After a sweep at the hands of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, Janesville managed to win two of three over the Wolverines and finish up with the last of the Alaskan trio in the Kenai River Brown Bears. The last of back-to-back three-game sets will round out a stretch of time that saw the Jets play at their own arena for 14 of the previous 49 days. The previous series on New Years’ weekend featured fireworks before the giant ball hit the ground and the countdown clock struck zeros, thanks to a tremendous outing in net from Owen Millward, who recorded 33 saves to record his second shutout of the year in Thursday’s 4-0 win. The biggest blast came, though, from Cy LeClerc, who scored “the Michigan” goal that eventually made it to Sportscenter’s top plays and received play of the week honors from the NAHL.
The Jets dropped Friday’s matchup but returned with a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory with Jonah Aegerter’s sweet snipe to round out the series on Saturday.
After William Gustavsson made his return to the lineup last week, the Jets will also have Jan “Zigi” Lasak return to the lineup, which should provide a big boost to an already-hot scoring lineup.
The Brown Bears are in the midst of a four-game skid, though two of those losses have come in extra time, with one in overtime and the other in a shootout. It’s been a frustrating year for Kenai, to say the least, especially after getting to the postseason in last year’s Robertson Cup playoffs. Add on that they managed to steal home-ice advantage with two wins over the top team in the division in who else, the Jets, and eventually win the series.
While they may have wanted a different start to the year, the Brown Bears still have a squad to get excited about and have had their share of high points in the first half of the season thus far. Two of their four losses in the streak have come against the Springfield Jr. Blues, but both have come in extra time. The opening game of their three-game series against Springfield saw the Brown Bears pull off a surprising upset, shutting out the home team and scoring six goals for a 6-0 win.
Brown Bears forward Cole Dubicki ranks as the league’s fifth-highest scorer with 38 points (13G-15A) in 31 games this year, and rookie forward Kevin Mark Noren stands as the 16th-highest scorer in this year’s rookie class with 22 points in 29 games.
With his big weekend, Jets forward Cy LeClerc moves into third in rookie scoring with 36 points and leads the Jets in overall scoring. The Swedish scorer in William Gustavsson also finds himself on the top rookie scoring list at 12th with 23 points.
Will Troutwine (3G-17A), Grayden Daul (6G-13A), and Cal Mell (1G-18A) also pop up on the NAHL’s top 20 for leaders amongst defensemen.
After another big holiday weekend, the Jets will again have a set of game night promotions for this series. Friday night features Hockey BINGO sponsored by the Janesville Athletic Club. Another big night in Janesville will happen Saturday with American Cancer Society Night. Before the game, we’ll have a ceremonial puck drop which will be performed along the ice by different cancer survivors. There is still time to volunteer for this special pregame ceremony, and you can do so by signing up here. Doors to the arena open at 6 pm, followed by puck drop an hour later at 7. Tickets can be purchased on our Facebook page, at any Lions Quick Mart around town, or the door of the arena.
Record: 12-17-0-1 (7th, Midwest)
Home Record: 8-6-0-1
Goals For/Game: 3.37 (12th)
Goals Against/Game: 3.93 (24th)
Shots For/Game: 29.70 (20th)
Shots Against/Game: 29.73 (11th)
Power Play: 18.8% (13th)
Penalty Kill: 68.8%% (29th)
Top Scorers: F Cy LeClerc (30GP—19G-17A—36PTS); F Jan Lasak (24GP—13G-10A—23PTS); F William Gustavsson (26GP—11G-12A—23PTS)
Goaltenders: Owen Millward (11-7-0-0; 3.28 GAA; .890 SV%); Michael D’Orazio (1-7-0-1; 4.07 GAA; .866 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)
KENAI RIVER BROWN BEARS
Record: 7-21-2-1 (8th, Midwest)
Road Record: 2-12-2-1
Goals For/Game: 2.39 (29th)
Goals Against/Game: 4.23 (28th)
Shots For/Game: 28.90 (24th)
Shots Against/Game: 31.65 (19th)
Power Play: 30.4% (1st)
Penalty Kill: 73.3% (27th)
Top Scorers: F Cole Dubicki (31GP—13G-25A—38PTS); F David Vleten (31GP—11G-12A—23PTS); F Kevin Marx Noren (29GP—9G-13A—22PTS)
Goaltenders: Bryant Marks (2-9-2-0; 3.96 GAA; .876 SV%); Tommy Aitken (4-12-0-1; 4.07 GAA; .863 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: D Brendan Hill (Lake Superior State University)