JANESVILLE, WI – Tonight the Jets host the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in a rare single game weekend.
How much they enjoy their first open Saturday of the season is, of course, determined by tonight’s outcome.
The Ice Dogs come to town having won two of three in a home set versus the Kenai River Brown Bears, whom they swept in a three-game series on the road the weekend prior. Fairbanks is 6-3-0-1 in their last 10 games.
The last meeting between Fairbanks and Janesville was in early October, when the teams split a series in Fairbanks on the Jets’ opening weekend of their first Alaska trip this season. Janesville won the Friday game 4-2 with two big third period goals from Erik Palmqvist and Austin Koss, but Fairbanks took the Saturday game 5-0. The Friday win was also notable as goaltender Garrett Nieto’s last game as a Jet before suffering what would become a season-ending hip injury. Nieto, currently rehabbing at home in southern California, is aiming for a late January return to Janesville.
Since becoming division rivals in fall 2015, the Jets hold a 11-5-2-2 regular season record versus the Ice Dogs. The teams have met in each of the last two Midwest Division Finals, with Janesville winning a 3-1 series in 2016-17 and Fairbanks winning a 3-2 series last spring.
After a bizarre, offensive-heavy series last weekend versus the Minnesota Wilderness, Janesville will look for a calmer, consistent effort tonight, though they won’t be able to count on rookie forward Mason Salquist. The USHL’s Fargo Force called Salquist up for a loan this week, per the recently-revised player movement agreement between the USHL and the NAHL.
Tickets are still available for tonight’s game, which features a special holiday promotion. Courtesy of Jets sponsor Wisco Insurance, the first 250 fans through the door will receive a voucher redeemable at concessions for a free hot cocoa.
Tonight’s game will be broadcast featuring Calvin Bush’s call on HockeyTV.
Record: 14-9-2-1 (3rd, Midwest)
Home Record: 4-3-2-0
Goals For/Game: 2.35 (19th)
Goals Against/Game: 2.85 (13th)
Shots For/Game: 26.31 (23rd)
Shots Against/Game: 32.31 (13th)
Power Play: 13.7% (21st)
Penalty Kill: 82.9% (12th)
Top Scorers: F Jack Vincent (25GP—7G-12A—19PTS); F Matt Hanewall (26GP—7G-7A—14PTS); F Mason Salquist (24GP—2G-10A—12PTS)*
Goaltenders: Cole Brady (11-6-1-2; 2.47 GAA; .922 SV%); Jacob Lefton (0-0-0-0; 7.34 GAA; .838 SV%); Zach Hearn (0-0-0-0); Garrett Nieto (3-3-0-0; 3.42 GAA; .899 SV%)**
Rostered Commitments: F Nicholas Nardella (Michigan Tech); F Justin Engelkes (Miami); F Erik Bargholtz (Michigan State); G Cole Brady (Arizona State); F Brenden MacLaren (Ferris State); G Garrett Nieto (Union)
* On loan to USHL Fargo
** Injured Reserve
FAIRBANKS ICE DOGS
Record: 14-9-1-2 (2nd, Midwest)
Road Record: 4-4-0-0
Goals For/Game: 2.92 (9th)
Goals Against/Game: 2.38 (3rd)
Shots For/Game: 31.42 (14th)
Shots Against/Game: 25.42 (2nd)
Power Play: 14.6% (19th)
Penalty Kill: 76.9% (20th)
Top Scorers: F Jonathan Sorenson (26GP—8G-17A—25PTS); F Jax Murray (26GP—10G-11A—21PTS); F Parker Brown (25GP—6G-13A—19PTS)
Goaltenders: Nate Reid (8-5-0-2; 2.13 GAA; .913 SV%); Mattias Sholl (3-1-1-1; 2.28 GAA; .920 SV%); Ethan Lahmon (2-1-0-1; 0.45 GAA; .973 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: D Dylan Abbott (Minnesota State – Mankato); F Jax Murray (Arizona State); D John Stampohar (Canisius); D Noah Wilson (Army)