JANESVILLE, WI — The Janesville Jets’ 10th annual Pink in the Rink weekend, presented by Mercyhealth, gets going tonight as the red-hot Chippewa Steel come to town.
Tonight fans will see a moderately healthier Jets team than the one which muscled out a win last Saturday in Fairbanks.
Forwards Jackson Sabo, Logan Ommen, and Charlie Schoen draw back into the lineup, said head coach Corey Leivermann. Former Jets defenseman Jordon Halverson, back from the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints, will make his 2019-20 debut.
Schoen, a fifth round pick from June’s NAHL Draft, is projected to make his NAHL debut tonight. The Andover, Minnesota, native is committed to Arizona State.
Sabo, another rookie, tendered with the Jets last season and didn’t take long to show Jets fans the kind of offensive prowess that attracted the Jets’ hockey operations. He scored both of Janesville’s first two goals of the season the last time he played a home game, and put on a good show for NCAA scouts at the NAHL Showcase with three points in three games there.
No player on the current Janesville roster comes close to Ommen’s 106 regular season games played as a Jet. Tonight the hard-working winger can pass assistant coach Lennie Childs (2010-12) with his 107th contest. The Jets’ forecheck is stronger with a healthy Logan Ommen in the lineup.
Halverson played 51 games in his rookie season, and as a 6’3″ 2000, adds some size and experience to the Jets’ blueline. The Hudson native was a fifth round pick of the Fighting Saints last May.
Add it all up for an impressive sum of talent and experience coming back into the lineup, even if there’s more still sidelined.
“For us it’s always been about making sure the young guys are improving and getting better every single day,” said Leivermann. “As coaches, we can’t control the injuries or illnesses, but we can make sure that the team we have on any given night is ready to go.”
The shorthanded Jets won two of five in Alaska, one in each Kenai River and Fairbanks. After a few nights’ sleep in their own beds, a tough challenge awaits in the rested, talented Chippewa Steel.
Head coach Carter Foguth’s team brings a six-game win streak into Janesville tonight, and only the Bismarck Bobcats and the New Jersey Titans boast better points percentages than 8-2 Chippewa’s .800. The Steel’s top trio of Connor Szmul, Killian Kiecker-Olson, and Jacob Dirks have torched opposition this season with 17 total goals in 10 games. No question that this Steel team is a stark contrast to the 2018-19 group that started 3-12-1-1 through October.
Clad in specialty pink uniforms, the Jets have a huge chance this weekend to make big impacts both within the Midwest Division and in the Janesville community. This weekend’s specialty jersey auctions benefit Mercyhealth Cancer Center.
“Events like this remind you that life is so much bigger than hockey,” said Leivermann. “A lot of families have been touched by cancer, so this represents a special opportunity we have to help people right here in Janesville. The jerseys look awesome and I know the guys are ready to go.”
Eight players’ jerseys will be auctioned during intermissions this weekend, with the remaining taking place post-game Saturday.
|Friday 1st Intermission||C. Hottmann; J. Sabo|
|Friday 2nd Intermission||L. Ommen; N. Gonrowski|
|Saturday 1st Intermission||N. Nardella; J. Engelkes|
|Saturday 2nd Intermission||J. Halverson; L. Wheeler|
Fri Oct 25 | 7:00pm CT
Sat Oct 26 | 7:00pm CT
Record: 5-8-0-0 (5th, Midwest)
Home Record: 0-3-0-0
Last Ten Games: 4-6-0-0
Goals For/Game: 2.62 (16th)
Goals Against/Game: 3.38 (21st)
Shots For/Game: 28.15 (18th)
Shots Against/Game: 31.38 (16th)
Power Play: 18.8% (10th)
Penalty Kill: 76.3% (18th)
Top Scorers: F Nick Nardella (13GP—4G-6A—10TS); F Isaac Novak (7GP—4G-3A—7TS); D Grant Hindman (11GP—1G-6A—7TS)
Goaltenders: Grant Riley (4-5-0-0; 3.12 GAA; .907 SV%); Cristian Wong-Ramos (1-3-0-0; 3.25 GAA; .875 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: F Jake Dunlap (UMass Amherst); D Grant Hindman (Lake Superior State); F Max Itagaki (RPI); F Parker Lindauer (Northern Michigan); F Nick Nardella (Michigan Tech); F Isaac Novak (Wisconsin); D Casey Roepke (Wisconsin); F Charlie Schoen (Arizona State)
Record: 8-2-0-0 (2nd, Midwest)
Road Record: 1-0-0-0
Last Ten Games: 8-2-0-0
Goals For/Game: 4.20 (2ndh)
Goals Against/Game: 2.00 (8th)
Shots For/Game: 31.80 (10th)
Shots Against/Game: 26.30 (5th)
Power Play: 62.5% (1st)
Penalty Kill: 64.7% (25th)
Top Scorers: F Connor Szmul (10GP—7G-8A—15PTS); F Killian Kiecker-Olson (10GP—3G-11A—14PTS); F Jacob Dirks (10GP—7G-5A—12PTS)
Goaltenders: Grant Boldt (5-0-0-0; 2.00 GAA; .919 SV%); Trent Burnham (3-1-0-0; 1.51 GAA; .951 SV%)
Rostered Commitments: D Zane Demsey (Michigan State); F Jacob Dirks (Ferris State); F Jaden Grant (Bowling Green)