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Jets Add Four in 2016 NAHL Entry Draft

By Mason Lyttle

 

JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), made four selections in Tuesday’s NAHL Entry Draft, including three of the first 20 overall picks.

With the team’s first selection, fourth overall, the Jets selected defenseman Frank Sullivan, a 1996-born native of Fairfield, Connecticut. Last season, Sullivan (6-0/187) registered eight goals and eight assists for 16 points and added 118 penalty minutes with the Grande Prairie Storm of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Sullivan was also a fourth round selection of the Charlottetown Islanders in the 2014 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft.

With the eighth overall selection, the Jets selected left winger Jakov Novak, who played prep high school with New Hampton School in New Hampton, New Hampshire. There, Novak (6-3/201) tallied 37 goals and 21 assists for 58 points in 40 games. Novak, a 1998-born native of Riverside, Ontario, Canada, also skated in 12 games with the New Hampshire Avalanche U18 midget program, scoring seven goals.

With its final selection of the first round, Janesville drafted future Wisconsin Badger forward Joey Abate. Abate (6-2/170) skated with Team Fastenal Tool, winners of last month’s Janesville Jets U18 Midget Tournament in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. The 1998-born forward was born in Bloomingdale, Illinois, and played last year with the Chicago Mission U18 team in the High Performance Hockey League, putting up 24 points on 15 goals and nine assists through 21 games. Abate has five games’ experience in the USHL, all with the Bloomington Thunder.

With its final pick in the draft, Janesville used its fourth round selection on right winger Zac Robbins (5-10/181), who played in 59 games with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders last season. In Cedar Rapids, Robbins, a Glenview, Illinois, native, scored seven goals and added 10 assists for 17 points. Robbins has 43 games of NAHL experience with the Johnstown Tomahawks, potting 12 goals and adding 17 assists for 29 points in 2014-2015.

Listed below are each of the 2016 Jets draft picks, organized by round order.

 

1st Round, 4th Overall: Frank Sullivan (D) | Fairfield, CT | Grande Prairie Storm (AJHL)

1st Round, 8th Overall: Jakov Novak (LW) | Riverside, ON | New Hampton School (USHS)

1st Round, 20th Overall: Joey Abate (F) | Bloomingdale, IL | Chicago Mission U18 (HPHL)

4th Round, 92nd Overall: Zac Robbins (RW) | Glenview, IL | Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)

 

Contact the Janesville Jets’ front office at (608) 752-JETS, or go to www.janesvillejets.com for details on main camp, season ticket information, and sponsorship opportunities. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).

 

— JANESVILLE JETS —

Jets Acquire Kyle Patava from Jackalopes

By Mason Lyttle

JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have acquired forward Kyle Patava from the Odessa Jackalopes in exchange for a fifth round pick in the 2017 NAHL Entry Draft. Patava previously played for the Jets from 2013 to 2015.

“We’re excited to see what Kyle can do for us,” said Jets head coach and general manager Joe Dibble. “Now he’s got a bit more seasoning, including some USHL experience, and we’ll see how he can fit into our locker room now as a veteran player.”

Patava, 20, played 74 games over two seasons in Janesville, tallying 19 goals and 35 assists for 54 points with the Jets. He moved up to the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers in November of 2014, playing the remainder of the season in his home state. Patava began last season with the NAHL’s Lone Star Brahmas before a midseason trade sent him to the Minnesota Wilderness, setting the stage for Patava to eliminate his former team in the Midwest Division Semi-Finals.

“That was kind of a weird feeling, for sure,” admitted Patava. “But at the same time, you have on a different jersey and you’re there to do the same job: win a playoff series. It was really fun to play against a franchise I was once a part of, and now I’m excited to be a part of it again.”

Patava played in 46 games in the 2015-16 NAHL regular season. Between the Brahmas and the Wilderness, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound forward scored 12 goals and added 10 assists for 22 points.

“I try to use my size a lot to be a powerful, 200-foot player,” Patava said. “If the team needs somebody to step up, I’m up for the challenge.”

