Jets win in shootout
JANESVILLE The Janesville Jets got into their second straight shootout Friday at the Janesville Ice Skating Center, but this time there was a happy ending.
After losing a shootout to Fairbanks in North American Hockey League play last Saturday, the Jets defeated the Kenai River Brown Bears, 3-2, after winning a 2-1 shootout.
Austin Vieth and Matt Salituro scored to lift the Jets in the shootout. Bryan Kronberger gave the Jets a 1-0 lead 61 seconds into the first period, and Craig High graduate Conor Lemirande scored with 6:24 remaining in the third period to send the game into overtime.
Jets goalkeeper Brock Kautz had a busy night, making 28 saves through regulation and overtime. Kautz was named the Jets’ player of the week for last week, and he may be line for the accolade again.
“Brock kept us in this game,” Jets coach Joe Dibble said. “He played out of his mind.”’
The Jets’ offense floundered most of the night, getting outshot 29-16 through regulation.
“When we are struggling to get going, when he plays that way, he gives us a chance to win every game,” Dibble said of Kautz.
As for the Jets’ lack of firepower, Dibble said it’s just a matter of gaining experience.
“The biggest thing is, we’ve got a bunch of new faces here,” he said. “We’ve had a couple days of practice and we are not used to playing with each other, but it’s no excuse.
“We’ve got to be able to outwork hockey teams, and that’s not what we did tonight,” Dibble added. “But it’s a young club and we’ve got to learn from this.’’
For his part, Kautz kept his poise through 60 minutes of regulation, a five-minute overtime and a shootout where he repelled five of six shots.
“You’ve just got to stay strong and battle the whole time,” said Kautz, a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder from Rochester, Minn. “The defense will take care of most of it. I just try to do my job and make it simple.’’
Kautz said playing through the pressure of back-to-back overtimes and shootouts has not drained his enthusiasm.
“I feel good,” Kautz said. “I like being out there and I like seeing the puck.’’
The Jets host the Brown Bears again at 7 tonight.
JANESVILLE 3, KENAI 2
Kenai River 0 2 0
Janesville 1 0 0
J— Bryan Kronberger (Jason Ford, Matt Salituro), 1:01.
KR—Lucas Kohls (Vincent Stefan), 8:38. KR—Jacob Davidson (Matt Seidel, Lucas Kohls), 13:20 (pp).
J—Conor Lemirade, 13:36.
Saves—Gustaf Johansson (KR), 15, Brock Kautz (J), 28.