Gary Shuchuk won his NAHL head-coaching debut as the Janesville Jets defeated the Springfield Jr. Blues 5-3 to open the 2017-18 season Saturday in Springfield, Illinois.
The Jets trailed 2-1 after the first period, but Matt Hanewall netted two goals in the second period to push the visitors ahead.
Hanewall, a Lombard, Illinois, native, set a career high with three points (two goals, one assist).
Springfield’s Shane Haviland scored on an assist from Riley Doyon to tie the game at 7:42 in the final frame. Jakov Novak’s goal at 14:04 gave Janesville the lead before Kip Hoffman added an insurance goal at 15:49.
Jets’ goalie Garrett Nieto, a former Jr. Blue, saved 23 of 26 shots in the win.
Janesville heads to Blaine, Minnesota, for the 2017 NAHL Showcase and will play four games during the four-day event. The Jets face the Kenai River Brown Bears on Wednesday, the Johnstown Tomahawks on Thursday, the Odessa Jackalopes on Friday, and the Minot Minotauros on Saturday.
JANESVILLE 5, SPRINGFIELD 3
Janesville 1 2 2—5
Springfield 2 0 1—3
S—Shane Haviland (Zach Tyson, Max Brainin), 5:10. J—Brenden MacLaren, 15:30. S—Fletcher Fineman (Chase Mickelson, Fabio Hollenstein), 19:58.
J—Matt Hanewall (Kip Hoffmann), 5:01. J—Hanewall (MacLaren, Carter Ekberg), 9:12.
S—Haviland (Riley Doyon), 7:42. J—Jakov Novak (Ekberg), 14:04. J—Hoffmann (MacLaren, Hanewall), 15:49.
Saves—Garrett Nieto (J) 23, Michael Corson (S) 29.