Jets down Coulee Region
JANESVILLE The Janesville Jets shook off a slow start and rolled to a 4-1 North American Hockey League victory Friday over the visiting Coulee Region Chill.
Coming off a three-game losing streak, Janesville posted its second straight victory and is 6-5-2 in the NAHL’s North Division. Coulee Region is 2-6-2 in the Central Division.
A crowd 875 watched the Jets’ victory on Paint the Rink Pink night in support of cancer awareness.
The Jets started off in a funk, falling behind 1-0 at 10:34 of the first period. The Chill ripped 10 shots on goal before Janesville got off a shot.
“The first 18 minutes of the game is not what we wanted to see,” Jets coach Joe Dibble said. “It started slow, but we took the momentum at the end of the first period and continued with it.’’
Janesville started playing in the Chill’s end toward the final two minutes of the period and kept the pressure on the rest of the way. Janesville outshot Coulee Region, 10-3, through the final five minutes of the first period.
The Jets’ Jordan Himley scored three minutes into the second period to tie it, 1-1. Dan Litchke scored 66 seconds later to give Janesville the lead for good, 2-1, and added his second goal at 5:31 to give the Jets a 3-1 advantage.
“It’s not very common, especially at this level,” Dibble said of the Jets’ three-goal period. “We came out and worked hard and put pucks to the net.’’
Litchke was pleased with hit two-goal effort that sealed the game for the Jets.
“It was my first goals of the season,” Litchke said. “At the beginning of the season I was hurt, and it’s good to be back again.’’
Litchke said the Jets received inspiration from Dibble after their slow start.
“At the end of the first, the coach chewed us,” Litchke said. “We knew we were better than that, and we finally picked up and really took off. It was really fun then.’’
Holding a 3-1 lead, Dibble impressed upon his team the need to keep the pressure on the Chill the final 20 minutes.
“The thing with us, we’ve got to keep working hard,” Dibble said. “It’s the No. 1 thing we’ve got to drill in our guys’ heads.’’
Rusian Pedlan scored unassisted at 9:57 for the Jets’ fourth goal.
Janesville hosts Coulee Region at 7 tonight and try for a series sweep and a third straight victory.
“We definitely need the points,” Litchke said. “A sweep would be wonderful for us right now.’’
JANESVILLE 4, COULEE REGION 1
Coulee Region 1 0 0—1
Janesville 0 3 1—4
CR—Mac Jansen (Garrett Hendrickson, Sean Lang), 10:34.
J—Jordan Himley (Mike Sullivan, Brett Bauza), 3:00; J—Dan Litchke (Ruslan Pedlan, Zach Diamantoni), 4:06; J—Litchke (Conor Lemirande, Pedlan), 5:31.
J—Pedlan (Himley, Sullivan) 9:57
Saves—Aaron Davis (CR) 28; Austin Priebe (J) 25.
Time: 2:15. Attendance: 875.