JANESVILLE, WI – The Janesville Jets host the Chippewa Steel this weekend as the renewed Battle of Wisconsin rivalry sees its first action.
In April, Coulee Region Chill owner Michelle Bryant agreed to sell her NAHL membership to Steve Black, who relocated the team to Chippewa Falls, swapped sky blue for emerald green, and began their operations as the Chippewa Steel. In May, the Steel hired Al Rooney, formerly of the Austin Bruins, as head coach and general manager.
The Jets and Chill played 79 times for the traveling trophy, the Blain’s Dairyland Milk Can. The rivalry featured only one playoff series, a 3-0 Janesville sweep in 2017. The Chill won the first regular season series in 2010-11, tallying a 5-2-0-1 record versus the Jets, but Janesville won the final seven and finished the rivalry with a 50-18-6-5 record against Coulee Region.
As the pages of hockey history turn, the trophy remains the same. The Milk Can is again up for grabs, and it’s the Jets’ responsibility to defend it.
The NAHL’s two clubs from America’s Dairyland square off Friday and Saturday night at the Janesville Ice Arena. Puck drops at 7:00pm CDT both nights.
Record: 2-4-0-0 (5th, Midwest)
Home Record: 0-2-0-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 11GF/22GA
Power Play: 16.7% (14th in the NAHL)
Penalty Kill: 65.2% (24th in the NAHL)
Top Scorers: D Andrew Hicks (4GP—3G-2A—5PTS); F Erik Bargholtz (6GP—2G-2A—4PTS); F TJ Sagissor (6GP—2G-2A—4PTS)
Goaltenders: Garrett Nieto (1-3-0-0; 4.25 GAA; .886 SV%); Cole Brady (1-1-0-0; 2.00 GAA; .930 SV%)
Commitments: F Erik Bargholtz (Michigan State); G Cole Brady (Arizona State); F Brenden MacLaren (Ferris State); G Garrett Nieto (Union)
Record: 3-3-0-0 (3rd, Midwest)
Road Record: 0-0-0-0
Goals For/Goals Against: 14GF/16GA
Power Play: 13.0% (17th in the NAHL)
Penalty Kill: 74.1% (19th in the NAHL)
Top Scorers: D Jordan Gonzalez (6GP—1G-4A—5PTS); Multiple Players (4PTS)
Goaltenders: Owen Zdunski (2-0-0-0; 1.00 GAA; .958 SV%); Josh Langford (1-2-0-0; 3.33 GAA; .877 SV%); Jackson Bernard (0-1-0-0; 4.00 GAA; .833 SV%)
Commitments: G Josh Langford (Maine); D Dylan Moulton (Bowling Green); D Hunter Weiss (Notre Dame)
PROMOTIONS AND GIVEAWAYS
To commemorate the start of the Battle of Wisconsin for the Blain’s Dairyland Milk Can, Blain’s Farm & Fleet will give away free cow bells to the first 150 fans in attendance.
The Jets will also donate a 2017-18 game-worn jersey to a Janesville Youth Hockey family in attendance.