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 0, Wilderness 3
Second period slump
Friday’s game was an even match through 20 minutes of play, and neither team scored in the first period. When the Jets took the ice for the second, that’s when the trouble started. The Wilderness got on the board less than five minutes in, and struck again with the period just over halfway gone. When Janesville trails after two periods, it’s 3-5-1, as opposed to coming back more often than not when the Jets trail after one. Both teams took eight shots in the first period, so though the defense and goaltending did the job, Janesville fares better in the results by getting an early advantage in the game.
Special teams: blessing and a curse
The series opener between two border battle teams was full of dramatics. Janesville had six power plays in the game and the Wilderness had five extra-attacker opportunities. The good news? Minnesota didn’t score on any of the chances. The bad news? Neither did Janesville. And though the Jets’ penalty kill held off the Wilderness in all five opportunities, Janesville’s power play was stifled further with a shorthanded goal by Janesville in the second period. Minnesota is just one spot above Janesville in the league standings with overall power play success at 21.0 percent over 20.7 percent. If the finale is even remotely as emotionally-charged as Friday’s game, the Jets need to convert on some of those power play chances.
Shut out and oustshot
Friday marked the first time all season that Janesville has been shut out. On top of that, the Jets were outshot by the opponent for just the eighth time. Janesville can usually come away with the win in this scenario with a 5-2-1 record, but the Jets only had a shot advantage in the third period, when it was too little, too late. Thankfully, the Jets have only been swept once in series play this season — last time out at Brookings — and have come back to split against the Magicians and Jr. Blues, both of which were in Janesville. Home ice advantage and some more shots on goal could be small difference-makers in getting the Jets back on track on Saturday.
JANESVILLE JETS (14-7-1-0) vs. MINNESOTA WILDERNESS (9-10-2-1) — Janesville Ice Arena
Sat. 11/25 | 7:00pm | Janesville, WI