Patava’s last game with Janesville was a 3-2 road shootout win over the Austin Bruins on Veteran’s Day, 2014. The only current Jets from that night’s roster are Adam Roeder, Cullen Munson, and Kip Hoffmann, who was drafted by the USHL’s Omaha Lancers earlier this month. As a veteran entering his last season of junior hockey, Patava understands his role as a locker room leader.

“I’ve put my time in in this league,” said Patava, who has played 136 regular season and postseason games in the NAHL, in addition to 42 USHL games with Des Moines. “I’ve had my ups and downs in my career, just like everybody else has, and I wouldn’t want to help lead any other team than the Jets. It’s my favorite team I’ve played on in the whole North American League. From the top to the bottom, it’s run the right way. I’m looking forward to coming back.”

Contact the Janesville Jets’ front office at (608) 752-JETS, or go to www.janesvillejets.com for details on player camps, season ticket information, and sponsorship opportunities. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).

 

— JANESVILLE JETS —

Fernandez Makes Division I Commitment

By Mason Lyttle

JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that forward Taylor Fernandez has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the Ferris State Bulldogs of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).

“I always wanted to come back to Michigan and play college here,” said Fernandez, a native of Northville, MI, about three hours away from the Ewigleben Arena, home of the Bulldogs. “That was always my number one goal, even before I started juniors. It’s always been a dream of mine and I’m glad to have accomplished that.”

Fernandez, 21, made his commitment shortly after finishing his third complete season in the NAHL. Beginning his career with the Port Huron Fighting Falcons, Fernandez tallied 14 points in 47 games before the franchise moved to Connellsville, Pennsylvania, and became the Keystone Ice Miners. With Keystone, a division rival of Janesville last year, Fernandez took a step forward and potted 13 goals beside 26 assists for 39 points in 59 games. In his last year of junior hockey, the 5’10”, 185-pound forward was a significant contributor to Janesville’s attack. He set career highs in goals (22), assists (27), and points (49) as a key pivot in the Jets’ top six.

“Coming to Janesville was huge,” Fernandez said. “Things are done different here. [Jets head coach and general manager Joe] Dibble pushed us harder than I’ve ever been pushed before. He helped me turn myself into a complete, well-rounded hockey player.”

Dibble, who this fall will enter his fifth season behind Janesville’s bench, agreed with Fernandez’s self-assessment.

“I think this year what you saw from Taylor was a complete dedication to improving his game away from the puck,” Dibble said. “He’s always had a bit of skill in his game, but this season I think he realized he can maximize his scoring opportunities by dedicating himself to the 200-foot game and winning positional battles. He’s an incredibly devoted, smart hockey player and should benefit the Bulldogs’ program greatly.”

The Bulldogs are only adding to their war chest with Fernandez. Bob Daniels, Ferris State’s head coach since 1992, led the program to a WCHA Conference Tournament Championship this season on top of a 20-15-6 regular season record. Fernandez, who represented the NAHL’s Midwest Division at February’s Top Prospects Tournament in Plymouth, Michigan, was attracted to the program’s quality coaching staff.

“I’m extremely excited to play under him,” Fernandez said of Daniels, who won the 2013-14 WCHA Coach of the Year Award following a 29-win campaign. “I got to meet them all yesterday. They’re real straight-shooters. As long as I go in and work hard every single day, I think I’ll have an opportunity to play, and perhaps an opportunity to extend my hockey career even after college. They’ve been really successful, especially lately, so I’m excited to join that program.”

Fernandez becomes the tenth player of the 2015-16 Janesville Jets to commit to a Division I program, joining Adam Winborg (Michigan), Blake Weyrick (Canisius), Dawson DiPietro (Western Michigan), Shane Sellar (Dartmouth), Jack LaFontaine (Michigan), Nils Rygaard (Alaska-Anchorage), Kip Hoffmann (Alaska-Anchorage), Jack Gates (Colorado College), and Michael Maloney (Brown).

