Blankenburg, Port Huron power past Janesville
JANESVILLE--The Janesville Jets went toe-to-toe with the leaders of the North American Hockey League’s North Division on Friday night.
In a battle of power-play goals, Port Huron was simply one better.
The Fighting Falcons scored on the man-advantage in each of the first two periods and held on in the third to beat the Jets, 2-1, at the Janesville Ice Arena.
“I felt that we played well enough to win,” Jets head coach Joe Dibble said. “We just have to be better on our special teams, especially the penalty kill. We’ll watch the film and critique a few things, but all in all I was happy with the effort.”
The Falcons moved to 14-2-4; the Jets are 7-11-1.
The first third of the Janesville schedule has been all about one-goal games—the Jets have already played in 10 decided by a goal or a shootout—and the team’s play in the opening five minutes of play.
Friday was no different, as the Falcons scored at 4:48 of the first period.
They carried the lead deep into the second period, and then added to it in the final seconds before the intermission. Mitch Maloney scored the team’s second power-play goal with 43 seconds left.
“The first one just kind of trickled in,” Dibble said. “The second one, I think our goaltender might have been cheating to slide to the middle there a little bit and gave up his post. But at the end of the day, you have to prevent those opportunities from ever happening.”
The early portion of the third period belonged to the Jets.
They cut their deficit in half on the power play a little more than two minutes in. Jordan Himley fought for the puck behind the goal and carried it toward the crease. Adam Winborg cleaned up the loose puck off the rebound for his seventh goal.
“We had some chances tonight, and their goalie played well,” Dibble said. “We put up 40 shots on the kid and he only gave up one. He was that factor tonight that we couldn’t get past.”
Indeed, Alex Blankenburg made 39 saves for Port Huron, including several on close calls in the third period. Brock Kautz stopped 27 shots for Janesville.
The two teams square off again at 7 p.m. tonight.