Jets find the net in Springfield
The Janesville Jets entered a busy week feeling cursed.
They've already clinched the North American Hockey League's Midwest Division but had lost three straight games amidst some unlucky scoring woes.
On Tuesday night, the Jets bit back.
Michael Maloney scored twice, the Jets built a three-goal lead in the first period and they skated to a 4-1 victory at the Nelson Recreation Center.
“This was definitely an important game,” Maloney said of the team's first of four road games in five nights. “After the past few games, we've been feeling snake-bitten. It was nice to start finally putting pucks back in the net and to get back on the right track.”
The Jets survived a bit of a slow start. They took two early penalties but killed them to gain a little momentum.
Jets coach Joe Dibble also shifted personnel to give his team a jolt.
"We started juggling lines a little bit and it seemed to wake us up," he said. "We just started to hunt down pucks. When we do that is when we're playing our best."
The Jets scored three goals in the final 5 minutes, 15 seconds of the first period, beginning with Maloney's first which came in traffic out front.
Alec Semandel scored his fourth goal of the season when he one-timed a blast from the top of the left circle with just less than three minutes left.
And Cole Paskus finished off a wrap-around with 8.8 seconds remaining to give the Jets a 3-0 lead at the first intermission.
"The past few games we had been playing well and getting some chances, but they haven't been bouncing our way," Maloney said. "It was nice to see some go in. I don't think it means we really played any different, the bounces were just on our side today."
Maloney scored off feeds from Paskus and LA Grissom midway through the second to make it 4-0.
Springfield scored on a 5-on-3 advantage in the opening seconds of the third period and outshot the Jets the rest of the way, but Janesville's defense stood tall.
Goalie Jacob Barczewski, starting his ninth straight game and among the top goalies in the NAHL, stopped 36 shots to earn the victory.
Janesville plays at Coulee Region on Thursday night before continuing its weekend road trip into Minnesota.