Janesville Jets open on Friday
The Janesville Jets begin their season when they play an exhibition hockey game at the Janesville Ice Skating Center.
The Jets play the Chicago Fury, a Midget AAA team, starting at 7. Tickets are $3 and will go on sale an hour before the game. The game is not part of the season-ticket package.
Jets coach Dane Litke would have preferred to get a fellow North American Hockey League team to play the exhibition, but his invitations went unanswered.
“They’re the only team that would come and play us,” Litke said of the Fury, which basically features younger players than the Jets. “We do have some players that could still be playing at that level.
“But Chicago is a good team.”
Litke guided the Jets to a third-place finish in the NAHL’s North Division with a 29-23-6 record in the team’s first season last year. His efforts earned him the NAHL Coach of the Year honor.
Litke and the rest of the coaching staff will use the game to help make the final roster cuts. The players have been practicing six days a week. Litke hopes to have the final roster determined by Tuesday.
“Everything has been going OK,” Litke said. “We’re exactly where we want to be at this point.”
The team’s initial roster features two former Janesville Bluebird players—Ross Mauermann and David Jacobson.
Mauermann scored 13 goals and had 28 assists for the Jets last season.
Jacobson was a goalie on the Quad City Flames of the Central States Hockey League.
The Jets open the regular season with a home game Friday, Sept. 10, against the NAHL expansion team, the Chicago Hitmen.