Contact the Janesville Jets’ front office at (608) 752-JETS, or go to www.janesvillejets.com for details on player camps, season ticket information, and sponsorship opportunities. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).

— JANESVILLE JETS —

Jets Hire Forte as Assistant Coach

By Mason Lyttle

JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), have hired Kyle Forte as their new assistant coach. Forte will take over for the departing Cody Campbell, who accepted a head coaching position in the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) in late April.

Forte, 25, arrives in his position with the Jets after four seasons in the North American Tier III Hockey League (NA3HL) with the Cincinnati Thunder, where he served as the assistant coach. With the Thunder, Forte recruited both domestically and internationally, planned practices and player events, and clipped video. As a player, he was a product of the Shattuck St. Mary’s program before playing for the NAHL’s Springfield Jr. Blues, and ultimately played Division III hockey with the Lawrence University Vikings in Appleton, Wisconsin.

“I’ve known Kyle for a long time now,” said Jets head coach and general manager Joe Dibble. “He played for me in Springfield when I was the assistant there. He’s a standup guy who’s going to work his tail off to get the results we need.”

Since 2011, he has also served as President of Pride Passion Purpose Hockey, a summer camp whose main goal is to help every player reach his or her maximum potential going into the next season. As President, Forte advanced more than 150 players to the junior A, college, and professional ranks.

“We’ve always been a team-first organization, and I think Kyle has proved he’s of a similar mindset in his years with P3,” Dibble said. “He understands our league is about player development and is going to work the long hours necessary to improve, teach, and find opportunities for our guys.”

Forte has also demonstrated his understanding of hockey’s role in a community. In 2013, he created a non-profit called Athletes for a Better Tomorrow to raise money for academic and athletic scholarships for youth athletes.

“Since I got to Janesville, I’ve done my best to make sure that our guys and our organization gives back to the community that supports us,” Dibble said. “Whether it was [former assistant coach Erik] Largen doing the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event or [Jets captain] Alex Smith winning the division’s Community Service Award this year, we’ve always done everything we can to give back, and it’s great that Kyle understands that, too.”

Forte also echoed the culture of discipline that Dibble has carefully built over his four seasons in Janesville.

“When I played for Dibble, it was all about pushing yourself and making yourself the best player, the best human being you can be,” said Forte. “I’m excited to start giving what I can to the Jets organization. I’m ready to get grinding.”

Contact the Janesville Jets’ front office at (608) 752-JETS, or go to www.janesvillejets.com for details on player camps, season ticket information, and sponsorship opportunities. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).

 

— JANESVILLE JETS —

Five Current Jets Selected in USHL Draft

By Mason Lyttle

 

JANESVILLE, WI – With the 68th overall selection in the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Phase II Draft Tuesday morning, the Madison Capitols selected Janesville Jets defenseman Blake Wareham, beginning a highlight day for the Jets organization. In all, five players from the 2015-16 Jets were selected, in addition to three other players with Jets experience.

Following Wareham’s selection, the Omaha Lancers selected future University Alaska-Anchorage forward Kip Hoffmann in the 9th round (137th overall), the Fargo Force selected forwards Cole Paskus in the 9th round (141st overall) and Martin Sundberg in the 15th round (237th overall), and the Lincoln Stars selected future Brown University forward Michael Maloney in the 16th round (257th overall).

Defenseman Zak Galambos, who played for the Jets last season, was selected in the 3rd round (36th overall) by Madison. With the 93rd overall selection in the 6th round, the Dubuque Fighting Saints picked Austin Rueschhoff, who played in a pair of games with the Jets last season as an affiliate player. Then, in the 13th round, the Stars picked 2015-16 affiliate player and Middleton native Jack Vincent with the 209th overall pick.

The eight players combine for 311 total games played with the Janesville Jets.

“We’re incredibly proud of these guys,” said Jets head coach and general manager Joe Dibble. “Every one of them earned their selection, and we want to wish them the best next year, whether it’s here, in the USHL, or in college. Days like this are what this organization is about.”

