Kausch Holds Off Jets in Shutout Victory

Konrad Kausch made 30 saves en route to his second shutout of the season to lead the Minnesota Wilderness to a 4-0 triumph over the Janesville Jets Saturday night.

Minnesota built its 4-goal lead through the first two periods.  In the final frame, it faced a Jet onslaught where Janesville put 16 shots on the Wilderness goal, only to be denied by the veteran netminder from Duluth each time.

Offensively, Kevin Marx Norén led the way with two goals, while Charlie Erickson and Eddie Shepler each posted solo tallies.

Erickson opened the scoring when he redirected a Severi Sulonen shot into the Janesville net 3:06 into the opening stanza. Later in the first, a Wilderness power play led to a rebound of a Cole Gordon shot going directly toward Shepler as he was positioned directly in front the Jet net.  The veteran from Livonia, MI, then whipped the puck past Selby Warren to give his team a 2-0 lead.  The 9th goal of the campaign for Shepler was also assisted by Noah Griswold.

Minnesota (17-8-3) heavily tilted the ice in its favor in the 2nd frame.  The Wilderness outshot the Jets (12-9-6) by a 16-6 count and doubled its lead with Marx Norén’s pair of red-lighters.  The 12th and 13th of the season for the Knivsta, Sweden, native came just 2:51 apart.

Michael Quinn set up the first when his stretch pass from the defensive zone caught Marx Norén right in front of the Jet blue line. The forward was then loose on a breakaway, and, after delivering a head fake that froze Warren, he fired the puck past the goaltender to beat him on his glove side with 5:01 left.

Marx Norén’s second goal was equally as impressive.  With the Wilderness on the power play, Ren Morque broke up a Janesville short-handed scoring chance and Marx Norén gained possession in the defensive zone. He then carried the puck through center, entered the Jet zone leading a 3-on-2 break, sliced through the two Jet defenders and roofed the puck from the bottom of the right circle to complete the scoring at 4-0.

On the man-advantage, Minnesota was strong again, scoring twice on four chances. Janesville was not successful in its two opportunities.

The Jets managed to outshoot the Wilderness by a 30-26 margin.

Kausch’s performance was the encore to a 31-save performance on December 3, when the Wilderness beat St. Cloud, 4-1. It improves the former Duluth East Greyhound’s record to 7-2-1 on the season.

Minnesota will try to close out a sweep of the 2-game series with a special Sunday matinee contest. Puck drop is set for 3:00 p.m.