Today, the Jets are just a point ahead of the Anchorage Wolverines, who lost to the Minnesota Wilderness on Thursday night. The Springfield series is the most challenging according to points, but the finish to the season will provide a test for the Jets with all but one weekend against playoff teams.
The Jets got to their current winning streak of ten games with a nerve-wracking pair of games last Saturday and Sunday against the Chippewa Steel and St. Cloud Norsemen. Both games went to overtime, with Saturday’s game-winner scored by Cy LeClerc and Sunday featuring a remarkable come-from-behind win that saw the Jets go down 3-0 and score four unanswered goals. Will Troutwine scored the victory-sealing goal in overtime and scored the NAHL Midwest Star of the Week with a five-point weekend.
The Jr. Blues have won just one game since being swept in Janesville on February 18 and 19. Their losses to the Jets were the first two of what eventually became a five-game losing streak. Still, they hold second place in the division, though their lead over Janesville could be sliced immensely if they don’t rebound this weekend.
Springfield was, to put it bluntly, embarrassed in their previous visit to the Hangar. A 3-0 loss started the weekend on February 18, which could’ve been looked at as a “feeling out” sort of game since the two hadn’t squared off with each other in over two months. The Jets removed all doubt if Friday was a fluke with a blizzard of goals in a 9-1 thrashing to get the sweep and get their winning streak to five games at the time.
Despite their recent slump, the Jr. Blues sit two points behind the division leaders in the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, who are in Kenai River for a date with the Brown Bears this weekend. It’s an important weekend for both teams, even if you remove the Jets’ streak; a sweep propels them to within four points of Springfield, who travel to play the Magicians next weekend, while the Jets will have another home-and-home against the Steel. Things could get silly in the final stretch.
Janesville put up a total-team effort in their three-game set last week, with, unsurprisingly, more great goaltending from Owen Millward, but also from Mike D’Orazio on Saturday, who came up big in a 3-2 overtime win.
Forwards Jimmy Doyle and Jack Larrigan put up great numbers in the weekend sweep, with Doyle riding a three-game goal streak and “Larry” scoring two goals and three assists. With a potentially record-breaking season, Cy LeClerc is on milestone watch. His 59 (28-31) points this season is currently the fourth-most in a single season in franchise history. A point would put him in a tie with Kip Hoffmann, who scored 60 (24-26) in the 2017-18 season. LeClerc could surpass Kip and even forward Zach Lavalle, whose 61-point season in 2014-15 put him in second. It’ll be a weekend to watch for the record(s) and the hopeful playoff-intensity play at the Hangar.
In a change from the usual “Pink in the Rink” promo, the Jets will host a “Stick it to Cancer” weekend for both games, sponsored by Mercyhealth. The Jets will don their specialty blue and silver jerseys with cancer ribbons on the sleeves and auction them off on-ice during both intermissions and postgame on Friday and Saturday. Proceeds will benefit the Mercyhealth Cancer Center.
In combination with an eventful weekend, Jets head coach Parker Burgess is also celebrating his birthday today! Be sure to wish him well if you see him at the rink!
As always, 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 get to either game (or both), 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. We hope to see the Hangar packed, but if you can’t make it to the arena, you can always follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram platforms for updates. Otherwise, broadcaster Mike Hammett will have the play-by-play call for both games on HockeyTV.
Record: 27-19-0-1 (3rd, Midwest)
Home Record: 16-6-0-1
Goals For/Game: 3.74 (4th)
Goals Against/Game: 3.26 (18th)
Shots For/Game: 29.62 (26th)
Shots Against/Game: 29.96 (11th)
Power Play: 21.1% (11th)
Penalty Kill: 72.4% (28th)
Top Scorers: F Cy LeClerc (47GP—28G-31A—59PTS); F Jan Lasak (38GP—19G-20A—39PTS); F William Gustavsson (43GP—18G-20A—38PTS)
Goaltenders: Owen Millward (24-8-0-0; 2.59 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)
SPRINGFIELD JR. BLUES
Record: 30-15-1-2 (2nd, Midwest)
Road Record: 12-8-1-1
Goals For/Game: 3.48 (9th)
Goals Against/Game: 2.90 (10th)
Shots For/Game: 29.85 (23rd)
Shots Against/Game: 31 (16th)
Power Play: 27.7% (3rd)
Penalty Kill: 75% (24th)
Top Scorers: F Cole Dubicki (52GP—20G-43A—63PTS); F Leo Bacallao (45GP—19G-17A—36PTS); F Hagen Moe (44GP—24G-11A—35PTS)
Goaltenders: Ethan Roberts (16-10-0-1; 2.81 GAA; .914 SV%); Aksel Reid (6-6-0-1; 3.04 GAA; .897 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: D Fisher Scott (Colorado College); F Connor Smith (Union College); F Michael Valdez (Colorado College); F Hagen Moe (Bowling Green State University); F Isaac Novak (University of Wisconsin)