Contact the Janesville Jets’ front office at (608) 752-JETS, or go to www.janesvillejets.com for details on player camps, season ticket information, and sponsorship opportunities. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).

 

— JANESVILLE JETS —

Campbell Accepts 16U Position in Colorado

By Mason Lyttle

 

JANESVILLE, WI – Cody Campbell, the Janesville Jets’ assistant coach for the 2015-16 season, has accepted a head coaching position for the U16 team of the Pikes Peak Miners AAA hockey program of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL).

Campbell, 24, returns to his home state of Colorado following a successful season in Janesville, in which the Jets posted a 35-18-7 record and finished in second place in the extremely competitive Midwest Division.

“I’m personally proud of the job he’s done this year,” said head coach and general manager Joe Dibble, who this fall will begin his fifth year behind the bench in Janesville. “Obviously our season didn’t end the way we wanted it to, with a first round playoff loss, but what we were able to do on the player advancement side of things has been a big success. Wins and losses aside, with Cody’s help, we’ve been able to land nine kids Division I deals, with potentially a couple more to come. Cody’s capacity for mentorship will translate out in Colorado, and I know he’ll do great things.”

The Pikes Peak Miners program features a 20U, an 18U, and a 16U team, and is headed up by president Cory Portner. The 16U team plays a 25-game season in the NAPHL. With Luke Fulghum as head coach this season, the Miners finished 7-16-2, 14th of 19 teams in the 16U Division.

“There’s some work to be done out there, I’m sure,” Dibble said. “But I know Cody can help develop a winning culture there. You look at last year when [Erik] Largen left for Marian University, that was a program that wasn't yet where it wanted to be. He came in and they finished ranked 11th in the nation. Cody can have the same kind of impact, and his attitude about player development and advancement is a great fit for a AAA program like Pikes Peak.”

Campbell arrived in Janesville in August of last season as a late-summer replacement for Largen. His brief, nine-month tenure with the Jets means Dibble’s responsibilities will temporarily increase, and he’ll have to begin another search, but doesn’t seem too bothered by it.

“Obviously it’s not easy to keep finding new assistant coaches, but it’s just like replacing talented players,” Dibble said. “This program isn’t about being an end goal for anybody. It’s about advancement. We work hard to find talent to bring in, but whether it’s a coach, a player, staff, or anybody else, we want to do two things: develop talent, and advance the person to the next stage. I’m happy for Cody and excited to see what he can do in this next step of his career.”

Contact the Janesville Jets’ front office at (608) 752-JETS, or go to www.janesvillejets.com for details on pre-draft camps, season ticket information, and sponsorship opportunities. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).

— JANESVILLE JETS —

Winborg Makes Division I Commitment

By Mason Lyttle

JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that forward Adam Winborg has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the Michigan Wolverines of the Big Ten.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Winborg, whose current teammate and goaltender, Jack LaFontaine, committed to the Wolverines in December. “To play for a Big Ten school, especially Michigan, is exciting. Everything about their program is just top of the line.”

Winborg (6-1/190), who was named team MVP at the 2015-16 team banquet last week, is just finishing his fourth season of junior hockey in Wisconsin. The past three of those have come with Janesville. After playing 49 games with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers as a 17-year-old, Winborg joined the Jets and has redefined scoring consistency. Early this season, Winborg passed Ross Mauermann as Janesville’s all-time leading scorer with his 101st career point as a Jet. Playing top six and first unit power play this year, Winborg has pushed that mark to a virtually unreachable 145.

“I’ve enjoyed my time in Janesville so much,” said Winborg, whose 62 career goals also rank him first in team history. “Especially my second year, the record-setting year. Then this year I think we have what it takes to have everything end with a championship. It could be a great ending to my three years here.”

