The Janesville Jets soared in the final 2 periods tonight, scoring 4 times to beat the Minnesota Wilderness, 5-2.
After a 1-1 tie through 1 period, the Jets controlled the final 40 minutes, beginning with an unassisted goal by Robby Newton that resulted from a shot that Wilderness goaltender Sam LiVecchi tried to sweep toward his right, but ended slipping off the heel of his stick into the back of the Wilderness net. The Jets then carried that momentum for one more goal in the 2nd—a power play tally from Arsenii Smekhnov, and then another on the man-advantage early in the 3rd from Jan Lasak to give the Jets a 4-1 lead.
Overall the Jets outshot Minnesota over the final 2 periods by a count of 28-15, after Minnesota had the advantage in the 1st period, 17-13. In the opening frame, the two teams traded goals; Janesville opening the scoring with a goal by Ethan Begg and the Wilderness countering with a power play goal by Thoreson.
The Wilderness started to come back to life midway through the 3rd when Gunnar Thoreson redirected a Reid Conn shot past Jet goaltender Owen Millward at the 13:16 mark for Thoreson’s 2nd goal of the game and 7th of the season. Minnesota, however, would not come any closer, despite a power play in the final minutes. Janesville closed out the scoring with an empty net goal from Cy LeClerc that came with 1:57 left in the game.
The win is the 3rd straight for Janesville and it snaps a 3-game winning streak for Minnesota. It also is the 1st win for the Jets over the Wilderness this season in 5 meetings, as Minnesota won the first 4 contests between the two teams played in Cloquet in October.
Millward gained the victory in net for Janesville. The Davis, CA, native stopped 30 of 32 shots to improve his record to 5-3. Meanwhile, Livecchi lost his 2nd consecutive start, stopping 36 of 40 Janesville shots to see his record fall to 3-3.
The two teams play game 2 of their series Saturday night in Janesville. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. All the action can be seen on hockeytv.com.