Weekend Preview: Jets at/vs. Steel (G50 & G51)

By Calvin Bush (@calvin_bush24) | Mar 18, 2022 | 3:45 pm

CHIPPEWA FALLS, WI — On the heels of having their 11-game winning streak snapped, the Jets will have their final series against the Chippewa Steel, which will, fittingly, be another home-and-home weekend. Janesville will be in Chippewa on Friday and be back at the Hangar on Saturday. The Jets haven’t lost a game against their in-state rivals this season.

The Minnesota Wilderness were victorious against the Kenai River Brown Bears last night and moved into a tie for third place with Janesville at 57 points. If there wasn’t enough already, this adds some extra intensity, as the Wilderness and Jets will square off next weekend.

In their prior five matchups, the Jets have outscored Chippewa 25-7 and scored at least three goals in all six wins. Two of those wins were shutouts, both recorded by Owen Millward. The most recent game extended to overtime after the Steel scored the game-tying goal late in the third, but some clutch saves from Mike D’Orazio allowed Cy LeClerc to score and give the Jets their ninth consecutive win.

It’s unfortunate to see the Jets’ streak end, but their successful stretch of games has them in the thick of a playoff spot in a competitive Midwest division. “There certainly isn’t any less pressure to win games; we’ve gotta do battle with four other teams at the top. We’re in the playoff hunt with some good teams, and we can’t take our foot off the gas,” said Jets head coach Parker Burgess. “The streak was pretty remarkable; it’s the longest win streak I’ve been a part of as a head coach. Since Christmas, we’ve played some great hockey, but over that 11-game stretch, you look back and see where we were and where we are now. It was a fun ride, it meant a lot, and we’re in a great position.”

The Steel find themselves on an eight-game losing streak, with five of those losses coming at the hands of the Jets. For the Steel, the season is lost, barring a collapse of epic proportions from the top contenders. Still, they can spoil Janesville’s attempt at posting an undefeated record against them this season.

Chippewa has sent all three of their netminders to the crease for games against Janesville this year, with Carter Wishart the only one who managed to keep things close after an overtime loss on March 5. Wishart made his first appearance in the league the day before the OTL, only due to the ejection of Croix Kochendorfer after receiving a game misconduct for punching Jets forward Cade Destefani in the face while he was on the ice.

It’s doubtful that Wishart gets the start again despite his better output in his second game, as both Haas and Kochendorfer have played the last two games for the Steel. Kochendorfer has been Chippewa’s 1A netminder, but Janesville has managed to get the best of him in each game he’s manned the crease. In four games against Janesville this year, the Minnesotan goalie has two losses, an .831 save percentage, and 5.04 goals against average.

After scoring a goal and three assists last weekend, Cy LeClerc is on the verge of making Jets history. A goal would make him just the second player in Jets history to score 30 goals in a single season. The only other to do it was Jakov Novak in the 2017-18 season when he scored 32. That same year, Novak set the record for most points with 73. LeClerc currently sits in solo second with 63.

Only three home games will remain following this weekend’s games, with an afternoon match against the St. Cloud Norsemen on April 3 and two against the Minnesota Wilderness the following week. After how the last pair of games went against the Steel, it could be another rowdy weekend of action.

Those looking to tune in to Friday night’s game can head to HockeyTV and hit the “Away Audio” for a friendly call! Additionally, we’ve implemented a new LIVE audio stream online through Podbean! You can listen to the audio-only feed by clicking here, or downloading the Podbean app in the Apple or Google Play store, searching for our page (Janesville Jets), and finding the live stream.

Saturday will, without doubt, be a sellout crowd, as the Jets will be hosting their Reading Club Night. Over the last month, players have visited elementary schools around Janesville to read books and promote their reading club to students. The challenge is that students read, complete their reading challenge of reading four hours, and will then receive a free ticket to the game on Satuday. The program was greeted with great excitement from students in the classrooms, and the players got to brush up on their comprehensive reading skills, too.

The doors to the Janesville Ice Arena will open at 6 PM CT, with puck drop scheduled for 7 PM CT. If you’re looking to join us, you can purchase tickets off our Facebook page, at Lions Quick Mart locations in Janesville, or the door of the arena when you walk in. You can always follow us on our TwitterFacebook, and Instagram platforms for updates. Otherwise, broadcaster Mike Hammett will have the play-by-play call for Saturday’s game on HockeyTV.

#WheelsUp✈️


JANESVILLE JETS

Record: 28-20-0-1 (3rd, Midwest)
Road Record: 11-13-0-0
Home Record: 17-7-0-1
Goals For/Game: 
3.73 (4th)
Goals Against/Game:
3.27 (19th)
Shots For/Game: 29.78 (26th)
Shots Against/Game:
29.98 (11th)
Power Play:
22.2% (8th) 
Penalty Kill:
72.6% (28th)
Top Scorers: 
F Cy LeClerc (49GP—29G-34A—63PTS); F Jan Lasak (40GP—22G-20A—42PTS); F William Gustavsson (45GP—18G-22A—40PTS)
Goaltenders: Owen Millward (25-9-0-0; 2.62 GAA; .911 SV%); Michael D’Orazio (3-8-0-1; 3.84 GAA; .879 SV%); Ryan Whittaker (0-1-0-0;  6.00 GAA; .778 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: F Robby Newton (University of Wisconsin); F Grayden Daul (University of Wisconsin); F Jonah Aegerter (St. Cloud State); F Cy LeClerc (University of New Hampshire); F Jan Lasak (St. Lawrence University); F Ethan Begg (University of Vermont); F Jack Ford (Army-West Point); D AJ Casperson (Long Island University); F Jimmy Doyle (St. Lawrence University); F Jack Larrigan (University of Notre Dame); F Joseph Kramer (Providence College); D Cal Mell (Union College); D Charlie Lieberman (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)


CHIPPEWA STEEL

Record: 19-27-1-2 (7th, Midwest)
Home Record: 10-14-1-1
Road Record:
9-13-0-1
Goals For/Game:
2.65 (25th)
Goals Against/Game:
3.47 (21st)
Shots For/Game:
29.84 (24th)
Shots Against/Game:
29.71 (9th)
Power Play:
15% (23rd)
Penalty Kill:
80% (19th)
Top Scorers:
F Joseph Grainda (48GP—14G-16A—30PTS); F Nick Sajevic (49GP—13G-17A—30PTS); F Joe Kelly (46GP—14G-5A—19PTS)
Goaltenders:
Croix Kochendorfer (12-14-0-1; 2.81 GAA; .905 SV%); Nick Haas (0-4-0-0; 4.49 GAA; .874 SV%); Carter Wishart (0-0-1-0; 5.55 GAA; .821 SV%)
Rostered Commitments:
F Matthew Brille (Brown University); F Andrew Delladonna (Ohio State University); D Sam Frandina (St. Lawrence University); G Nick Haas (Colgate University); F Kade Nielsen (Minnesota State Mankato); F Ryan Remick (University of Maine); D Brady Yakesh (University of Minnesota)


100+ NCAA commitments since 2009.