JANESVILLE, WI – Exactly three-quarters through the season, the Jets face one of the league’s toughest remaining schedules.
Right now, Janesville’s lead over 4th place Springfield is just two points. Just four of Springfield’s final 15 games are against the division’s current playoff teams (two of those four represented in the final regular season series versus Janesville). Comparatively, the Jets’ final 15 show 11 against potential playoff foes.
While teams with schedules like Springfield’s will always hold that they don’t overlook anybody, they don’t play down to the opposition, they can’t ever assume a win, et cetera, there’s certainly an imaginable scenario where the Jr. Blues can get hot and rip off a big winning streak down the stretch.
Winners of five of their last seven, the Jets aren’t looking behind them, though. With veterans like Jack Vincent, Matt Hanewall, and Sean Driscoll stepping up to lead in former captain Brenden MacLaren‘s absence, the Jets are as confident as they’ve ever been this season. The team sees the tough schedule ahead as an opportunity to pick up big wins, hopefully in regulation, against two clubs currently ahead of them in the standings. Five games left against the Ice Dogs and four against the Magicians means there’s 18 big points on the table for Janesville, and just as many to keep away from Fairbanks and Minnesota.
Anything and everything is still on the table regarding playoff positioning. The only thing certain to happen in April is for #1 to play #4, and for #2 to play #3.
Starting tonight, with their former captain in the building, the Jets can rise to the occasion.
Record: 24-17-2-2 (3rd, Midwest)
Home Record: 11-9-2-0
Last Ten Games: 5-5-0-0
Goals For/Game: 2.56 (17th)
Goals Against/Game: 3.02 (16th)
Shots For/Game: 27.36 (22nd)
Shots Against/Game: 31.51 (12th)
Power Play: 13.8% (23rd)
Penalty Kill: 76.5% (20th)
Top Scorers: F Jack Vincent (44GP—11G-16A—27PTS); F Matt Hanewall (44GP—12G-12A—24PTS); Multiple Players (22PTS)
Goaltenders: Cole Brady (17-11-1-2; 2.73 GAA; .913 SV%); Sam Metcalf (7-7-0-1; 3.18 GAA; .897 SV%); Garrett Nieto (3-3-0-0; 3.42 GAA; .899 SV%)*
Rostered Commitments: D John Prokop (Miami); F Nicholas Nardella (Michigan Tech); F Justin Engelkes (Miami); F Erik Bargholtz (Michigan State); G Cole Brady (Arizona State); G Garrett Nieto (Union)*
* Injured Reserve
FAIRBANKS ICE DOGS
Record: 26-14-3-2 (2nd, Midwest)
Road Record: 13-5-3-0
Last Ten Games: 7-3-0-0
Goals For/Game: 3.29 (5th)
Goals Against/Game: (2.38 4th)
Shots For/Game: 33.71 (11th)
Shots Against/Game: 25.27 (1st)
Power Play: 19.7% (14th)
Penalty Kill: 82.6% (9th)
Top Scorers: F Jonathan Sorenson (45GP—12G-28A—40PTS); F Jack Johnston (45GP—16G-22A—38PTS); F Jax Murray (45GP—17G-19A—36PTS)
Goaltenders: Nate Reid (16-10-0-1; 2.12 GAA; .914 SV%); Mattias Sholl (7-1-3-1; 2.21 GAA; .918 SV%); Ethan Lamon (2-1-0-0; 0.45 GAA; .973 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: D Dylan Abbott (Minnesota State Mankato); F Luke Ciolli (Army); F Jax Murray (Arizona State); F Jonathan Sorenson (Minnesota); D John Stampohar (Canisius); D Noah Wilson (Army)