The Michigan Wolverines hockey program under legendary head coach Red Berenson has been among the most decorated in the country. With Berenson, Michigan qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 22 consecutive seasons from 1991 to 2012. Berenson has guided Michigan to 11 Frozen Four appearances and two NCAA championships, in 1996 and 1998.

Regardless of skill, a career that resembles Winborg’s is rare in the landscape of junior hockey. To play for the same league, team, and coach for three consecutive seasons might be seen by some players as spinning the wheels without advancing anywhere. Asked about this, the Jets’ alternate captain displayed the emotional maturity exemplified in the “A” on his jersey this season.

“It meant a lot to keep playing here,” Winborg said. Coach [Joe] Dibble has kept his trust in me in all situations. I haven’t always been scoring goals, but there’s always been something to do. That’s something he’s always put in me. There’s always more room to work hard and I can always do something to help the team succeed.”

Dibble agrees.

“Winborg’s maturity is part of what makes him such an incredible hockey player,” said Dibble, who is finishing his fourth year as the Jets’ head coach and general manager. “He came over from Sweden at such a young age and has battled through so much adversity, including injuries, and he’s just battled back and been better every time.”

Dibble said Winborg’s recent dedication to improving his defensive play is likely what set him apart from other prospects for Michigan.

“He’s come a long way in his career, but this year, too,” Dibble said. “He pays a lot of attention to the details of the game and constantly looks for ways to improve. This year he noticed he had an opportunity to improve his play away from the puck, and he took it. He’s not the kind of kid to see opportunities to improve and pass on them. He pushes himself the same way he pushes his teammates. He’s been a great face of this organization.”

Winborg becomes the ninth player of the 2015-16 Janesville Jets to commit to a Division I program, joining Blake Weyrick (Canisius), Dawson DiPietro (Western Michigan), Shane Sellar (Dartmouth), Jack LaFontaine (Michigan), Nils Rygaard (Alaska-Anchorage), Kip Hoffmann (Alaska-Anchorage), Jack Gates (Colorado College), and Michael Maloney (Brown).

Contact the Janesville Jets’ front office at (608) 752-JETS, or go to www.janesvillejets.com for details on the 2016 Robertson Cup Playoffs, season ticket information, and sponsorship opportunities. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).

 

— JANESVILLE JETS —

Jets Player Award Winners Announced

JANESVILLE, WI – In partnership with Best Events, Forward Janesville, and Whiton House, the Janesville Jets held their annual end-of-season banquet on Tuesday night at the historic Armory in downtown Janesville. Adam Burish, who won the 2006 NCAA Championship with Joe Pavelski and the Wisconsin Badgers, and was also a 2010 Stanley Cup Champion with the Chicago Blackhawks, served as the evening’s keynote speaker. More than 120 season ticket holders, sponsors, billets, and fans attended the event.

To close the festivities, the Jets named the winners of seven individual player awards, as voted on by the players. Fourth-year head coach Joe Dibble announced the recipients.

 

Defensive Player of the Year – LordAnthony Grissom

2015: Zach Yoder (Air Force)

Grissom used his 6’4” frame all season to clear pucks and opposing players from in front of his own net. The former Keystone Ice Miner skated to a +12 mark in 56 games during the regular season, and particularly excelled in a stretch from late January through early March. Grissom posted a +12 in those 11 games, and in nine of those, the Jets earned at least a point. The Detroit native excelled as the season progressed, displaying dominant defensive play in front of the net, in the corners, and in the neutral zone.

Offensive Player of the Year – Adam Winborg

2015: Zach LaValle (Miami)

This season, much as he has for his three-year Jets career, Winborg used his size and skill to consistently make plays and generate scoring chances. Playing in 56 games, the Swede posted 55 points, a mark that came close to tying the franchise’s single-season scoring mark of 61, set last year by Zach LaValle. Winborg’s offensive prowess was especially notable on the man advantage, when he clicked nine times and added 11 assists for 20 total points on the power play.

