Bo Cosman, Brian Lonergan and Sawyer Scholl scored single goals, while Isak Posch made 28 saves to lead the Minnesota Wilderness to a 3-1 triumph over the Janesville Jets Friday night.
Reid Daavettila and Beau Janzig added two assists for Minnesota’s seventh win in their last eight games.
Lonergan scored the game winner late in the 2nd period, just moments after Janesville knotted the contest at 1-1.
Daavettila helped set up the play when, from the corner in the Janesville, he fed the puck Janzig at the left point. Janzig then slid the puck across to Lonergan who skated to the right circle who ripped a wrist shot that darted over goaltender Selby Warren’s glove and just under the crossbar, sending Warren’s water bottle straight in the air just like the Wilderness players arms did as they celebrated the goal.
The red-lighter with 14 seconds left is Lonergan’s third of the season, and his second game winner. It came just 1:37 after Jaden Johnson notched the Jets only tally of the night.
Cosman posted the game’s opening goal—which marked the 10th straight game in which Minnesota scored first. It also involved good puck movement from Daavettila and Janzig. This time, Daavettila gained possession behind the Janesville net, skated to the right circle, then angled a pass to the left blue line for Janzig to one-time a shot. The puck then caught Cosman’s stick for a re-direction that slipped past Warren on his low glove side, giving Cosman his 11th marker of the campaign.
That opening goal came just moments after Minnesota failed to capitalize on a power play opportunity in which it had multiple chances that were all snuffed out by Warren. The Wilderness maintained momentum in the Janesville end after the penalty time expired, and the pressure paid off with the goal scored with 9:43 remaining, eight seconds after the penalty ended.
Scholl ended up sealing the victory, when he fired the puck into an empty net with six seconds left in the game just moments after a Cole Gordon face-off win. In 15 games with Minnesota, Scholl now has 11 goals.
Warren was splendid throughout the game, making 33 saves as the Wilderness outshot the Jets, 36-29. 17 of the Wilderness shots came in the opening stanza, compared to six for Janesville. The Jets came alive in the 2nd period, and managed to outshoot the Wilderness in the final two periods by a combined total of 23-19. That kept Posch busy, but the veteran netminder held strong to earn his second straight win and sixth in his last seven starts.
The victory improves Posch’s record to 22-11-6 and places him just two wins shy of the franchise record of regular-season triumphs by a goaltender. That mark of 24 wins is currently held by Ryan Anderson from the 2014-15 season.
Neither team managed to score on the power play, with Minnesota (30-16-7) and Janesville (22-24-9) finishing the night with two chances.
The finale of the 2-game series is scheduled for 7:15 Saturday night in Cloquet.