Jets collect win
During their North American Hockey League games, the Jets shout “Come on, boys”— almost like it’s their mantra.
The skaters are paying homage to their youth. Mostly 18- and 19-year-olds, the Jets must be considered boys working their way up to maturity, and it’s a long road from boys to men.
The Jets earned a few bonus miles on their journey with a 4-1 victory over a North Division contender, the visiting Marquette (Mich.) Rangers, here Friday night in the first of a two-game series at the Janesville Ice Skating Center.
The teams play again at 7 tonight.
Marquette came at Janesville hard and fast in the early going, but the Jets survived a 10-4 shots-on-goal deficit and several early penalties en route to taking a 2-0 first-period lead.
“I thought (we) responded well,” coach Dane Litke said of his Jets, who climbed to .500 at 8-8 in the North Division, while Marqeutte fell to 10-5 and trails first-place Traverse City (10-4-1) by one point
Litke said the victory was pivotal for the Jets.
“I would say so,” especially after last Saturday,” Litke said. “We’ve just got to find away to be ready for a battle.’’
Last week, the Jets defeated visiting Alpena (Minn.), 6-0, on Friday, only to lose 2-0 last Saturday.
That’s been the young Jets’ early-season calamity, playing well one game and going flat the next.
“We’re good for a night and not so good the next night,” said Litke, who then issued a warning. “If we are not good (tonight), Marquette is really going to give it to us, good.’’
Janesville is 16 games into its season, and there is a long road ahead.
“We’re about just a little less than a quarter of the way through,” Litke said. “For some of these guys playing at this level, and coming from a high school schedule, that’s almost a whole year for them.’’
Janesville Parker graduate Ross Mauermann, who played his last high school game seven months ago, is working hard on the changes as a member of the Jets.
“The speed here is something I need to get used to,” Mauermann said. “The seven months since high school is a big change.’’
The Jets’ Rui Encarnarcao laced a short-handed goal, his 12th of the season, past Marquette goalie Kevin Kissaw at 9:07 of the first period. Gehrett Sargis, with an assist from Encarnarcao and Beau Burgau, scored on a power play to give Janesville a 2-0 lead just 12 seconds before the end of the period.
Larkin Jacobson found the net on a 2-on-1 break just 1:25 into the second period to Janesville ahead 3-0. Marquette scored its lone goal at 13:12 to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Jacobson scored his second goal with an assist from Chris Volonnino at 4:49 of the third period to close the scoring.
“We got a break on that short-handed goal, and that gave us a little momentum,” Litke said. “The power-play goal at the end was big. Anytime you score in the last minute of any period, that’s kind of a back-breaker for you.
“We got a lucky goal in the second on a 2-on-1, and then a nice goal in the third to put it away.’’
And at what point do the boys become men?
“Right around Christmas time,” Litke said. “It usually takes about half the season, and when they start playing like men, we treat them like men.’’
“Come on, boys.”
JANESVILLE 4, MARQUETTE 1
Marquette 0 1 0—1
Janesville 2 1 1—4
J—Rui Encarnarcao (unassisted) 9:07. J—Gehrett Sargis (Rui Encarnarcao, Beau Burgau) 19:47.
J—Larkin Jacobson (Mike Schenfeld) 1:25. M—Brad Chapman (Tanner Kero) 13:12.
J—L. Jacobson (Chris Volonnino) 4:49.
Saves—Kevin Kissaw (M), 33. Matt Wichorek (J), 34.