St. Louis shuts out Jets
A weekend off and a change of venue didn’t alter the result for the Janesville Jets against the St. Louis Bandits.
After being idle last weekend, things picked up right where they left off for the Jets with a 3-0 loss to first-place St. Louis in a North American Hockey League game here in front of a crowd of 663 at the Janesville Ice Skating Center on Friday.
Janesville dropped three straight games in St. Louis – which comfortably leads the NAHL North with 45 points – from Nov. 26-28.
The fourth straight match-up against the Bandits wasn’t any different for the Jets.
“They’re a good team,” said Jets coach Dane Litke, whose team remains sixth in the NAHL North with 28 points. “I actually thought we had some good shots (on goal) in the first (period). I thought we had some good chances in the third on the power play, and we just didn’t capitalize.
“They’re good. They’re just a good team.”
And they’re even better if you commit self-inflicted wounds.
Trailing 1-0, Janesville (13-9-2) was whistled for three minor penalties in the span of less than six minutes in the second period. The Jets killed the first two, but they weren’t as fortunate on the third when Josef Pontasch took a pass off the boards from Nick Carey and ripped a short-side wrister over the shoulder of Janesville goalie David Jacobson (20 saves) for a 2-0 lead with 7 minutes 5 seconds left in the period.
Carey added a power-play goal late in the third for St. Louis (21-8-3), as the Jets committed eight penalties in the game, all of them minors.
“Out of all our penalty minutes, 98 percent of them are minors,” Litke said. “That’s just ridiculous. We’re not gonna get away with that every game, and we’re not gonna get away with it against St. Louis.”
St. Louis defenseman Russell Finch scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal late in the first on a
4-on-4 situation when the Jets missed a check in their own zone and allowed Finch to get into the slot for a quality shot.
Though Janesville outshot St. Louis, 25-23, the Jets rarely put serious pressure on Bandits’ goalie Matt Green.
Janesville had some good chances early on and nearly got within 2-1 on a third-period power play, but Joe Horak couldn’t get his stick on a backdoor pass in front of a wide-open net.
By and large, though, St. Louis kept sticks and bodies in the Jets’ passing and shooting lanes, and Janesville was hesitant to shoot decisively when they did find openings.
“We’ve been doing that all year,” Litke said. “We’ve been harping on them to shoot the puck, and you can’t score if you don’t get the puck on net.”
The Jets will get another chance to break their losing streak against the Bandits when the teams meet at 7 tonight at the Janesville Ice Skating Center.
“The guys that are playing, we have to make sure they’re mentally ready, and (we) have to be a team that doesn’t make very many mistakes,” Litke said.
ST. LOUIS 3, JETS 0
St. Louis Bandits 1 1 1—3
Janesville Jets 0 0 0—0
St. Louis—Russell Finch (Chris Siotti, Blake Edwards), 17:58
St. Louis—Josef Pontasch (Nick Carey, Kevin Crowe), pp, 12:55.
St. Louis—Carey (Pontasch, Kevin Zehnder), pp, 17:28.
Saves—Matt Green (St.L) 25, David Jacobson (J) 20.