The Rush is a new series by media intern Emily Polglaze that will be posted on JanesvilleJets.com following Game 1 of each regular season series. In The Rush, we will give a quick rundown and list important takeaways: good and bad, that Janesville will need to carry over in the series finale.
Jets 2, Jr. Blues 1
A key for Janesville’s Friday night win was the Jets’ ability to build on each period and make the next stronger. The home team put pressure on Springfield early on, but it wasn’t enough. Despite outshooting the Jr. Blues 11-8 in the first 20 minutes of play, the visitors were able to get on the board first with less than five minutes in the frame. From there, though, it was all Janesville. The Jets came out with new intensity in the second and alternate captain Jakov Novak tied the score at 1-1 with just over a minute gone. Janesville continued to outshoot Springfield, this time 12-7. The pressure didn’t stop in the third as the Jets again took a 16-10 shot advantage, and alternate captain TJ Polglaze was able to break through net traffic and score the game-winning goal with three minutes left. Janesville sustained solid pressure and kept up a fast pace all night, which is what it will take to conquer a snakebitten Springfield team for the fourth time in two weeks.
With Janesville’s intense play came one caveat: penalties. The Jets ended up in the box four times on Friday, and three of those infractions came in the third period. Luckily, the penalty kill held strong and didn’t allow any Springfield goals, but staying collected as the game gets tighter will be an asset to the Jets in the future. Janesville also had three power play opportunities Friday, and didn’t capitalize on any of them. Taking control of the extra-man advantage could be the ultimate difference-maker between two teams as close in competition as the Jets and Jr. Blues.
Janesville’s veterans have had no trouble setting an example for the rookies on the team. Jakov Novak scored his 16th goal of the season last night and is currently riding a streak with 17 points in nine consecutive games. The goal put him to second in league standings in points with 40 this year. TJ Polglaze’s goal, the eventual game-winner, was only his fourth of the season, but he’s fourth on the Jets in points with 18. Last night’s veteran contributions, in conjunction consistent scoring from vets like captain Kip Hoffmann, Carter Ekberg and alternate captain Alec Semandel set a high standard of offense and leadership at just the right time of the season. This, along with rookies finding their confidence, will continue to make Janesville a solid threat in not only its division, but the entire North American Hockey League.
Tonight’s tilt with Springfield will be preceded by the free, annual Guns & Hoses game featuring Janesville Police and Janesville/Beloit Fire. Doors open for the game at 3:45 p.m., and the first 120 fans to arrive at the Guns & Hoses game will receive free Jets tickets! After that, Jets tickets will be sold for $6.
We’ll have $2 beers during the Guns & Hoses game, $10 Guns & Hoses t-shirts, and a silent auction for special Guns & Hoses Jets warm-up jerseys with bids starting at $50.
Be sure to get to Janesville Ice Arena early and support our local first responders!
JANESVILLE JETS (22-8-2-0) vs. SPRINGFIELD JR. BLUES (18-14-1-1) — Janesville Ice Arena
Sat. 1/13 | 7:00 p.m. | Janesville, WI