The Janesville Jets return to home ice this weekend for a rematch against their divisional foe, the Kenai River Brown Bears.
The two teams last met in early January, in which the Jets took the first game of the series 6-3 and the Brown Bears sealed the split on Saturday night with a 9-5 victory.
The Jets had off from league play last weekend and opted to play two exhibition games against the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. That raises the stakes for this weekend’s games, as Kenai River has now caught up to Janesville in the standings, in a three-way tie for first place with 16 points, along with the Minnesota Magicians.
If the Jets can win at least two of three, they regain their spot at the top, with Minnesota playing just one game on Sunday. Despite the short break, Janesville still brings the best power play and penalty kill of the division into the weekend, and the Midwest’s best scorer, Cade Destefani (13 GP, 9G/11A).
Friday and Saturday’s games are set for 7 p.m. CST, while Sunday’s finale will begin at 3 p.m. Pod tickets for the series are sold out, but fans who would like to catch the action at home can watch via HockeyTV, keep up with live stats on the NAHL Game Center or follow the Jets on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for live updates.
Last Time Out
What was originally scheduled as a few days off for the Jets turned into an opportunity to play some of the best local talent. The team headed to Titletown last weekend to play the Green Bay Gamblers, and while the Jets couldn’t find a victory in either game, they held their own against the USHL team. Friday’s game ended in a 2-1 decision, and Saturday’s was 8-3. Prior to the exhibition series, the Jets hosted a pair of inter-division games with the Minnesota Wilderness, which brought them their first sweep since November.
In Janesville’s last outing of league play, Shane Ott shone especially bright and scored four goals in two games, including Saturday’s game-winner, and was +4 on the weekend. The forward was named both the NAHL Midwest Division Star of the Week and the Janesville Diamond Center Diamond Player of the Week for his efforts. Ott’s big weekend moved him to fourth on the team in scoring, with nine points in 10 games.
February’s schedule will begin with a home-and-home series with Chippewa, with the first game at their rink on Thursday, Feb. 4. The Steel will then travel to Janesville for game two, scheduled for Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. The team has the following weekend off before they hit the road for the following four of five games.