Weekend Preview: Jets at Steel (G8 & G9)

Sep 30, 2022

By Calvin Bush (@calvin_bush24) | Sept 30, 2022 | 3:45 pm

CHIPPEWA FALLS, WI — The Jets packed their bags to embark on their first road trip of the 2022-23 season Friday morning, a two-game battle with their long-time rivals, the Chippewa Steel. The two teams were the focal point of the Blain’s Farm & Fleet America’s Dairyland Milk Can Trophy, and still will be, but the addition of the Wisconsin Windigo will now make it a three-way battle. It hasn’t really been much of a battle, per se, over the years. Since 2017, the Jets own a 16-4 record against their rivals to the North, and they’ve played just as well at Chippewa Ice Arena (8-2) as they have from home (8-2). Last year, Janesville was almost perfect against the Steel, posting a 7-1 record and averaging almost five goals per game.

The two sides now have a different look to their squads, with the Jets featuring a new pair of goaltenders and a variety of forwards and defensemen core, plus a new head coach. Janesville does have eight returning skaters, with Ethan Begg the latest to rejoin after skating for the first time with the team on Saturday. Mack Keryluk, Jimmy Doyle, Joseph Kramer, Parker Mabbett, and Begg headline the returning forwards, and Will Troutwine, Charlie Lieberman, Gunnar Williams, and Cannon Lentz represent the defensemen group coming back. A solid set to have back on the roster sheet, no doubt, and thus far, it’s proven to be a productive unit along with the new faces in town.

Janesville’s new additions to the roster have been paying dividends early in the season. Forward Chris Pelosi has five goals in his last four games, and played an integral part in helping the Jets get to overtime in last Saturday’s game against Kenai River. Another forward, Noah Gibbs, helped capitalize on Pelosi’s goal last weekend with a game-tying score, his second in as many games. Pelosi, GibbsKyle Kudrna, Conner Brown, Ryan Friedman, and Will Troutwine all rank at the top of the Jets’ roster with five points each to their name.

In addition to strong play on the offensive front, Janesville’s play in the goal crease has been top tier thus far. Both Peter Sterling and Selby Warren enter the weekend with top ten numbers among goaltenders in the NAHL. Sterling allowed just one goal in a 5-1 win on Friday, and kept the team in reach to at least get a point in an overtime loss on Saturday. The 17-year-old netminder out of Virginia opened the season with a 19-save shutout against the Lone Star Brahmas. Warren has been a strong counterpart to Sterling in his three outings this year; the Canadien goaltender made 33 of 35 shots in the home opener against Kenai last Thursday, and posted a 94.5 save percentage at the NAHL Showcase. Much like years past, the Jets have a 1A-1A goaltending setup early in the year. A good problem to have, some would say.

Chippewa is coming off a series loss from home ice to the Anchorage Wolverines, who played in the Robertson Cup Championship last year. The Steel finished second last in what was a very cutthroat Midwest Division last year. Like last year, the Steel have jumped out to a great start. They currently reside in a tie for second place with eight points thanks to a strong NAHL Showcase. Forward Matthew Brille stands at the top of the points leader list in the league (10) and has been a staple in Chippewa’s offense. His teammate, Kade Nielsen, sits just below Brille with nine points and has been another significant piece in the goal-scoring department.

The Steel will most likely look to Adam Gajan to start between the pipes for the weekend series. The Slovakian goalie’s last start was a busy one; Gajan made 48 saves on 50 shots to secure a 5-2 win over the Wolverines. 48 saves. The start prior wasn’t nearly as impressive (30/33), but perhaps the young puck-stopper needed some warming up to get acquainted. Assuming Chippewa Head Coach Casey Mignone sends Gajan out for both contests, it should be a fun, back-and-forth weekend.

Both games can be viewed on HockeyTV, or you can follow along on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram platforms.


Record: 5-0-2-0 (1st, Midwest)
Home Record: 3-0-2-0 
Goals For/Game: 
3.00 (8th)
Goals Against/Game:
1.57 (4th)
Shots For/Game: 36.00 (3rd)
Shots Against/Game:
29.29 (16th)
Power Play:
15% (20th) 
Penalty Kill:
87.5% (11th)
Top Scorers: 
F Chris Pelosi (5GP—5G-0A—5PTS); F Noah Gibbs (7GP—3G-2A—5PTS); F Kyle Kudrna (7GP—3G-2A—5PTS)
Goaltenders: Peter Sterling (3-0-1-0; 1.50 GAA; .947 SV%); Selby Warren (2-0-1-0; 1.66 GAA; .945 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: F Ethan Begg (University of Vermont); F Jimmy Doyle (St. Lawrence University); F Joseph Kramer (Providence College); D Will Troutwine (College of the Holy Cross); D Charlie Lieberman (RPI); F Geno McEnery (Providence College); F Chris Pelosi (Quinnipiac University); F Jaden Johnson (University of Maine); D Josh Orrico (St. Lawrence University); F Nate Murray (Colorado College)


Record: 4-3-0-0 (3rd, Midwest)
Road Record: 1-1-0-0
Goals For/Game: 3.57 (4th)
Goals Against/Game:
2.29 (11th)
Shots For/Game: 37.86 (2nd)
Shots Against/Game:
31.00 (21st)
Power Play:
15.6% (19th)
Penalty Kill:
88% (20th)
Top Scorers:
F Matthew Brille (7GP—3G-7A—10PTS); F Kade Nielsen (7GP—7G-2A—9PTS); F Joe Kelly (7GP—4G-3A—7PTS)
Goaltenders: Adam Gajan (3-1-0-0; 1.76 GAA; .952 SV%); Carter Wishart (1-2-0-0; 2.68 GAA; .884 SV%)
Rostered Commitments:
F Matthew Brille (Brown University); D Bryceon Lago (Brown University); F Kade Nielsen (Minnesota State-Mankato); D Shawn Ramsey (University of Wisconsin); F Ryan Remick (University of Maine)

100+ NCAA commitments since 2009.