Jets piling up wins
The North American Hockey League's season is a long one.
Teams begin play in September and don't wrap up the regular season until the first week of April.
The Janesville Jets are enjoying the ride.
Chris Dodero's power-play goal with 50 seconds left lifted Janesville to a 4-3 win over Springfield on Friday night at the Janesville Ice Arena.
The Midwest Division-leading Jets improved to a staggering 37-9-0 overall, and with 77 points on the season, are third overall in total points.
Janesville didn't put its most spirited effort on the ice Friday, but picking up the win was all that mattered to head coach Joe Dibble.
“Even though we were losing after two periods, there wasn't one ounce of me that thought we were going to lose that game looking down our bench in the third period,” Dibble said. “The guys kind of had a look on their faces like just leave us alone and let us play.
“As a staff, that's what we did. We let them go out there and just play, and they earned the win.”
Janesville led 1-0 early on Adam Roeder's even-strength goal but trailed 2-1 in the second before Ben Schmidling scored at 10:33 to tie the game at 2-2. Springfield responded with a goal just over a minute later and led 3-2 after two periods.
David Schmidling, who was celebrating a birthday Friday with his twin brother, Ben, tied the game with a rebound goal at 3:31 of the third. Jakov Novak put the puck on net, and David Schmidling was there in front to poke it in.
With the game tied at 3-3 late, Dodero got the game-winner on a Jets power play. He rifled a shot past Mike Robinson on assists from Peter Bates and Michael Maloney at 19:10.
Jacob Barczewski was solid in goal for Janesville. He picked up the win by stopping 37 of 40 shots.
Dibble said that despite the fact his team has already clinched a playoff spot and is likely going to win a division title, he doesn't want his players coasting into the postseason.
“At this point of the season, we want to make sure we're taking steps forward and doing things the right way as far as our habits,” Dibble said. “I thought we did that for the most part tonight, but obviously, we've still got things to work on as a team and individually so that when the playoffs do get here, we're ready to go.”
The teams wrap up the two-game series tonight at the Janesville Ice Arena.
JANESVILLE 4, SPRINGFIELD 3
Springfield 1 2 0—3
Janesville 1 1 2—4
J—Adam Roeder (Joseph Abate, Keegan Miller), 5:32. S—Fabio Hollenstein (Matt Cassidy, Aiden Beck), 12:00.
S—Chase Mickelson (Connor Matsinger, Ryan Leibold), pp, 1:41. J—Ben Schmidling (Jakov Novak, David Schmidling), 10:33. S—Joseph Sardina (Chris Conway, Patrick Smyth), 11:48.
J—D. Schmidling (Novak, B. Schmidling), 3:31. J—Chris Dodero (Peter Bates, Michael Maloney), pp, 19:10.
Saves—Mike Robinson (S) 34, Jacob Barczewski (J) 37.
Last updated: 11:17 pm Friday, March 10, 2017