Most Improved Player – Cole Paskus

2015: Zach Solow (Dubuque Fighting Saints)             

Paskus, a Madison native, struggled at times to begin his first season in the North American Hockey League. Through his first 24 games, Paskus tallied seven points, hardly a paltry mark, but markedly different than the production he found towards the end of the season. As Paskus moved around in the lineup and began to find his groove, the responsibilities and the playing time increased. He finished with points in eight of the last nine games, including a pair of game-winning goals in a three-game home series versus the Springfield Jr. Blues.

Rookie of the Year – Jack LaFontaine

2015: Matt Jurusik (Wisconsin)

The Jets’ starting goaltender began and finished the season on the NHL’s Central Scouting list, ending as the 13th-ranked North American goaltender. Last year, his final season playing in his home province Ontario, LaFontaine won 20 of 30 games for the Georgetown Raiders of the Ontario Junior Hockey League at a .923 save percentage. The Mississauga native was a late summer addition from Dibble and his hockey operations staff, and began the season on fire, posting a 13-5-3 record in his first 20 games. LaFontaine, who committed to Michigan in December, finished the regular season on an even better streak. He has not been tagged with a regulation loss since February 6th.

Ironman Award – Cullen Munson

2015: Nils Rygaard (Alaska-Anchorage)

The second-year Jet from Edina, Minnesota, host of the 2016 Robertson Cup Final Four, was the only Jets player to play in all 60 regular season games. Munson is neither big nor small at 5’11” and 181 pounds, but he regularly goes to the dirty areas and is unafraid to block shots. Munson, who missed just one game last season, also finished with 30 points, tied for fourth on the team.

Community Service Award – Alex Smith

2015: Alex Smith

The Janesville Jets organization understands its role in supporting the community that supports them. To that end, the Jets devote about 2000 total hours per season to community service projects, and have made in-kind donations of over $1700 in value. Regular community partners and events include Mercy Health System, the Salvation Army and its bell ringing project, the Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Toys for Tots project. Smith, who is finishing his third year in Janesville, exemplifies the Jets’ commitment to community not only how much time he gives, but in how he gives it. Smith is consistently the first to arrive and the last to leave community appearances, and demonstrates an understanding of the importance of giving back.

Most Valuable Player – Adam Winborg

2015: Matt Jurusik (Wisconsin)

This season becoming the Janesville Jets’ all-time leading scorer, Winborg’s offensive production and dedication to improving his play away from the puck earned him the Most Valuable Player title. Dibble also stressed Winborg’s commitment to team excellence as a key factor for this recognition, emphasizing that Winborg has shown all season a passion for the advancement of his teammates in all spheres of life. Whether it’s helping someone with homework, pushing someone the extra mile in the gym, or offering support to rookies in practice, Winborg’s positivity and energy, combined with his on-ice production, earned him MVP honors.

Contact the Janesville Jets’ front office at (608) 752-JETS, or go to www.janesvillejets.com for details on playoff ticket information. Stay connected to the Jets on their Road to the Robertson Cup through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).

Playoff Schedule Set

By Mason Lyttle

JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets earned a point in a road overtime loss on Saturday night, clinching 2nd place in the Midwest Division and ensuring home ice advantage in the Midwest Division Semi-Finals series versus the Minnesota Wilderness.

The best-of-five series will begin on Friday, April 15 at the Janesville Ice Arena with a rally towel giveaway provided by Timeout Pub & Eatery. Additionally, the first 100 fans to enter the building on Friday night will receive a ticket for a complimentary draft beer.

All regular season ticket rates will freeze as playoff ticket prices. Adults will be $8, while seniors (60+), children (5-14), students, and military will be admitted for $6. Children under 5 are free. All tickets pre-ordered before Thursday at 5:00 pm CST can be purchased for $5 each.

