First period dooms Janesville Bluebirds
Middleton scored three goals in a four-minute span of the first en route to a 4-2 Big Eight Conference win over the Bluebirds at the Janesville Ice Arena.
Janesville, which got within a goal in the second period, lost its second straight after starting the season 4-0.
“Our goalie didn’t play good in the first period, our defense didn’t play good in the first period, and our forwards didn’t play good in the first period,” Janesville coach John Mauermann said. “We shot ourselves in the foot, and you can’t do that and expect to win many games.
“To the kids’ credit, though, they battled back and made a game of it. We just didn’t make plays in the first period to keep us out of trouble.”
Middleton (3-2, 2-1) got on the board first at 6:05 of the first. The Bluebirds failed to clear the puck from its own end, and Adam DeRosa made them pay with the first of his two goals. Brandon Thayer made it 2-0 a minute-and-a-half later as he stuffed a shot past Janesville goalie Mike MacDougall. Thayer scored again at 9:58 of the first on an unassisted goal to push the lead to 3-0.
“As poorly as we played in the first defensively, we didn’t get too many shots on net (3), so it was just a bad combination for us the first period,” Mauermann said. “Then we bounced back and played better in the second period and gave ourselves a chance, but couldn’t stay out of the penalty box when we needed to.”
Freshman Connor Perkins got Janesville’s first goal at 2:41 of the second on assists from Keaton Eichman and D.J. Mussey. Clay Simonson then cut the lead to one with a nifty backhand goal at 8:30 of the second. Bradan Perkins flicked a pass in front of the net, and Simonson was able to backhand a shot under the pads of Middleton goalie Dom Braga.
After getting outshot 11-3 in the first period, Janesville outshot Middleton 10-2 in the second.
Leading by one goal after two, Middleton got an insurance goal thanks to a Janesville penalty. DeRosa got his second goal at 1:19 of the third when he blasted a shot from the left point past MacDougall with the Bluebirds a man down.
Janesville didn’t have many opportunities to score in the third, as Middleton was content to dump the puck for most of the period.
MacDougall, who struggled in the first, was solid the final two periods. The Janesville Craig sophomore finished with 21 saves.
Janesville looks to end its two-game skid Saturday when Madison West visits the Janesville Ice Arena for a Big Eight game at 3 p.m.
“We have our strengths and weaknesses, and we’ll see how we bounce back against West,” Mauermann said.
MIDDLETON 4, JANESVILLE 2
Middleton 3 0 1—4
Janesville 0 2 0—2
M—Adam DeRosa, 6:05. M—Brandon Thayer (John Gillis), 7:32. M—Thayer, 9:58.
J—Connor Perkins (Keaton Eichman, D.J. Mussey), 2:41. J—Clay Simonson (Bradan Perkins, Dan Addie), 8:30.
M—DeRosa, pp, 1:19.
Saves—Max McConnell (M) 3, Dom Braga (M) 16, Michael MacDougall (J) 21.