Weekend Preview: Jets @ Wilderness (G15 & G16)

By Mason Lyttle (@MasonLyttle) | October 26, 2018 | 1:56pm

JANESVILLE, WI – With an extremely successful Pink in the Rink promotion now in the rear view mirror, the Jets hit the road early Friday morning for the longest bus trip of the season.

Last weekend, the Jets split the visiting Springfield Jr. Blues, losing in overtime Friday and piecing together a 3-1 win on Saturday. After Saturday’s game, the team’s specialty pink jerseys were auctioned off to hundreds of Jets fans eager to raise money for Mercyhealth Cancer Center. A record total was raised through the jersey auction, and the Jets this week announced a $5,000 donation to Mercyhealth Cancer Center, making for a great pink bow on a great Pink in the Rink event.

On the ice, a three-point weekend for the Jets has them in 2nd place in the Midwest Division, tied with Kenai River at 17 points. The Jets’ tiebreak advantage seats them ahead of the Brown Bears, with a pair of road series between now and the next home stand.

The Northwoods Credit Union Arena is no unfamiliar territory for the Jets, who shared a division with the Minnesota Wilderness during the 2015-16 season, and in back-to-back seasons saw playoff runs stymied by the group in green. Since swapping the Wilderness for the Magicians in 2016-17, the Jets have kept the Wilderness on the regular season schedule with a set of four games (two home, two road) each year.

The 382-mile journey usually clocks in at about six hours by bus, and with no trip to Brookings, South Dakota, this season, is the longest bus trip of the Jets’ regular season.

This summer, outgoing head coach Tim Madsen accepted the head job at nearby St. Scholastica (Division III). The Wilderness in June announced that Dave Boitz would add head coaching duties to his existing role as general manager.

Through 12 games with Boitz, a developing Wilderness team is two games under .500, and will no doubt be hungry for some home cooking versus Janesville. The Wilderness split the Brookings Blizzard last weekend at the Larson, and on Wednesday of this week dropped a 3-1 contest to the Austin Bruins.

Rookie goaltender Kaleb Johnson leads the Wilderness between the pipes at a .923 save percentage, and earlier this month announced his commitment to North Dakota, his dream school in his hometown of Grand Forks.

Puck drops tonight at 7:05pm CDT, and Saturday at 7:35pm CDT. Both games are broadcast live on HockeyTV.

WATCH LIVE (HockeyTV)


JANESVILLE JETS

Record: 8-5-1-0 (2nd, Midwest)
Road Record: 4-1-0-0
Goals For/Game:
2.21 (21st)
Goals Against/Game:
 2.64 (10th)
Shots For/Game: 24.14 (23rd)
Shots Against/Game:
 30.57 (11th)
Power Play: 
18.4% (16th)
Penalty Kill: 
83.3% (6th)
Top Scorers: 
F Jack Vincent (13GP—3G-4A—7PTS); F Tommy Middleton (14GP—1G-6A—7PTS); F Mason Salquist (14GP—0G-7A—7PTS)
Goaltenders: 
Cole Brady (5-2-0-0; 1.80 GAA; .936 SV%); Garrett Nieto (3-3-0-0; 3.42 GAA; .899 SV%); Owen Zdunski (2-4-1-0; 2.91 GAA; .888 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: F Justin Engelkes (Miami); F Erik Bargholtz (Michigan State); G Cole Brady (Arizona State); F Brenden MacLaren (Ferris State); G Garrett Nieto (Union)


MINNESOTA WILDERNESS

Record: 5-6-1-0 (5th, Midwest)
Home Record: 2-1-1-0
Goals For/Game: 2.75 (15th)
Goals Against/Game:
 2.75 (12th)
Shots For/Game: 28.67 (19th)
Shots Against/Game:
 30.42 (10th)
Power Play: 
19.6% (14th)
Penalty Kill: 
84.0% (4th)
Top Scorers: 
F Aaron Myers (11GP—6G-4A—10PTS); F Isaac Kobienia (12GP—5G-4A—9PTS); F Nick Portz (12GP—3G-6A—9PTS) 
Goaltenders: 
Kaleb Johnson (3-2-0-0; 2.21 GAA; .923 SV%); Ryan Fanti (2-4-1-0; 2.94 GAA; .905 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: 
G Kaleb Johnson (North Dakota)