 

Midwest Division Semi-Finals

 (2) Janesville Jets vs. (3) Minnesota Wilderness

Game 1: Friday, 4/15/16 at 7:00 pm CST at Janesville Ice Arena

Game 2: Saturday, 4/16/16 at 7:00 pm CST at Janesville Ice Arena

Game 3: Friday, 4/22/16 at 7:30 pm CST at Northwoods Credit Union Arena

Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday, 4/23/16 at 7:30 pm CST at Northwoods Credit Union Arena

Game 5 (if necessary): Monday, 4/25/16 at 7:00 pm CST at Janesville Ice Arena

 

(1) Fairbanks Ice Dogs vs. (4) Coulee Region Chill

Game 1: Friday, 4/15/16 at 10:30 pm CST at Big Dipper Ice Arena

Game 2: Saturday, 4/16/16 at 10:30 pm CST at Big Dipper Ice Arena

Game 3: Sunday, 4/17/16 at 8:00 pm CST at Big Dipper Ice Arena

Game 4 (if necessary): Friday, 4/22/16 at 7:00 pm CST at Green Island Ice Arena

Game 5 (if necessary): Saturday, 4/23/16 at 7:00 pm CST at Green Island Ice Arena

 

Central Division Semi-Finals

(1) Bismarck Bobcats vs. (4) Brookings Blizzard

Game 1: Friday, 4/15/16 at 7:15 pm CST at VFW Sports Center

Game 2: Saturday, 4/16/16 at 7:15 pm CST at VFW Sports Center

Game 3: Friday, 4/22/16 at 7:30 pm CST at Larson Ice Center (Red)

Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday, 4/23/16 at 7:30 pm CST at Larson Ice Center (Red)

Game 5 (if necessary): Monday, 4/25/16 at 7:15 pm CST at VFW Sports Center

 

(2) Minot Minotauros vs. (3) Austin Bruins

Game 1: Friday, 4/15/16 at 7:35 pm CST at Maysa Arena

Game 2: Saturday, 4/16/16 at 7:35 pm CST at Maysa Arena

Game 3: Friday, 4/22/16 at 7:05 pm CST at Riverside Arena

Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday, 4/23/16 at 7:05 pm CST at Riverside Arena

Game 5 (if necessary): Monday, 4/25/16 at 7:05 pm CST at Maysa Arena

 

East Division Semi-Finals

(1) Aston Rebels vs. (4) Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights

Game 1: Friday, 4/15/16 at 6:00 pm CST at Ice Works Complex

Game 2: Saturday, 4/16/16 at 6:00 pm CST at Ice Works Complex

Game 3: Friday, 4/22/16 at 6:00 pm CST at Rev Ice Centre

Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday, 4/23/16 at 6:00 pm CST at Rev Ice Centre

Game 5 (if necessary): Monday, 4/25/16 at 6:00 pm CST at Ice Works Complex

 

(2) New Jersey Jr. Titans vs. (3) Johnstown Tomahawks

Game 1: Thursday, 4/14/16 at 6:15 pm CST at Middletown Ice World

Game 2: Friday, 4/15/16 at 7:00 pm CST at Middletown Ice World

Game 3: Friday, 4/22/16 at 6:30 pm CST at Cambria County War Memorial

Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday, 4/23/16 at 6:30 pm CST at Cambria County War Memorial

Game 5 (if necessary): Monday, 4/25/16 at 6:45 pm CST at Middletown Ice World

 

South Division Semi-Finals

(1) Wichita Falls Wildcats vs. (4) Odessa Jackalopes

Game 1: Friday, 4/15/16 at 7:05 pm CST at Kay Yeager Coliseum

Game 2: Saturday, 4/16/16 at 7:05 pm CST at Kay Yeager Coliseum

Game 3: Friday, 4/22/16 at 7:05 pm CST at Ector County Coliseum

Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday, 4/23/16 at 7:05 pm CST at Ector County Coliseum

Game 5 (if necessary): Monday, 4/25/16 at 7:05 pm CST at Kay Yeager Coliseum

 

(2) Lone Star Brahmas vs. (3) Topeka RoadRunners

Game 1: Friday, 4/15/16 at 7:30 pm CST at NYTX Arena

Game 2: Saturday, 4/16/16 at 7:30 pm CST at NYTX Arena

Game 3: Friday, 4/22/16 at 7:05 pm CST at Kansas ExpoCentre

Game 4 (if necessary): Saturday, 4/23/16 at 7:05 pm CST at Kansas ExpoCentre

Game 5 (if necessary): Monday, 4/25/16 at 7:00 pm CST at NYTX Arena

 

For tickets, call the Jets ticket line at (608) 752-5387. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).

