JANESVILLE, WI – Another set of the Battle of Wisconsin starts tonight in Chippewa Falls, with each team looking a little different from this week’s trade deadline.
In the last week, the Steel added defenseman Joey Trifone, released forward Sam Dabrowski, and traded Czech defenseman Filip Dusek to the New Jersey Titans.
The Jets have also been busy.
|D Nick Gonrowski (Jan 19)||D Matt Doyle (Jan 30)|
|D John Prokop (Jan 26)||F Brenden MacLaren (Feb 6)|
|F Matt Kirwan (Feb 4)||D Vincent Weis (Feb 6)|
|F Brendon Jones (Feb 6)||F Austin Koss (Feb 6)|
A playoff-position team trading its captain in-season is not unheard-of, but certainly uncommon. In the team release, head coach Corey Leivermann identified the move as best for all parties involved: the Jets, the Ice Dogs, and MacLaren. What’s immediately apparent is that the trade adds a new flavor to the rivalry between Janesville and Fairbanks, set to start up again in two weeks when the Ice Dogs come to town.
For now, though, the retooled Jets are energetic from last Saturday’s thrilling overtime win over Springfield and hope to keep that energy tonight and tomorrow.
Playing their last road games until a mid-March trip to Alaska, the Jets face a Chippewa team who, despite sitting 16 points out from a playoff spot, cannot be overlooked.
The Steel swept the Minnesota Wilderness in a home-and-home set last weekend, and last month ran a 3-2 record in their final regular season trip to Alaska. Interim head coach Carter Foguth is 8-10 since taking over in late November. That’s good for a .444 points percentage, a noticeable improvement over the Steel’s .292 performance in the first 24 games of the season.
Those aren’t anything but statistics, though, to Leivermann and the Jets. Foguth hasn’t played Janesville yet, and a Jets group brimming with energy is en route to the Chippewa Falls Ice Arena looking for a series sweep.
Record: 21-16-2-2 (3rd, Midwest)
Road Record: 9-6-0-2
Last Ten Games: 3-6-0-1
Goals For/Game: 2.59 (18th)
Goals Against/Game: 3.12 (17th)
Shots For/Game: 27.44 (22nd)
Shots Against/Game: 31.95 (13th)
Power Play: 14.7% (22nd)
Penalty Kill: 75.6% (20th)
Top Scorers: F Jack Vincent (40GP—11G-15A—26PTS); F Matt Hanewall (40GP—10G-11A—21PTS); Multiple Players (20PTS)
Goaltenders: Cole Brady (16-11-1-2; 2.76 GAA; .912 SV%); Sam Metcalf (5-6-0-1; 3.46 GAA; .892 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
Record: 14-26-1-1 (6th, Midwest)
Home Record: 7-11-0-0
Last Ten Games: 6-4-0-0
Goals For/Game: 2.33 (20th)
Goals Against/Game: 3.43 (19th)
Shots For/Game: 27.67 (21st)
Shots Against/Game: 31.64 (11th)
Power Play: 17.9% (18th)
Penalty Kill: 81.3% (11th)
Top Scorers: F Jacob Dirks (42GP—16G-9A—25PTS); F Killian Kiecker-Olson (41GP—8G-16A—24PTS); F Camden Thiesing (36GP—11G-11A—22PTS)
Goaltenders: Josh Langford (8-18-0-1; 3.24 GAA; .899 SV%); Igor Samokhvalov (4-1-0-0; 1.81 GAA; .949 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: G Josh Langford (Maine); D Dylan Moulton (Bowling Green); F Camden Thiesing (Ohio State); D Hunter Weiss (Notre Dame)