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.
Game 1: Janesville vs. Springfield – 11/10/17
Playing from behind
The Jets have been digging themselves out of holes nearly all season so far, and last night was no exception. In Game 1 vs. Springfield, the Jr. Blues scored less than four minutes into the first period. Though Janesville was able to tie the game with a goal from captain Kip Hoffmann, the Jr. Blues regained the lead and the Jets were down 2-1 after 40 minutes. Janesville has a bit better luck when down after the first period, and still comes out with a winning record at 5-2-0. However, when the Jets are still trailing through two, they fall to 3-3-0. Through 17 games, Janesville has only scored first eight times, but when doing so, has gone 6-2. The first period has been a challenge for the team, and is the only frame in which the opponent is outscoring Janesville so far, 18-13. For the Jets to come away with a Game 2 win and series split, it’s best to score early… and hold the lead.
Special teams hold their own
The Jets had a bit of penalty trouble in their first game against Springfield and had to kill off four infractions… but luckily, the PK was successful on three of those. Janesville only had three power play opportunities, but none came with goals. The Jets and the Jr. Blues are both 22.4% successful on the power play, but the Jets have earned more opportunities so far on the season. However, Janesville’s penalty kill sits at the bottom half of the league at 75%. Extra-attacker advantages, if they happen to come, could be the difference-maker in Game 2, and the penalty kill will have to stay disciplined.
If one thing is for certain 17 games in, it’s that Janesville always has its eyes on the net. The Jets have been consistently outshooting their opponents in every contest, especially in the second period, where Janesville has a commanding 213-169 advantage. The Jets edge their opponents by 114 shots total. The only other team in the league outshooting at a higher level is Aberdeen. Alternate captain Jakov Novak leads the Jets with six goals so far, and Hoffmann and forward Erik Palmqvist have five apiece to provide some consistent goal-scoring. Meanwhile, players like TJ Polglaze and Sam Renlund have remained vigilant at the net, but are still looking for their first goals on the year. For Janesville, staying hungry with shots will help control the pace and a bit more luck and accuracy could turn the tide in the Jets’ favor in Game 2.
SPRINGFIELD JR. BLUES at JANESVILLE JETS — Janesville Ice Arena
Sat. 11/11 | 7:00pm | Janesville, WI