— JANESVILLE JETS —

Jets Clinch Playoff Berth

By Mason Lyttle

JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets are headed to the Roberston Cup Playoffs for the third consecutive season.

With a second period short-handed goal from Cole Paskus and a 16-save shutout from Jack LaFontaine, the Jets defeated their oldest rivals, the Springfield Jr. Blues, on Saturday, and clinched a berth in the 2016 Robertson Cup Playoffs.

Jets head coach and general manager Joe Dibble is still focused on making use of his five remaining regular season games.

“We definitely want home ice advantage,” said Dibble, who is finishing his fourth year in Janesville. “Don’t get me wrong, we’re happy we secured the spot, but in Janesville, with this culture we’ve established, making the playoffs is an expectation. Getting into second place is our next mission.”

It seems quite possible. With 70 points, Janesville sits just two points behind the Minnesota Wilderness’ 72, with two games in hand on the team that ousted Janesville in last year’s tournament. Total wins would break a tie, and in the event of an even draw in that column, Janesville, with an 8-2-2 regular season record versus Minnesota, holds the tiebreaker.

Securing second place means hosting the first two games of the best-of-five Midwest Division Semi-Finals series, with a potential fifth game in Janesville. Then, depending on seeding, the Jets would either surrender home ice advantage to the first-ranked Fairbanks Ice Dogs, or host either Springfield or the Coulee Region Chill. The Robertson Cup Semi-Finals and Finals, this year titled as the Robertson Cup Final Four, will take place in Edina, Minnesota. The Semi-Finals series are best-of-three, and the winners will play a one-game playoff to determine the Robertson Cup Champion.

Following a successful weekend, Janesville has now won five of its last seven games, and nine of its last 12. The Jets have earned at least one point in 12 of its last 16 games played. If there’s one hockey truism in spring, it’s to be aware of who’s heating up at the right time.

Last year’s record-setting Jets lost just once in their final 24 games, a mark that’s genuinely difficult to grasp. But Dibble and captain Alex Smith are beginning to see similarities between the two teams.

“They’re definitely similar,” said Smith of last year’s and this year’s Jets. “I think we have a full and deep team. We have skilled forwards and grinding forwards. We have great defensemen. The goaltending is outstanding with [Blake] Weyrick and Jack [LaFontaine]. I definitely think this team can go all the way.”

Dibble identified intangible parallels between the two squads.

“It’s a similar team to last year when you look at the human beings that are in that room,” said last year’s NAHL General Manager of the Year. “That’s the special part. The type of character we have in that room, the group that we have, the bond they have with one another, that’s what makes it special. These guys aren’t willing to give up on one another. They’re going to battle for one another until that last horn goes off.”

Last season’s band of brothers breezed through the North Division Playoffs, losing just one game between the two series, before getting stopped cold in their tracks by the visiting Minnesota Wilderness in the Robertson Cup Semi-Finals. With a looming first round matchup against the Wilderness, how far does Dibble see these Jets advancing?

“The team can go as far as they want to go,” he said. “Ultimately, we need to do things together. If we get individual, we won’t get to that point. But if we stick together and stick to our game plan, and these guys keep competing for one another like they are, I think this team definitely has the makeup to go the distance.”

The Midwest Division Semi-Finals will open on Friday, April 15. Dibble plans to play that night at home.

Contact the Janesville Jets’ front office at (608) 752-JETS, or go to www.janesvillejets.com for details on ticket information. Stay connected to the Jets through Facebook (/janesvillehockey) and Twitter (@JanesvilleJets1).

 

 

— JANESVILLE JETS —