Bluebirds rout Lakers, clinch title tie
Final fate rests
on makeup game
By Chris Etheridge
Special to the Gazette
The Bluebirds are conference champions with a bullet.
Janesville’s co-op high school hockey team made a statement here Saturday with a 12-1 win over the Madison Eastside Lakers at the Janesville Ice Skating Center.
With the win, the Bluebirds improved to 9-1-1 in the Big Eight and 16-1-2 overall. That assured them of at least a tie for their second conference title in three years.
Middleton (15-4-1, 8-2-1), a 4-2 winner over Madison Memorial on Saturday, still can tie for the championship with a win today over Madison West and a Janesville loss in a makeup game against Memorial.
With WIAA tournament play beginning this week, Janesville coach John Mauermann isn’t sure the Bluebirds will be able to reschedule Thursday’s game.
“But I do know one thing. We’re conference champs, and no one can deny us that,’’ he said. “If we get a chance to play Memeorial, well that’s fine. But right now, we’re just looking forward to the tournament.”
Janesville, rated fourth in the state, has received a No. 2 seed in the Waukesha Memorial Sectional. The Bluebirds draw a first-round bye Tuesday and host Waukesha’s public-school co-op team or Kenosha Bradford/Tremper in Thursday’s regional finals.
Meanwhile, the 11-goal spread over the Eastside Lakers (6-11-1, 2-9) was the largest victory margin this season for Janesville, which was on a mission after a 2-1 conference loss to Madison Memorial here last Monday.
“That loss was really a smack in the face,” senior Kenny Durfee said. “We wanted to really come back strong. I felt like we played well together tonight.”
Junior Zack Bayreuther led Janesville with three goals.
Durfee, who had a season-high seven points, Tommy Tralmer and Joe Allen each had two goals.
Tralmer had five total points, and Ross Mauermann finished with three assists.
“The key tonight was getting back into the flow,” coach John Mauermann. “It’s hard because we’ve been banged up for the last few weeks, and now it’s tough to put (the lines) back together.”
With key players like Durfee and Kaleb Eichman back in the mix, Mauermann said he is seeing better performance from each of his lines.
“We were playing together pretty well for a while right before I got hurt,” Durfee said. “It was awkward for a while coming back, but now things are getting back together.”
Five other Bluebirds had multi-point games Saturday, and 12 Janesville skaters had at least one point apiece.
Eastside’s only goal came on a power play at 4:29 in the second period. Mitch Dunse took a Brett Bower pass and shot it around David Jacobson to make the score 4-1.
But the Bluebirds broke open the game with three goals—each almost exactly two minutes apart, starting at 7:52 in the second period.
Bayreuther’s first goal came at 11:50 when a couple of defenders opened up a hole just wide enough to poke the puck past Eastside’s Tony Ales. Bayreuther followed it up with another goal 45 seconds later to make it 8-1 and send Ales out of the game.
His final score came at 1:16 in the third period to give Janesville an 11-1 advantage.
JANESVILLE 12, EASTSIDE 1
Madison Eastside Lakers 0 1 0—1
Janesville 3 7 2—12
J—Joe Allen (Tommy Tralmer, Kenny Durfee), 2:56. J—Grant Jahns (Sly Flynn, Bentley Geldard), 10:24. J—Derek Mussey (Geldard), 14:22.
J—Allen (Durfee, Kaleb Eichman), :17. EL—Mitch Dunse (Brett Bower), 4:29, pp. J—Tralmer (Ross Mauermann, Durfee), 7:52, pp. J—Tyler Parks (Tralmer, Durfee), 9:57. J—Zach Bayreuther (Mauermann), 11:50, pp. J—Bayreuther (Eichman), 12:57. J—Durfee (Tralmer, Mussey), 13:20. J—Tralmer (Durfee, Jarod Hilmer), 16:23.
J—Bayreuther (Mauermann), 1:16. J—Durfee (unassisted), 9:18.
Saves—Tony Ales (E) 15, Christian de la Torre (E), 11, David Jacobson (J) 12.