JANESVILLE, WI — The Jets earned their third straight series last weekend in Chippewa Falls, besting the Steel 4-3 on Friday night before dropping a tough 6-0 contest on Saturday.
Four different players enjoyed two-goal games on the weekend, two from each of the in-state rivals. Janesville’s performances came Friday (Matt Hanewall, Nick Nardella), and Chippewa’s Killian Kiecker-Olson and Grant Reichenbacher picked up multi-goal games on Saturday, with Reichenbacher cinching the hat trick late in the third period.
With Garrett Nieto still out of the lineup, the Jets turned to Cole Brady for both starts, while the Steel split starts between Jackson Bernard and Josh Langford.
Saturday’s Steel win was the franchise’s first over Janesville in the new-look Battle of Wisconsin, and sets the table for a rematch series in Janesville this weekend.
FRIDAY — W, 4-3
The Jets’ strong penalty kill shone Friday night, killing seven of eight Steel advantages, and goals came in every period for Janesville en route to a 4-3 victory.
Matt Hanewall (0:46 1st) sparked the Jets with a great display of speed through the neutral zone. Hanewall picked up a pass from Erik Bargholtz in the defensive zone and flew up the left wing, blowing by defenseman Trevor Willhelm and roofing the puck past Bernard. Chippewa tied it with a mid-period goal from Matt Clark (9:37 1st), but soon after it was again Matt Hanewall (16:30 1st) reclaiming the Jets lead. Hanewall’s second goal of the period looked much like his first: a speed play in transition down the left wing, punctuated with a short-side shot. The goal came on the Jets’ 11th shot of the night, enough for Steel head coach Al Rooney to switch in Langford for Bernard.
The Jets’ opening to the second period also didn’t take very long. Recently-acquired defenseman Alex Murray found Nick Nardella (1:40 2nd) with a high-low pass. From the low slot, Nardella buried a turnaround shot to give the Jets a two-goal lead. Chippewa cut it in half later with a point shot from Austin Mikesch (7:14 2nd).
Chippewa’s game-tying goal came on a power play midway through the third period. The Steel worked the puck down low, and while Brady hung in for the first couple of chances, Jacob Dirks (9:56 3rd) eventually put one past the goal line for the equalizer. Then, on their own power play, the Jets got the last punch. On a quick transition swing, Nick Nardella (12:45 1st) snuck behind the Steel defense, took a beautiful stretch pass from Jack Vincent, and tucked the game-winner on the breakaway.
Josh Langford made 20 saves on 22 shots in relief of Jackson Bernard (9/11), but was tacked with the loss. Cole Brady earned his fifth win in six starts with a 36-save performance, his third straight game with more than 30 saves.
SATURDAY — L, 6-0
In convincing fashion, the Steel picked up their first ever win over the Jets, shutting out Janesville 6-0 for their fourth victory of the season.
Chippewa’s high-octane night started just 64 seconds in, when Grant Reichenbacher (1:04 1st) tapped in an impressive cross-zone pass from Austin Mikesch. Czech forward Tomas Vochozka (16:08 1st) doubled the lead before the period ended.
A tough three-minute stretch in the middle of the second period was what buried the Jets. First, Killian Kiecker-Olson (11:35 2nd) scored a greasy goal in front, and two minutes later, Grant Reichenbacher (13:46 2nd) picked up his second of the night, jamming home a rebound. About a minute later, the Steel forced an attacking zone turnover, and Camden Thiesing sent the puck down low to Killian Kiecker-Olson (14:48 2nd) for his second goal.
A late third period goal from Grant Reichenbacher (17:01 3rd) capped his hat trick and sealed the win for Chippewa.
Brady turned away 29 of 35 Steel shots in the contest. Langford’s shutout came on 24 saves, behind a perfect 5/5 Steel penalty kill.
Around the Division
Minnesota Magicians 4 @ Fairbanks Ice Dogs 2
Springfield Jr. Blues 1 @ Kenai River Brown Bears 2
Minnesota Magicians 1 @ Fairbanks Ice Dogs 5
Springfield Jr. Blues 6 @ Kenai River Brown Bears 1
|3||Fairbanks Ice Dogs||18||9-7-1-1||20|
|4||Kenai River Brown Bears||18||9-8-0-1||19|
|5||Springfield Jr. Blues||17||6-8-2-1||15|
A rematch opportunity presents itself immediately, as the Jets prepare for their Salute to Service weekend.
All veterans and active duty military are invited to bring their families to both nights of hockey, free of charge. Doors open at 6:00pm and puck drops at 7:00pm.
Thanks to corporate partner M3 Insurance, the Jets will again wear specialty camo uniforms for each game of the series. The jerseys will be auctioned via the DASH Auction mobile app with proceeds benefiting local organizations Vets Roll and Housing 4 Our Vets.
In promotions leading up to the event, the Jets have received local and regional media attention. The entire team visited Truax Field on Monday to learn about what goes on at the base, and how important a role the men and women of the 115th Fighter Wing play in protecting our country.
Vets Roll and Housing 4 Our Vets will each benefit from the weekend’s jersey auction and bartending tips.
Supporters can bid live on camo jerseys straight from their phone with the DASH Auction app. Download the app by visiting www.dashapp.io in your mobile browser, texting “DASH” to 66866, or by searching “DASH auction” in your app store. The auction began at midnight on Monday morning, giving fans a full week to bid on their favorite players’ jerseys before doors open on Friday.
A separate, special auction will also be held live at the Ice Arena for an American flag flown over the Capitol, donated by Speaker Paul Ryan.
Other weekend features include ceremonial puck drops, presenting of colors, and multiple recognitions of veterans and active duty military members in attendance.
Both games from Janesville will be broadcast on HockeyTV.
Steel @ Jets| Fri Nov 9 | 7:00pm CDT
Steel @ Jets | Sat Nov 10 | 7:00pm CDT