Jets fall to St. Louis
Janesville was looking to climb over St. Louis for the North Division lead in the three-game set, but suffered its third straight loss instead.
The importance of the series is not lost on Jets coach Dane Litke.
“It’s huge,” Litke said. “The gap was two points. Now it’s four.
“We’d like to keep within striking distance, but if we have the same mistakes, they are going to capitalize on them.’’
St. Louis improved to 12-3-1 and 25 points. Janesville fell to 10-3 and 21 points.
Janesville fell behind quickly.
The Jets allowed three straight goals in the first 11 minutes. St. Louis scored at 2:43 and 3:38 for a 2-0 lead, which prompted Litke to lift Tony Kujava, the NAHL goalkeeper of the month in September, for Brock Kautz.
“Goaltending is a question mark for us right now,” said Litke, whose Jets have surrendered 11 goals in the last two games. “(Kujava) is struggling right now. There is no other way to put it.’’
Litke said he would think about starting Kujava in tonight’s second game.
“I have no idea what I am going to do,” Litke said. “I’ll sleep on it.’’
Janesville showed signs of life with Chris Cattivera scoring unassisted at 14:31 of the first. John Olen scored on a power play with an assist from Truman Landowski at 7:54 of the second to cut the Jets’ deficit to 3-2.
But as quickly as the Jets gained momentum, they lost it.
The Bandits scored on a power play at 9:02 to take a
4-2 lead and effectively deflate any comeback thoughts the Jets may have entertained.
The Jets’ Jeff Paczynski was called for tripping at 8:34, which put the Bandits on the power play.
“We had momentum and we made a bad play in the offensive zone that led to a penalty against us, and about 30 seconds later they scored their fourth goal,” Litke said. “That’s just deflating.
“It was one of veteran guys that made the mistake,” Litke said. “Guys like that just can’t do that, and we didn’t respond the right way after that.’’
The Jets hit the ice tonight looking to reverse their fortunes.
“We’ve got to figure out a way to just get playing better and competing harder, and if we do that we are going to win some games,” Litke said.
ST. LOUIS 5, JANESVILLE 2
St. Louis Bandits 3 2 0—5
Janesville Jets 1 1 0—2
StL—Garret Peterson (Stephen Bopp), 2:43. StL—Cody Ganchar (Joseph Birmingham, Frank Dichiara), 3:38. St.L—Rance Hughes (Joseph Birmingham), 11:06. J—Chris Cattivera, 14:31.
J—John Olen (Truman Landowski), pp, 7:54. StL—Birmingham (Dichiara), pp, 9:0. StL—Peterson (Joe Kalisz), 13:26.
Saves—Spencer Viele (StL) 15, Tony Kujava (J) 0, Brock Kautz (J) 18.
Last updated: 6:58 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012