Jets rally for Showcase victory
BLAINE, MINN. Coach Dane Litke was none too pleased with how the Janesville Jets started Wednesday’s Showcase Classic game with Owatonna (Minn.).
But the Jets made up for it behind a three-goal outburst in the third period en route to a 4-2 win in front of many NHL and collegiate scouts.
Billy Mulligan scored twice and Rui Encarnarcao added a goal and an assist as the Jets (2-1) began the four-game NAHL tournament with an impressive victory.
“We dodged a few bullets early and didn’t play very well,” Litke said. “With so many scouts on hand, our players were trying too hard to make that fancy pass or shot to impress instead of playing as a team.
“To be successful in this sport at the next level, which our kids are trying to get to, you make a bigger impression when you play under the team concept. Once we started doing that about midway through the second period, I thought we played pretty well.”
With the game tied at 1-1 after two periods, the Jets surged ahead on back-to-back goals by Mulligan. He scored first at 3:29 of the third and made it 3-1 at 12:10 on assists from Jordan Bancroft and 2009 Janesville Parker graduate Ross Mauermann.
Janesville goaltender Matt Wichorek made 27 saves, including two Bandit breakaway opportunities in the opening period.
“Guys fed off a couple of those saves that Matt made,” Litke said. “And then Billy really ignited us with those two goals in the third period.
“This was a great win to start the showcase, and I think our guys understand now how you have to play here to make an impression. And it’s not doing things all by yourself.”
Janesville (2-1) plays the Topeka RoadRunners in the second game of the tournament tonight.
JETS 4, OWATONNA 2
Janesville 0 1 3—4
Owatonna 0 1 1—2
J—Derek Jacobson (Rui Encarnarcao, Cam Severson), pp, 4:28. O—Dylan Porter (Cory Thorson, Jake Youso), 15:05.
J—Billy Mulligan (Mason Walters, Beau Burgau), 3:29. J—Mulligan (Jordan Bancroft, Ross Mauerman), 12:10. O—Brian McGinty, pp, 16:38. J—Encarnarcao (Severson, Mulligan), 18:35.
Saves—Matt Wichorek (J) 27, Mattias Horan (O) 31.
Penalties—Janesville 9, Owatonna 7.