game-winner with just 30 seconds left to steal two big points against the Wolverines on Friday night. Both teams had odd-man rushes and a breakaway or two in the extra frame, with both goaltenders standing tall until almost the very end of the 3-on-3 chaos.

Friday night was the start of the Jets’ final set of games against Alaskan teams in the regular season. In their five games against the newest divisional opponent in Anchorage, the Jets were 2-3 and averaging three goals per game.

In a very loud and daunting arena in the Ben Boeke, the Jets silenced the rowdy crowd seven minutes into the contest after defenseman Spencer Kring launched his second goal of the season into the back of the net. Zigi Lasak and William Gustavsson assisted on the goal.

The rest of the period remained relatively quiet, other than goaltender Owen Millward making one of the more spectacular saves you’ll see this year. On a 2-on-1 for the Wolverines, Millward had to make a heavy push from left to right to maintain the Jets lead, and he did not disappoint.

The big stop kept the Wolverines off the board and the Jets in front. A few minutes after Milly’s sprawling save, Jack Ford made a nice play by blindly backhanding a rebound in front of the net past Raythan Robbins. Ford had his back turned to the net but used some great awareness to slide his third goal home, with assists from Cannon Lentz and Kring.

That capped off the scoring for the Jets for the following two periods, but the Wolverines were certainly not going down easy. Three minutes into the second period, Campbell Cichosz scored on the power play to break the scoreless drought for the Wolverines and get them to within a goal.

Just over a minute and a half later, Anchorage’s leading scorer Talon Sigurdson added his 29th goal of the season to his count to tie the game at two. Both goals were a little fluky, but when you’re the second-highest scoring team in the league, you find a way.

Somehow, neither team scored in the final period of regulation. The Jets appeared to have the tie-breaking goal on a back-door play between Cy LeClerc and Lasak, but somehow, Robbins kept the puck out despite almost the entire 6×4 frame open. Solid defense from both squads certainly aided in the goal-less third, with only a combined 13 shots shared between the two in the last 20.

“That third period was a crazy one,” said Jets goaltender Owen Millward. “It really put us to the test; it required a lot of mental toughness from the guys after the disallowed goal and multiple penalties. I loved the effort we showed defensively, especially Trouts [Will Troutwine] with a huge block on the 5-on-3. That gave me a ton of confidence knowing the guys had my back.”

An empty third took the 2-2 tie into overtime. It was the sixth game to reach overtime for the Jets this season and the seventh for the Wolverines, who had just won their previous game against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in overtime last weekend, 4-3.

A breakaway for the Wolverines was stopped by Millward, followed by scoring chances and odd-man rushes both ways, all the way into the final 60 seconds of an incredibly entertaining OT. Finally, Mack Keryluk secured the extra point with 30 seconds left.

After the Wolverines broke out on the rush, Cal Mell made a textbook check to knock his man off the puck. That sprung Keryluk into the attacking end, who threw a bad-angle shot on net that forced Robbins to make a save. The rebound kicked out to a streaking Grayden Daul, who slid a perfect pass to an awaiting Keryluk on the back door to end the bedlam and get the Jets the win.

“It felt great to get the win for the boys; I just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” said the winning goal-scorer Mack Keryluk. The OT-winner was Keryluk’s ninth goal of the season and stunned the once-deafening crowd at the Ben Boeke Ice Arena.

“Milly [Millward] made some game-winning saves for us, which was huge. He’s the reason we were able to come away with that win,” said Keryluk.

“That overtime was probably the craziest I’ve ever been a part of,” said Millward. “The crowd was insanely loud, especially whenever Anchorage had a scoring chance, which added an extra level of difficulty.” Though the Wolverines only put forth three shots in overtime, Millward’s point of the extreme noise added to the scoring chances forced the defensive play much to be more strategic. “The guys showed an unreal level of compete, and I think we were able to feed off each other’s energy leading up to Macker’s game-winner.”

Millward made 21 saves on 23 shots en route to his 16th win of the season and seventh in nine games. The Jets’ offensive attack was heavy, as a total of 39 shots made it to the net of Robbins.

The Jets now own a 15-5-0-1 record after scoring the game’s first goal.

BOX SCORE

The final game from Alaska will be tonight at 7 PM CT and can be viewed on HockeyTV. Otherwise, we’ll provide you with some in-depth coverage on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.


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