The Janesville Bluebirds boys hockey team is inching closer to full strength, but its first win remains elusive.

Janesville scored two goals in the third period to force overtime Saturday, but Bo Bergenthal’s goal in the extra session gave the Middleton Cardinals a 5-4 Big Eight Conference win at the Janesville Ice Arena.

Kyle Ward and Ben Coulter each scored twice for Janesville (0-7, 0-4 Big Eight) in the loss. Ward cut the Bluebirds’ deficit to one with 11:31 remaining and Coulter tied the game on a wraparound with 7:31 left. Both goals came on power plays.

“The goal every game is to get to the third period with a chance to win,” Janesville coach John Mauermann said. “The more chances you do that, the better you’re going to get.”

First-line winger Cullen Peterson returned to Janesville’s lineup Saturday. The Bluebirds are still without starting goaltender Owen Aldrich, who’s been out sick. Freshman Cody Kaas has played in Aldrich’s place.

Bergenthal—who had assisted on two Middleton goals earlier in the game—found the net 2:32 into overtime to deny Janesville. The Cardinals (7-5 overall) improved to 4-3 in conference play.

Middleton took a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the first period on goals by Andy Chafe and Jake Feldt. Ward got his first goal to make it 2-1 at the first intermission.

Coulter scored in the second period.

Janesville travels to Verona on Tuesday and returns home to face Beloit Memorial on Thursday.

MIDDLETON 5, JANESVILLE 4

Middleton 2 2 0 1—5

Janesville 1 1 2 0—4

First period

M—Andy Chafe (Mitch Giroux, Bryce Carey), 0:37. M—Jake Feldt (Bo Bergenthal), 4:14. J—Kyle Ward (Ben Coulter), 9:29.

Second period

M—Jonny Hippen, 7:17. J—Coulter (Ward), 11:00. M—Feldt (Bergenthal).

Third period

J—Ward (Coulter, Cooper Everson), 5:29. J—Coulter, 9:29.

Overtime

M—Bergenthal (Hippen, Brooks Kalscheur), 2:32.

Saves—Cody Kaas (J) 26, Luigi Pugliese (M) 24.

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